O’Rourke on Colin Powell

O’Rourke on Colin Powell

There’s a nice interview of Colin Powell by PJ O’Rourke in The Atlantic. I particularly like this exchange:

SECRETARY POWELL: Our great strength is the image we still convey to the rest of the world. Notwithstanding all you read about anti-Americanism, people are still standing in line to come here, to get visas and come across our borders.

P. J. O’ROURKE: Voting with their feet?

SECRETARY POWELL: Voting with their feet. So there’s something right there.

P. J. O’ROURKE: Back in Lebanon in 1984, I was held at gunpoint by this Hezbollah kid, just a maniac, you know, at one of those checkpoints, screaming at me about America, great Satan, et cetera.

SECRETARY POWELL: Then he wanted a green card?

P. J. O’ROURKE: At the end of this rant, that’s exactly what he said: “As soon as I get my green card, I am going to Dearborn, Michigan to study dental school.” And he saw no disconnect.

SECRETARY POWELL: He’s there now. He’s not going back to Beirut.

P. J. O’ROURKE: He hated America so much and wanted nothing more than to be an American.

SECRETARY POWELL: They respect us and they resent us. But they want what we have.