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Running head: SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL.


A 3 page term paper on Secretary of State: Colin Powell.

Colin Powell in context of black day celebrations.

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     Colin Powell was born in 1937, into a family of Jamaican immigrants and was brought up in the poor South Bronx area of New York City.  Following a first taste of military life, as a as a cadet in his college's officer training corps, he decided to make the Army his career and was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1958. In the 1960s he completed two tours of duty in Vietnam, the first as a military adviser to the South Vietnamese Army. Colin became popular rapidly because of his skill and intelligence.  He became senior military assistant to Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in 1983, where he played a major role in operations such as the invasion of Grenada and the US bombing of Libya. In 1987 he was asked by president Regan to serve as his National Security Adviser. General Powell, who at 52 became the youngest, and first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, America's highest ranking soldier, has shown immense restraint. He was appointed as a secretary of states. Powell has played major role in the black history. He made several trips to Africa and South Africa in order to solve the problems of black people living there. Powell also came to help resolve three civil wars. In Mali he discussed with President Alpha Konare the Sierra Leone-Liberia-Guinea conflict and pledged to continue training Malian peacekeeping troops.  Throughout Powell's trip, his message was tough love. As a man of color, he has brought a tremendous breath of fresh air to the African continent. He has heightened the expectations that Africans have from their leaders -- whether it is to honestly lead them out of the horrible catastrophe of AIDS or to begin the path of development that was held out as a promise in the 1960s when independence removed colonial rule. By the end of the Reagan administration, the Army and its fellow services had been rebuilt in accordance with the axioms developed by the Vietnam generation of officers. Thanks in part to Colin Powell, the armed forces were more popular, more ready to fight--and more nearly autonomous--than they had been since before Vietnam. Colin Powell does not lack for ethnic pride. He helped restore America's forgotten black Army units to their place in military history. He mentored promising black military personnel. In recent years, he has spoken of his strong identification with Martin Luther King's movement, and of feeling stunned, disheartened and angry in 1963 at the open fight over segregation raging in the streets.

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SECTRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL

     General Powell, who at 52 became the youngest, and first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, America's highest ranking soldier, has shown immense restraint. This applies to both his military and civilian lives. At 63, he is a national hero whose charismatic image bridges America's racial divide. But, even with an 81% popularity rating, he has been reluctant to state any political ambitions. Colin Powell was born in 1937, into a family of Jamaican immigrants and was brought up in the poor South Bronx area of New York City. Following a first taste of military life, as a cadet in his college's officer training corps, he decided to make the Army his career and was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1958.

     The 63-year-old retired army general served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Persian Gulf War and the presidency of Bush's father, George Bush, and briefly during the first term of President Bill Clinton. Because Powell is popular across the political spectrum, his appointment is seen by many analysts as a reassuring message following a historically close election that has revealed deep national divisions. The Powell appointment is no surprise; Bush had hinted at it from the earliest days of his presidential campaign. (CNN)     

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     Colin Powell has played important role in the celebrations of black day. Ben Barber has acknowledged Colin’s role as the most persuasive black American; as the first African-American secretary of state, Powell has been accorded near-messianic treatment in Africa. And perhaps because he is black, there was a profound resonance to Powell's harsh criticism of the doddering strongmen ruling Zimbabwe, Kenya, Gabon, Togo and other countries, and his call for democracy and governments that are accountable to their people. On the plane from Washington to Mali, Powell admitted to reporters that he felt an "emotional twinge" in returning to Africa. He had visited several years prior to being named secretary of state. "Obviously I'm moved by the fact that I'm the first African-American secretary of state to visit Africa," he said. He reminded reporters that his job was to represent the Bush administration and "show we have an interest in Africa." (Salon news)

     Powell also tried to create awareness about aids. He danced and sang there with HIV positive boys and girls. He openheartedly treated them and promised to help them.

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     With his attention to the AIDS crisis, and to the continent's wars and fledgling democracies, Powell aims to build up Africa in the eyes of the Bush administration. Some speculate that the attention being paid to Africa is a sign that Bush is courting the 90 percent of the African-American vote he lost in November. Others say that Powell's visit occurred in spite of opposition by Bush officials who feel Africa is a sideshow of no vital interest to the United States. Throughout Powell's trip, his message was “tough love”. As a man of color, he has brought a tremendous breath of fresh air to the African continent. He has heightened the expectations that Africans have from their leaders -- whether it is to honestly lead them out of the horrible catastrophe of AIDS or to begin the path of development that was held out as a promise in the 1960s when independence removed colonial rule. (Salon.com)

Charles Lane has pointed Colin’s role in restoring black American soldiers:

Colin Powell does not lack for ethnic pride. He helped restore America's forgotten black Army units to their place in military history. He mentored promising black military personnel. In recent years, he has spoken of his strong "identification" with Martin Luther King's movement, and of feeling “stunned, disheartened and angry" in 1963 at the "open fight" over segregation raging in the streets. (New Republic)

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     Powell has been a sign of hope for the black Americans as well as the blacks all over the world. He has been the most popular black American among people. His trips to Africa and other countries have been very successful. On his trip to Africa about the aids programme, he met several people with HIV positive:

     Powell met another HIV-positive woman in Soweto, outside Johannesburg, South Africa. Florence Ngobeni said when her child got sick; her in-laws blamed her and didn't even tell her when her child died. "They said I didn't deserve to go to his funeral." She told Powell of her hopes that, as a black American, he will change things for the continent. "I see you as a role model to the men in South Africa," said Ngobeni. "You have come to show us the light even though you have not brought us anything, as the media said. Your visit means a lot to us." (Salon.com)

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     In his frequent lectures to black children all over the world, he challenges and persuades them to fulfill their true role and potential. He has tried to help the blacks against the American racism.

     His credibility in a Republican Party almost totally dominated by whites was crucial to the party's electoral chances, even though his liberal views on abortion (pro-choice) and positive discrimination for minorities (he is in favor) are at odds with those of the vast majority of his colleagues. Following his retirement in 1993, he published his memoirs, earning him an estimated $6.5m advance. He has dedicated himself to improving race relations. (BBC)

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     The significance of Colin’s appointment is worth noted (Tony Clark):

     Bush called Powell "an American hero, an American example and a great American story." Powell is popular across the political spectrum; his appointment is seen by many analysts as a reassuring message following a historically close election that has revealed deep national divisions. (CNN)

 

References

Barber, Ben.     (2001). Tough love for Africa, Salon.com 28th May.

BBC News.       (2001). Colin Powell: Bush’s trump card, 16th December.

Clark, Tony.       (2000). CNN.com, Election.

Lane, Charles. (2000). The New Republic: The legend of Colin Powell.
 
 


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