“A dictator is gone. A despicable regime is gone,” the former Secretary of State under George W. Bush said Sunday in an interview that aired on CNN’s State of the Union. “And the Iraqi people have been given a chance to have a representative form of government, living in peace with its neighbors. We’ll have to see what history's judgment of that will be.”
The retired general also gave his take on recent celebrations in Iraq as a deadline passed for U.S. troops withdrew from the country’s major cities.
“I think we should just pocket this,” Powell told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King about celebrations in the streets that heralded the U.S. pull-back.
“They are happy. They have made it clear from the very beginning that they wanted to be free and independent. And they didn’t want to be an occupied nation, which they were when we were there, and now that is starting to change.
“But this is not yet over. . . . it’s now up to the Iraqis to solidify their representative government system and make sure they have the security forces that can handle all of this.”
“They’re now responsible for their own destiny,” Powell added.
Powell, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Gufl War, also provided an explanation of his view of the term "Powell doctrine" - Which has been referred to as the use of overwhelming military force.
“First of all, you will never find in any Army manual something called ‘the Powell Doctrine.’ It was an invention of a reporter,” Powell said.
“It essentially says have a clear political goal and then apply decisive force, is the term I prefer rather than overwhelming because it doesn’t always have to be huge,” Powell said.
The retired general also said that he’s “glad to have a doctrine named after me.”