Colin Powell Comment
on the U.S. Only Asking for Enough Foreign Land to Bury Its Soldiers-Mostly Truth!
Summary of the eRumor The story is that U.S.
Secretary of State Colin Powell was speaking in England. The
Archbishop or Canterbury asked whether plans for a war in Iraq was
really an example of "empire building" by President George
Bush. Powell answered that the U.S. has sent many young men
and women to fight in foreign lands but has never asked for any more
land than is enough in which to bury those who did not return.
What most people want to know is
whether Powell made this statement.
He did, although some other facts in the eRumor are incorrect.
First, Powell's statement was not made in England.
It was during a presentation to the World Economic Forum in
Switzerland during January, 2003.
Second, the questioner was not the current Archbishop of Canterbury,
but the former Archbishop, George Carey.
Third, Carey was not asking about "empire building."
He asked Powell whether the U.S. was relying too much on "hard
power" such as military action as opposed to "soft
power" such as appealing to the common values of the major
religions and building trust based on those values.
Powell responded by affirming the "soft power" of values
but that it was the "hard power" of the military that, for
example, helped free Europe and so the "soft power" of
peace and reconstruction could take place.
Powell then said, "We have gone forth from
our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we’ve done
this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful
young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and
we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and
otherwise we have returned home to seek our own, you know, to seek
our own lives in peace, to live our own lives in peace. But there
comes a time when soft power or talking with evil will not work
where, unfortunately, hard power is the only thing that works."
Last updated 4/14/03
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
Quote by Colin Powell:
When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was
the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an
empire building by George Bush.
He answered by saying that, "Over the years, the United
States has sent
many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for
beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for
return is enough to bury those that did not return."