General Colin Powell: A man of history – The Yorkshire Post says

THE timing of General Colin Powell’s death is made even more prophetic by contemporary events and his past decision not to run for the presidency of the United States because of the risks that he, and his family, would have faced.

General Colin Powell came to international prominence during the first Gulf War.

A veteran of Vietnam who rose through the ranks to become the most trusted of military and security advisers to a succession of US presidents, he also made history by serving as the first African-American Secretary of State.

It was his personal misfortune that he had become America’s chief diplomat only months before the September 11 terror attacks 20 years ago. Yet, conversely, it was America’s good fortune that he was in Washington on that fateful day.

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His calm authority, illustrated just last month in the BBC documentary 9/11: Inside the President’s War Room, was a reminder of the world’s debt to a soldier whose national popularity soared in the aftermath of the first Gulf War.

File photo dated 11/12/01 of the then Prime Minister Tony Blair (left) greeting US Secretary of State Colin Powell outside 10 Downing Street in central London, ahead of a ceremony to mark three months since the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington DC. Colin Powell, the former US Joint Chiefs chairman and US secretary of state, has died from Covid-19 complications, his family has said.

And while General Powell came to regret his erroneous assessment to the United Nations that Saddam Hussein’s region had weapons of mass destruction, the precursor to the ill-fated 2003 invasion of Iraq, he did, at least, have the humility to admit his error.

A trait noticeably absent in American politics in more recent times, Secretary Powell was, nevertheless, an elder statesman of the highest order who, as recently as January and the Capitol Hill insurrection, came to disown the Republican Party that he had been so proud to serve.

A man of history, he deserves to be remembered as one of American’s greatest leaders never to become president.

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In this Dec. 16. 2000 file photo, President-elect Bush smiles as he introduces retired Gen. Colin Powell, left, as his nominee to be secretary of state during a ceremony in Crawford, Texas. Colin Powell, former Joint Chiefs chairman and secretary of state, has died from COVID-19 complications, his family has said.