Well, you said it. It's in the first sentence of your first post.
Not exactly, Tom. Those words are in the first paragraph, but are not posited as the purpose of aikido. I state "It's portrayed as a devastating martial art that requires no strength, yet the founder was absolutely powerful, almost beyond human limits, we would think. So people sign on with this, yet they have to deny that they're seeking "power"--especially "power over others." But....you fling people around like rag dolls. Or...you pretend to?"
What I refer to here is not the purpose, but the popular image of aikido. People see Ueshiba's power and are drawn to the art, but they then have to deny that they're seeking power, especially "power over others." But at base, they have to deny that they're seeing power when most, at heart, are really seeking power over others. Aikido is no more about having power over others than the whale seeks power over others: it doesn't have to seek what it has. Aikido has power. Training in aikido is to develop one's own personal power. It's a natural pursuit, inherent in the human heart.
I hope that makes it clearer.