General Powell: In Bob Woodward’s recent book, “Plan of Attack,” he says you said such things to President Bush as, “You break it, you own it,” when he said he planned to attack Iraq. You also reportedly said, “You know, you’re going to be owning this place,” and “You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people.”

You really were never on the inside track with Bush. You refused to toady to him, to be his friend like Condi Rice, play the fool like Ashcroft, change your views to conform to George’s wishes like Tenet or be the macho warrior like Rumsfeld. And when you didn’t agree with Bush’s every little whim, you didn’t get invited to the party. You were no longer considered a team player.

So, Mr. Secretary, why don’t you leave the team? You’re not in the Army anymore. You don’t have to stick it out for the dear old school.

Anyway, who ever said you were a Republican anyway? Oh, yes, you did. Are you sure you still want to be? A Bush Republican, that is. I voted for every Republican who ever ran for president and I’m 70 years old, older than you, I bet. (Yes, I even voted for W., but that was before I realized what an idiot he was.) So you too could kick the Republican habit, at least until George is gone, which, God willing, he will be soon.

Oh yes, the “God” thing. Doesn’t that really tick you off? He murders hundreds of our soldiers (YOUR soldiers) and thousands of Iraqis by invading the wrong country. Whoops! There are no WMDs, as everyone but he seemed to know, but as a booby prize we get to “free the Iraqi people,” whether they like it or not.

Come on, General, phone home. You’ve been too long on Planet Bush, where everyone but he and a few boot-licking cronies are aliens. Get a life. I suppose you think you can pull some of the fat from some of the fire. And you sure are credible. You even had me fooled for a while with your presentation of proofs to the UN. But you can only fool most of the people most of the time, not all of the time, and you’re losing credibility, your good name.

Isn’t your good name more important to you than the title of Secretary of State? Hey, don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be Secretary of State (maybe for a day; the country wouldn’t survive with me at the helm any longer), but you don’t need it. You declined to run for president when you would have been elected in a landslide. Or is it just habit; you still think of the President as the commander-in-chief? Well, technically he still is, though he’s broken enough rules to deserve a court martial.

Phone home, Colin Powell. Earth will answer.

Wright Salisbury is a member of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows and founder of the Alliance for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Understanding. His son-in-law was in the first plane that hit the World Trade Center. He can be reached at sasmedia@rcn.com.