Truly, there are some benefits to attending a school in New York City. The International House had its annual George C. Marshall Visitor Program today. Yes, that is the same General George C. Marshall, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and architect of the so-called Marshall Plan to rebuild war-torn Europe after World War II.
Today another great American general, Colin L. Powell, came to speak. What a rare treat to hear someone who has recently held both the highest diplomatic post, Secretary of State, as well as the highest military position, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was easy to see why he would do well as a leader: he has that intangible quality that makes one able to trust that he has good understanding of the whole problem and will only work toward the optimal solution for the greatest good. It is something decidedly different from celebrity electricity or charisma.
He was quite sanguine about the future and excited about the way information now moves freely across the planet at light speeds. He seemed proud of his reputation as a ‘reluctant soldier’ and admitted that he was disappointed that the war in Iraq could not be avoided. However, he was even quicker to point out that once it was clear it could not be, he whole-heartedly agreed with George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard that war was the only course of action.
A rare individual, and a great American.