Powell Strays Off Message

From Holden:

According to our Secretary of State, the situation in Iraq is deteriorating:

Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday that the insurgency in Iraq is getting worse and that the U.S. occupation there has increased anti-American sentiment in Muslim countries, but he said successful elections in Afghanistan and Iraq would turn the situation around.

“We have seen an increase in anti-Americanism in the Muslim world. We’ll not deny this,” Powell said on ABC’s This Week.

[snip]

Powell acknowledged that, “Yes, it’s getting worse, and the reason it’s getting worse is that they are determined to disrupt the elections.”

Meanwhile, it looks like the war between Defense and State continues unabated.

He rejected the notion put forward by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that it would be sufficient to hold elections in most, but not all, of Iraq.

“For the elections to have complete credibility and stand the test of international scrutiny, I think what we have to do is to give all the people of Iraq an opportunity to participate,” Powell told Fox News Sunday, ” … just as we would have difficulty with partial elections here in the United States. … I think it has to be throughout the country.”

In contrast, Gen. John Abizaid, U.S. commander for the Middle East, told NBC’s Meet The Press that the goal is that “the election will be able to be held in the vast majority of the country.”