News media worldwide are awash now with stories about the recent death of Colin Powell, a towering figure in the world of American military matters and diplomacy, at the age of 84 due to coronavirus-related causes. Past presidents of the United States, not to mention right-wing media and the corporate press in general, are showering the late Powell with praise as a “great American,” a patriot and a war hero in the grand tradition of warmongering in the USA.
But while being respectful toward those who have personally lost a loved one in Powell, let us also spare the niceties here for the controversial public icon: Colin Powell was no war hero. He was, more accurately, a war criminal. And he was in good company, standing alongside other war criminals at the highest levels of the American state. Powell, like the others, was never prosecuted for war crimes in his lifetime and never took responsibility for his role in carrying out those crimes.