From the Jerusalem Post:

Outgoing US Secretary of State Colin Powell was asked to step down after telling President George W. Bush he wanted more power to confront Israel over the peace process, according to London’s Sunday Telegraph. At the same time, the Sunday Times reported that secretary of state-designate Condoleezza Rice is convinced Yasser Arafat’s death has created a unique opportunity and she believes the revival of the peace process leading to a Palestinian state will be her top priority. Powell was widely rumored to be ready to resign after four years of conflict with Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

However, the Telegraph quoted “friends” as saying he changed his mind because he saw the chance of progress on the peace process and wanted to see through the Iraqi elections. He was reported to have made an unsuccessful pitch to remain in office for at least one more year during British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s visit to Washington earlier this month. The paper noted that while Powell’s departure was announced on November 15, his letter of resignation was dated November 11, the day of his meeting with Bush.

White House officials were quoted as saying that Powell was not asked to stay on. Briefing reporters later, Powell said he and Bush had had “fulsome discussions,” diplomatic code for disagreements. “The clincher came over the Mideast peace process,” a recently-retired State Department official reportedly said. “Powell thought he could use the credit he had banked as the president’s ‘good cop’ in foreign policy to rein in [Prime Minister] Ariel Sharon and get the peace process going. He was wrong.”

Comments LGF:

And there we see the willful blindness of the State Department in all its glory, as the unnamed official places the blame for the failure of the “peace process” on Ariel Sharon, rather than where it really belongs—on the genocidal hatred and rejectionism of the Arab world.

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