The death of General Colin Powell has drawn an outpouring of sympathy and praise from politicians, but social media users made “war criminal” trend instead, having not forgiven Powell for his role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Powell died on Monday of complications from Covid-19, according to his family. He was eulogized in major media outlets as the first black secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. President Joe Biden said Powell embodied “the highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat,” while 43rd president George W. Bush called him a “great public servant.”
Another image, however, dominated the social media reactions to his death: that of Powell holding up a vial of fake anthrax in the UN General Assembly in 2003, claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and making the case for the US invasion that followed.
When Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-New York) praised Powell as an inspiration to himself as “a Black man just trying to figure out the world,” one socialist publication accused him of praising a war criminal.
Meanwhile, Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal mocked MSNBC’s Joy Reid for saying Powell “had some tough moments around our wars, but was a fundamentally good and decent man and a great American we could all be proud of.”
The opprobrium over Powell seemed particularly in evidence on the political left.
Andray Domise, who describes himself as a “Marxist-Dessalinist,” said that not criticizing a black war criminal amounted to “benevolent racism,” and that atrocities don’t disappear “when it’s a Black person giving the green light.”
MORE ON THE NOW DEAD WAR CRIMINAL: