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General Clark, while I was reading Rusty1776 throw down the gauntlet with the long overdue diary, Leadership on Daily Kos, I was reminded of the time on C-span when you were asked what you would do if anyone tried to color you unpatriotic. Your supporters often cite your eloquent retort as evidence of why we want and need you in the ring.

In January you reminded us of the monumental loss and harm President Pissant has wrought upon our armed forces and the grim times ahead for them while President Magoo remains at the helm. And now, as Rusty1776 reminded us of so spot on, our Democratic leaders in Congress have acquiesced to our opponents when they should have been giving the impression that Keith Olberman and Stephen Colbert are coaching them.

The Democrats are getting the shit beat out of them, sir. So I desperately hope you'll be on stage come the June 3 debate so that you can show our team what it means to be a figting Democrat.

And if anyone doubts that he's the most capable Democrat to do damage control in the Middle East:

Clark on Fox News, 10/29/06

Next Move in Iraq, by Wes Clark, Nov 21, 2006

Averting the Next Gulf War, by Wes Clark, April 2007

And it cannot be overstated how important it is that our next president send a clear, unequivocal message to the world that THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DOES NOT TORTURE. Period. I want my reputation back. And that means putting the standard bearer at the top of the chain of command. At best, the other presidential candidates can quote Wes Clark's views on torture, but none of them can say it with the same moral authority.

On practical benefits of the Geneva Conventions:

   On the one hand, because of who we are and what we represent our soldiers have received a privileged status. On the other hand, all the cruelty in the world doesn't by itself break the spirit, break the will to resist, or end a fight; in fact, it strengthens and hardens resolve.

On effective interrogations:

   I don't know where the desire to resort to rough methods comes from....Look, if you put people under pressure, some will talk. The less disciplined they are, the less cohesive the organization, the more they'll talk; and the less pain you need. The more disciplined, the more cohesive, the less likely it is you'll break them....

   If you look at Al Qaeda, although they're getting financial assistance from all over the world, they're not living in mansions. They're not really getting rich. Apparently Osama bin Laden, despite the fact that he has several wives, lives in caves. There's reason to believe they're a pretty tough, hardened organization. So you can't anticipate that they're going to break under pressure easily.

   What we have found in our experience in interrogation over centuries in armed forces worldwide is that you have to get people to talk voluntarily....

   The Yemenis have gone so far with Al Qaeda as actually having imams come in and doing "deprogramming," and actually arguing with terrorists...[with] some success. Then, of course, they apologize, they blurt out everything you want, and you can believe it.

On torture and U.S. military values:

   We thought we were in this uniform because we stood for something. We stood for what was right, what was fair, what was just: we didn't torture people. I certainly wouldn't have stayed in an armed forces or worked with a government that I thought was doing the same skulduggery that the Soviets and the rest of them were doing. That's what we were against. How can it be that we think we can condone that kind of stuff now?

Torture not justified because there are "bad people":

   We've heard that argument. We heard it in Argentina with the desaparecidos. We've heard it all over Latin America. We've heard it in Europe. We read it in novels. We know enough, surely, not to trust it. We've seen it in history. We've seen great empires like Rome lose their moral authority totally when they departed from humane standards of treatment.

On geo-strategic grounds for following international norms:

   We've got to have allies to help us win this war on terror. The only way those countries work with us is through our moral legitimacy. We shaped the post-Cold War environment. It was America that led the effort to create the Geneva Conventions. And now we're walking away from it? What happened to that shining beacon that was America when we can walk away from the very values that we've espoused?

   And then there's the future.... There will come a time when maybe America isn't the only superpower, and maybe not even the preeminent superpower. If you look at the economic map—assuming that we can get a grip on challenges like global warming—then it's reasonable to expect that India and China...will at some point have at least equal and maybe greater capacity than the United States. I'm not trying in any way to diminish what we consider exceptional about America, but it's just a reality that scale is one of the most important laws in economics. And they've got scale on us. And we've got to set rules of international behavior that work to our interest, that other nations will agree with and voluntarily adopt as their own. I like to think of these as the Golden Rules of international behavior: do unto others as you'd have them do unto you.

Clark with Amy Goodman on torture and the law

And the next time someone claims that Wes was fired as Supreme Allied Commander or that he doesn't know what he's doing, have them read this.

More presciently, Clark was right about the Russians. When fewer than 200 lightly armed Russian peacekeepers barnstormed from Bosnia to the Pristina airport in Kosovo to upstage the arrival of NATO peacekeepers, Clark was rightly outraged. Russians did not win the war, and he did not want them to win the peace.

Clark asked NATO helicopters and ground troops to seize the airport before the Russians could arrive. But a British general, absurdly saying he feared World War III (in truth the Russians had no cards to play), appealed to London and Washington to delay the order.

The result was a humiliation for NATO, a tonic for the Russian military and an important lesson for the then-obscure head of the Russian national security council, Vladimir Putin. As later Russian press reports showed, Putin knew far more about the Pristina operation than did the Russian defense or foreign ministers. It was no coincidence that a few weeks afterward, Russian bombers buzzed NATO member Iceland for the first time in a decade. A few weeks after that, with Putin as prime minister, Russian troops invaded Chechnya. Putin learned the value of boldness in the face of Western hesitation. Clark learned that he had no backup in Washington.

Recent events in Kosovo show that Clark's bosses in the Pentagon and White House still don't get it. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Henry Shelton, rebuked Clark in February for using 350 American soldiers to reinforce French troops who were unable to quell violence between Albanians and Serbs. After the American reinforcements were pelted with rocks and bottles, Shelton and the White House, panicky about potential casualties, told Clark not to volunteer U.S. troops again.

But Clark was right to act. He understood the value of using force quickly and early to show who was in control, and to demonstrate to the European allies that the United States is willing to put lives at risk too.

And if anyone says that his reputation amongst his military peers is very shaky, read them this.

UPDATE: If anyone would like to read the 40 page political parable I'm on the verge of having published that is about undoing all of Bush's support while proving that Wes is the best man to replace him, just go to http://www.clarkvsbush.com and then click on download from that page. Maryscott Oconnor read it recently and said that "there's nothing else like it out there." WWII vet Jim E. Gregg said, "You made me feel guilty for not paying closer attention to Clark in 04!" And a soldier recently back from Iraq told me he wanted to shake my hand after he read it. Every day since I wrote the first draft over 2 years ago Bush has made it more relevant than the day before, so I hate to think how much more relevant it'll be in a month if he and Cheney are still calling the shots.

Originally posted to Pivot on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:12 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent diary. (25+ / 0-)

    We need Clark to run. I'm a Gore supporter, but I think the General needs to throw his hat in the ring.

    Good work.

    For the sake of our Constitution--IMPEACH

    by LightningMan on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:10:53 PM PDT

  •  I supported Clark in 04 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UniC, chicago minx

    But I think that was his shot.  The idea then was we needed someone like Clark to go toe-to-toe with Bush on national security and war issues, because that's what they were using to try to win the election.  With the war so unpopular now, and the Republicans' advantage on national security/fighting terrorism gone, I think Clark's time has probably passed.  

    •  You're fooling yourself (17+ / 0-)

      if you think this election will be any less about national security than the last one.

    •  I would have agreed w/ you before this past week (27+ / 0-)

      but now I'm sensing some uncomfortable similarities to say 2003....   It's the "standing up for one's values" thing, and the "strong image" thing....

      Back in 2003, I might not have liked John Kerry much, but in my mind then, it didn't really matter because he was so hands down obviously better qualified than George W. to handle the challenges of the job of President in 2004.  I was wrong for two reasons.

      First, the majority of Americans went ahead and voted for the Worst President Ever, even though they knew he was the Worst President Ever.  As it turned out, Democrats needed a strong candidate with strong and consistent values--who knew?  (Admittedly, we could also have benefitted from some factors like an honest and independent media, etc.)

      Second, it was wrong for us Democrats to settle for a candidate that Iowa and NH Democratic primary voters thought was electable, rather than trying to nominate the candidate who would make the best possible President.  I never thought Kerry would be an especially good President--but that was OK becasue it was so obvious to me that anyone would be better than W.

      Clark, then and now, seemed/seems to me like he has the potential to be a great President, particularly in this uniquely dangerous and challenging world that has developed under 6 years of unchecked reckless Republican/Neocon leadership.  I can't say the same of the other announced Democratic candidates.  I will enthusiastically support Obama, Clinton, Richardson or Edwards in the general election, but I don't any real hopes that any of them will be a great President--just the certainty that they'll be a lot less bad than their Republican opponent.

      This perspective is way too idealistic, I know.  I'd settle for this: right now, in my mid-40s, I can say with confidence that Bill Clinton was the best President in my lifetime.  Before I die, I want to replace him with someone better.  I hope that's not too much to ask.

    •  i supported Clark in '04, too (22+ / 0-)

      i believe Iraq is still an issue.

      the debate the R's had in SC, showed us that they (except Paul) seemed to want to "bomb Iran."  they are ready for more military intervention in the M.E.

      i don't think his time has passed.  i believe Clark's vision is even more important now.

    •  At the same time Dems let down their base.... (19+ / 0-)

      by refusing to take any steps to curb El Chimperino's powers. As the Dems increasingly prove themselves to be a bunch of "do-nothings" and as Congress' approval ratings continue to sink, the base will be more inclined to support a no-bullsh1t action-based candidate in 2008.

      Gore single-handedly put climate change on the global agenda. As for Clark, he's consistently ahead of the curve on all the issues. Testifying against going to war with Iraq in 2002, warning everyone about the likelihood of war with Iran for the past year, and on top of that stating that we have to have talks with Iran and Syria if we want to leave Iraq in the near future.

      Your premise is faulty, because it doesn't take into account that the American people are fed up with the kinds of empty statements we hear from our representatives on Capitol Hill. Gore and Clark are the only ones out there who consistently put their money where their mouths are and that will be their biggest asset in 2008.

      •  Look I supported Clark (0+ / 0-)

        And you make some good points.  But let's be clear about a couple of things.  First, Clark supported the war (he said he wanted to wait to try to get international support for it first).  Second, he said that he would have voted for the war had he been in Congress, and then backpeddled from it.  I would hardly call that consistant.  

        I like Clark, but I do think you are painting him in a light that is inaccurate.

        •  Clark: "Force as the ultimate last resort" (16+ / 0-)

          Doesn't get any clearer than that Holdek.....

          Watch and weep:
          http://www.youtube.com/...

        •  No, you're misinformed (18+ / 0-)

          Clark did NOT support the war and it's VERY clear when you compare his spoken words in his HASC testimony with everything he wrote around that time and since then. If you still believe otherwise, then you've bought the spin.

          What he would have voted for was the Levin amendment, which would have given Bush leverage to get the inspectors in, but would have required him to come back to Congress for authorization if he decided to go to war.

          That's it.

          •  Let's Wait to Attack (0+ / 0-)

            by General Wesley K. Clark

            http://www.time.com/...

            A couple of choice quotes:

            "The key issue about Iraq has never been whether we should act if Saddam doesn't comply with U.N. resolutions and disarm. Rather, the problems are how we should act, and when."

            "As for the when, let's take the time to plan, organize and do the whole job the right way. This will only take a few more weeks, and it's important."

            And, from the Washington post:

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

            "Retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark said today that he "probably" would have voted for the congressional resolution last fall authorizing war, as he charged out into the presidential campaign field with vague plans to fix the economy and the situation in Iraq.

            Clark said his views on the war resemble those of Democratic Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.) and John F. Kerry (Mass.), both of whom voted for the war but now question President Bush's stewardship of the Iraqi occupation."

            Just getting the facts straight.

            •  No Clark supporter (21+ / 0-)

              EVER says Clark supported the war.  You clearly are not now nor never have been a Clark supporter.  How much other crap are you going to parade out???  We've been through this 100,000 times.  Clark did not support the war.  He testified against it in front of the House and Senate armed services committees.  Ted Kennedy and Paul Wellstone said they voted AGAINST the IWR BECAUSE of Wes's testimony.  Anyone who was a Clark supporter in 2004 knows that and would not parade out tired garbage that twists his words otherwise.

              •  Sorry, but (0+ / 0-)

                If you are going to deny clear evidence, from the Washington Post and Clark's own mouth, there isn't much I can do for you.

                •  We've all been through this 100,000 times (13+ / 0-)

                  You are a taking Clark's words out of context.  We've been through this many many times before and we're all tired of it.

                  You can misquote and take out of context all you want.  It doesn't change the fact that his testimony PISSED OFF Richard Perle.  It doesn't change the fact that his testimony CHANGED KENNEDY AND WELLSTONE'S MINDS.

                  If you continue to take Clark's words out of context, there's not much that I CAN DO FOR YOU, but
                  for those others who are interested in the truth, please see these diaries that we were forced to create as counters to troll-like behavior like this before:

                  http://www.dailykos.com/...
                  http://www.dailykos.com/...

                  •  Your problem (0+ / 0-)

                    Is that you confuse the effects on other people of what Clark has said what Clark has said itself.

                    Wellstone, and Kennedy could interpret and use what Clark said however they want...it contained multiple points.  Really, you are making the case in favor of Wellstone and Kennedy, not Clark.

                    And, I can see with your name calling that you have reached the end of your rope in terms of your ability to prove your point.

                    •  That should be (0+ / 0-)

                      you confuse the effects on other people of what Clark said with what Clark said itself.

                    •  I can't wait to see if my above "IF" comment gets (0+ / 0-)

                      you to admit that you're being guilty of semanticism.
                      I'll give you this: if the only thing Clark had ever said on the matter was, "Let's wait to attack," then you'd be 100% correct.

                    •  You will not be further addressed (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jasmint53

                      Until you READ the links I gave you.  But you won't.

                      Please, anyone else who is reading this thread, read the links to other diaries here that refute this bullshit argument htat Holdek is making.  It's common trolling.  Clarkies have seen it before and will see it again.  We've addressed the bullshit here:

                      http://www.dailykos.com/...

                      And other trolling techniques here:

                      http://www.dailykos.com/...

                      But, since Holdek seems to be incapable of clicking through to a link, here is the Clark and Iraq diary contents:

                      Earlier, I did a diary entry on Wes Clark and the Issues.  That diary was in response to the fact that some Kossacks were unaware that Wes had a whole suite of position papers online from 2004 and they're still available at:  http://www.clark04.com/...  I focused that diary on just a few issues, ones that I thought people knew the least about Wes's positions.  From the comments, it seems like I should do a diary on Wes's stance on Iraq.  I've gotten some help from some fellow Clarkies (most extensively from Tom Rinaldo and northWESterly) on how to organize this, so they'll be around to talk about it too.

                      Wes has consistently been against invading and for diplomacy.  He still is.  He’s always said that Iraq is not a problem the military can solve.  It’s a diplomatic and political problem first.


                       

                      BEFORE THE INVASION:  LET’S WAIT (2002)

                      Wes’s opening statement  before the House Armed Services Committee in 2002 is here:  http://commdocs.house.gov/...


                      He talked about how time was on our side, force shouldn’t be used preemptively, and how if we did use force, the hard part would be after we’d taken out Hussein.  Wes was testifying as a military and diplomatic expert.  And those are the opinions he gave.  

                      The President and his national security team must deploy imagination, leverage, and patience in crafting UN engagement.  In the near term, time is on our side, and we should endeavor to use the UN if at all possible.  This may require a period of time for inspections or even the development of a more intrusive inspection program, if necessary backed by force.  This is foremost an effort to gain world-wide legitimacy for US concerns and possible later action, but it may also impede Saddam's weapons programs and further constrain his freedom of action.  Yes, there is a risk that inspections would fail to provide the evidence of his weapons programs, but the difficulties of dealing with this outcome are more than offset by opportunity to gain allies and support in the campaign against Saddam.

                      Force should be used as the last resort; after all diplomatic means have been exhausted, unless information indicates that further delay would present an immediate risk to the assembled forces and organizations.  This action should not be categorized as "preemptive."  

                      Force should not be used until the personnel and organizations to be involved in post-conflict Iraq are identified and readied to assume their responsibilities. This includes requirements for  humanitarian assistance, police and judicial capabilities, emergency medical and reconstruction assistance, and preparations for a transitional governing body and eventual elections, perhaps including a new constitution.   Ideally, international and multinational organizations will participate in the readying of such post-conflict  operations, including the UN, NATO, and other regional and Islamic organizations.

                      Many people, including Matt Drudge, tried to twist Wes’s words into saying that he supported the invasion.  This just isn’t true and can be most easily refuted with Richard Perle’s words, showing how opposed he was to Wes's position:  "General, as you leave, I just want you to know, I think your testimony is hopelessly confused..."  It’s also interesting to read Dana Milbank’s contrast of Perle’s and Clark’s 2002 vs. 2005 testimony.   He basically covers that the gyst of the 2005 discussion was that Wes was right in 2002 and Perle was wrong.  Perle essentially called Wes a "kooky general" for opposing the war, but Wes was right.

                      There’s also been discussion claiming that Wes said things on CNN encouraging the war.  Wes was a military analyst and he answered military "as if" questions.  You can see a smattering of things Wes said on CNN here.  It’s pretty clear that before the war, he knew what would happen—where we’d be now.  Here’s a piece called Let’s Wait to Attack from the CNN archives.  Some might argue that Wes only wanted to wait a little while.  But ask yourself, given that there were no WMD’s, if we’d followed Wes’s advice to get all our ducks in a row, exhaust diplomatic avenues, and work the inspections process—in other words use force only as a last, last, last resort—would we ever have gone in?   And that is Wes’s style.  Force is a possibility, but only after everything—EVERYTHING—else hasn’t worked.   Knowing what we know now, it’s pretty apparent that other things would have worked because there actually was no threat.

                      Finally, here's a nice overview of Wes Before the War by Tom Rinaldo (and friends) quoting the Senators who quoted Wes as their reason for voting against the IWR.

                      So, BEFORE the war, Wes thought time was on our side and we could wait.  We could use diplomacy, backed up by the THREAT of force (not using the force, but the threat of it), to get to the bottom of the WMD situation in Iraq.  

                      AFTER THE INVASION:  WHY ARE WE THERE AND WHAT WILL HAPPEN? (2003-2004)

                      One of my favorite pieces by Wes is Broken Engagement.     He starts with this:

                      During 2002 and early 2003, Bush administration officials put forth a shifting series of arguments for why we needed to invade Iraq. Nearly every one of these has been belied by subsequent events. We have yet to find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; assuming that they exist at all, they obviously never presented an imminent threat. Saddam's alleged connections to al Qaeda turned out to be tenuous at best and clearly had nothing to do with September 11. The terrorists now in Iraq have largely arrived because we are there, and Saddam's security forces aren't. And peace between Israel and the Palestinians, which prominent hawks argued could be achieved "only through Baghdad," seems further away than ever.

                      The point of that piece which goes a long way toward understanding what the f*** the neocons were thinking is here:

                      This dream of engineering events in the Middle East to follow those of the Soviet Union has led to an almost unprecedented geostrategic blunder. One crucial reason things went wrong, I believe, is that the neoconservatives misunderstood how and why the Soviet Union fell and what the West did to contribute to that fall. They radically overestimated the role of military assertiveness while underestimating the value of other, subtler measures. They then applied those theories to the Middle East, a region with very different political and cultural conditions. The truth is this: It took four decades of patient engagement to bring down the Iron Curtain, and 10 years of deft diplomacy to turn chaotic, post-Soviet states into stable, pro-Western democracies. To achieve the same in the Middle East will require similar engagement, patience, and luck.

                      Maybe other people already knew this, but this piece really woke me up.  Until then, I didn’t know WHAT we thought were doing in Iraq.

                      Clark wrote at much greater length about his ideas in an Op-Ed published in the New Republic on June 7th, 2004 called:  "Key to Success: Bring in the World".  An excerpt:

                      First, the United States must correct the "dynamic of conflict" that it has injected into the region. In essence, the Bush administration has scared Iran and Syria into believing that, if the United States is successful in its occupation of Iraq, they will be the next targets. To the Iranians and Syrians, the implication is that their survival depends on dragging the U.S. mission in Iraq into failure. Furthermore, America's perceived pro-Israel bias, and its failure to engage seriously in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has fed the poisonous atmosphere fueling Arab anger toward the United States and its efforts in Iraq.

                      To clear the air, the United States must first involve regional governments in Iraq's reconstruction, giving them a seat at the table in that country's development so they understand that they are not the next targets of regime change. The United States must also actively push the Middle East road map, with its goal of a two-state solution. The Bush administration cannot simply articulate a plan and expect the Israelis and Palestinians to follow--that clearly has not worked. Instead, it must hold serious and sustained dialogue between the two sides and among the so-called front-line states to hammer out details of a peace process. The road to Baghdad runs through Jerusalem, not, as the neoconservatives unquestioningly believe, the other way around.

                      Of course, no summary of Wes’s position on Iraq would be complete without his campaign positon paper, the main points of which were:  End the American Monopoly, Change the Force Mix (more special forces and intelligence), and Giving Iraqis a Stake in the Success.  In his position paper, Wes also went on to enumerate the method for avoiding future foreign policy misadventures:  Promote security through multilateralism, Modernize international organizations, and create a new agency for international assistance.

                      MORE RECENT WORKS (2005-2006):  HOW TO GET OUT

                      Wes has always been constant on certain principles, while making tactical adjustments in his advice on what he would reccomend the U.S. do at any given moment to respond to changing condiditions in Iraq and the world as the occupation continued.  Those principles are:

                      • Empowering the Iraqi's to take full control of their nation as soon as possible
                      • Reducing the American footprint in Iraq as quickly and thoroughly as possible by bringing in international institutions to assist Iraq rather than keeping control under the authority of American occupying forces
                      • Swearing off any permanent designs on Iraq territory or resourses
                      • Beginning regional negotiations with all of the nations effected by what is happening in Iraq, recognizing that each has valid national interests that need to be dealt with, and include in those negotiations nations that we may not like or agree with, like Iraq and Syria
                      • Understanding that there is no military solution possible for Iraq without achieving political agreements, and
                      • Understanding that there are numerous interlocking regional conflicts, including Israel and Palestine that need to be addressed before regional stability is possible.

                      Early in 2005, Wes participated in a panel discussion at the Library of Congress with Sadako Ogata.  The discussion is about the Refugee Crisis in the 1990’s; however, about half way through, Wes gets some questions about Iraq and I think that discussion is very telling about Wes’s feelings.

                      Wes talked about what a fighting retreat would be like at the Conference on Terrorism, Security & America's Purpose: Towards a More Comprehensive Strategy in September 2005.  About the fighting retreat he said:

                      Well the men and women in the armed forces can do it. It will be a fighting withdrawal because the insurgents will be on the heels of the American columns as they come out. I can picture our men and women in those humvees and the dump trucks. You can see them taking fire and asking, "Should I shoot back, if I shoot back who's in that building?" I can see a long and bloody retreat. It will take several weeks to get out of there, four or five weeks. Or if you stage it, it will be bloodier and more difficult for longer. The insurgents will claim they won. But that claim will be disputed by Al Qaeda. They'll say that they drove us out. And the people who helped us in Iraq will be targeted. They already are targeted but they've got some assistance and support. That will go away quickly. These people will be running for their lives. 200, 300, 500, 800,000, a million. Everybody who ever talked to an American. We don't know where the boundary will be. But it won't be pretty. And when it's said that we are coming out, the political process that we've put in place will start to come apart, naturally. People are already preparing. There's plenty of private militias there. They've got scores to settle, territory to gain, cleansing to do, resources to capture and I'm sure the Kurds will decide, you know they aren't Arabs anyway, they'll go their own way. So I would expect a pretty rapid recourse not only to civil war but regional conflict, if we were to pull out and say 'we're coming home.' Now, that's my scenario. It reduces American prestige, influence and power all around the world.

                      He talked about the window where we can still achieve a less than disasterous solution in December 2005, here from Qatar:

                      While the Bush administration and its critics escalated the debate last week over how long our troops should stay in Iraq, I was able to see the issue through the eyes of America's friends in the Persian Gulf region. The Arab states agree on one thing: Iran is emerging as the big winner of the American invasion, and both President Bush's new strategy and the Democratic responses to it dangerously miss the point. It's a devastating critique. And, unfortunately, it is correct.

                      And he talked with his supporters about it here and here.  He said this about timelines then, "Our leverage is our military and economic commitment to Iraq.  That's why we must not set artificial timelines that reflect American impatience or domestic politics."  I think it is this difference between domestic politics and Iraqi politics that makes the false dichotomy of "timelines or not timelines."  I’ll come back to this later in the comments because I don’t want the text of the diary itself to contain my opinions.

                      Most recently, Wes wrote a USA Today OpEd.  

                      The right approach is a coordinated diplomatic, legal, economic and security campaign drawing upon broader dialogue in the region and intensified political work inside Iraq.


                      Here is how to do this:

                      • Establish an effective, sustained shuttle diplomacy within the region.
                      • Form a high-level interagency diplomatic team, representing the White House and secretaries of State and Defense and led by an experienced, respected diplomat.
                      • Begin talks within Iraq, and with all its neighbors, based on a clear set of principles outlined by the team. The goal would be to seek the commitments necessary to achieve our aims inside Iraq and also advance U.S. interests in the region.

                      These principles could include: Iraq would remain whole; oil revenue would go to the Iraqi people based on a formula they determine; the rights and security of individuals must be protected; the United States would have no permanent bases in Iraq; the covert flow of military arms and equipment into Iraq would be halted; and the security needs of all states would be respected.

                      But, that's an OpEd for USA Today, so it's kind of lean.  I much prefer this interview from late November on Ed Schultz or this Washington Journal Q&A.  Here is an excerpt about timelines from the Washington Journal Q&A (highlighting is mine--actually Tom Rinaldo's):

                      Pedro Echavarria: What are the benefits of a fixed time-back, and what are the liabilities?


                      GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, the benefits are that I guess you have clearly indicated your pressure on Maliki, that you're not going to stay there, and you've- it has political ramifications in the United States. So, it looks like a simple, clear-cut answer to the American people to the problem of casualties in Iraq. The, the drawbacks of the fixed timeline are that you might need that flexibility when you're doing the diplomatic discussions as to where your troops go, how many are there, when do they leave and so forth. It'd be a lot better to have the timeline come out of the dialog so that you've got- When you go into this regional dialog, you need a bag of carrots and sticks, and part of that bag of options is what you do with your troops. And so, I wouldn't want to see us get pinned down in advance of the diplomatic discussions. I think there have to be some events, an event-based scenario that we're working on in the region. There should be some notional timelines to it, but, and it's fine to draw those out internally, but to release those and commit to those before we've done the diplomatic discussions in the region, I don't think, I think it puts the, the, the cart before the horse.

                      SUMMARY


                      OK, this diary is extremely long.  The quotes and information above clearly show Wes's stated positions on the Iraq war, both before and after the invasion, as well as his strategy for getting us out.  He’s a strong believer in diplomacy—one cannot state that clearly or loudly enough.  To Wes, it’s never been about the military.  The military is a tool to be used only as a last, last, last resort.  The real key to foreign policy is working the carrots and sticks to achieve our goals.

                      UPDATE:  I just got permission from the site owner to post this link to Russert interviewing Wes on MTP in February 2003.  In this interview (towards the end), Russert asks Wes if the war is inevitible and Wes says, "Yes."  And Russert asks if it's right, and Wes says, "No."  Then he goes on to call it an "elective" war and he explains how the whole situation should have been approached from the day after 9/11.  It's a pretty interesting thing to listen to, but it is about 15 minutes long.

                      UPDATE: Nice summary of things Wes said before Iraq here: http://www.rapidfire-silverbullets.c...

                •  I don't care about some random OP-ED (5+ / 0-)

                  when the man himself testified before Congress, in front of policymakers who were just days away from deciding whether or not to invade Iraq. It doesn't get any more official than that.

                  Are you going to sit there and tell us that an OP-ED in the Washington Post is more definitive than a Congressional testimony?

                •  Nobody has gotten "clear evidence" (5+ / 0-)

                  from the Washington Post since Woodward and Berstein broke Watergate.

                  OTOH, Wes Clark's testimony advising against the invasion of Iraq is a permanent part of the Congressional Record.

                  The resolution Clark said he would have supported was the Levin Amendment. He has made that perfectly clear.

              •  You're right, Maria (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KayCeSF, bess, clarquistador

                I smell bullshit too.

            •  I have been a Clark supporter (7+ / 0-)

              since '04. I know Clark supporters and you,sir, are no Clark supporter, past or present.

              it tastes like burning...

              by eastvan on Sat May 26, 2007 at 07:49:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I understand your premise (13+ / 0-)

      but disagree with your conclusion.

      Even though the war is now very unpopular, people are still terrified about the future. They know Bush has F****D up but also know we're in deep trouble and need strong leadership on national security issues.

      Rudi Giuliani keeps using the fear card, so I think national defense is still very relevant.

      But even if we were not up to our necks in this horrible war and were not being threatend by Cheney on Iran, I feel that Wes Clark, a progressive populist is the only candidate who can break the back of runaway corporate power that has this country by the short hairs with wars for oil, tainted food, environmental degradation and the evisceration of the middle class and working people.

      It seems that you may not know much about Clark's very strong democratic principles and pro labor policies.

      He'd offer us a sea change in policy.

      We've gone through so much under Bush but he's exposed the power structure for what it is and I am not anxious to have neoliberals take over from neocons. And I believe that most of the Dems running are neoliberals who don't understand why NAFTA is wrong and why wars for oil are wrong.
      We can do better.

      •  So far (0+ / 0-)

        I haven't been exposed to anything by Clark that would demonstrate his "democratic principles" and labor policies are substantially different from any of the other candidates.  He certainly didn't communicate any in 04.  But I have an open mind and would appreciate you filling me in on any of that if you think there is something I should know.

        •  Here (9+ / 0-)

          go read something before discrediting him. Wes Clark on the issues He communicated a lot. The media wasn't listening.

        •   thank you for your response, Holdek (16+ / 0-)

          His recent speech at Johns Hopkins SAIS which can be linked to from this diary is pretty amazing:
          http://www.dailykos.com/...

          I've listened closely to Clark's speeches and I hear him saying that we are in deep trouble.

          There's a very powerful deep mythology in this country that "we" are entitled to run roughshod over other countries and take what we can. I put "we" in quotes because the truth is that powerful corporations get the spoils of this aggresion while Americans pay the price in credibility, lives and dollars.

          No one in the traditional media or holding public office dares to say that Exxon has no right to expect U.S taxpayers to spend hundreds of billions of dollars protecting their oil pipelines in foreign countries while running roughshod over indigenous people, hiring pseudo scientists to confuse people over global warming and thwarting sustainable renewable energy alternatives.

          There are people like Noam Chomsky who talk about this but the New York Times will not even publish him in this country.

          Clark understands all this and he is IMO making a huge effort to talk to audiences that cling to this mythology in a way to explain to them that our 60 year energy paradigm is very counterproductive and is in fact stealing from our future and making us less safe.

          He says it in so many ways..that's what he means when he talks about legitimacy. He's a very enlightened guy IMO.

          When he retired, he became CHM of Wavecrest Laboratories which makes hybrid electric vehicles, because I think he understands where our addiction to oil is heading.

          This piece by Sterling Newberry sheds some light on Clark:

          In short, too few people have understood that the reason the message of a different kind of citizenship that creates a new politics has awaited messengers is because there are too many entrenched interests busy smearing any messenger who manages to rise to the forefront. This does not change the basic reality - the new politics has consistently selected politicians of a particular type, with a particular personality. The type is not the true outsider who comes in with completely radical notions about the system but, instead, the intellectual maverick who has risen within the system and who has succeeded by "thinking outside the box."

             The cardinal examples are Howard Dean and Wesley Clark. Dean was a centrist governor from moderately conservative Vermont, Clark a NATO commander and US Army general who had retired after losing the support of his president. Each one had a resume that spoke, not of the intellectual maverick, but of the individual who avidly embraced the system. Dean was a medical doctor, Clark a top-of-his-class West Pointer. Each one rose through the system. Dean by being Lt. Governor, Clark by serving in Vietnam and rising through the officer ranks.

             Publicly, both have a robust enthusiasm and "follow me" charisma which is often opaque to those who have not seen it. They are both team players, and demand team loyalty from those who follow them. They are both men who, despite a willingness to push the envelope, play very close to the chest with their personal ambitions, tactical intuitions and private thoughts. But what is only obvious from listening to the two men in more restricted settings is a wide-ranging and voracious willingness to examine every situation afresh, and seek solutions that fall outside conventional thinking. Not as outsiders, mind you, but as insiders who have mastered the game as it is, and are all too painfully aware of its limitations. To take examples: Dean's plan on school funding, and Clark's drive for non-lethal warfare both come from intimate knowledge of the failures of the current system and a desire to jump over the points of failure with which they have dealt first hand.

          http://www.truthout.org/...

          I do believe that most of the Dems who are running and that includes those who voted for thie Iraq War Resolution, knew it would be a war for oil and condoned it.

          They are neoliberal and I think really believe that the corporate structure is sustainable.

          Clark understands that there is a terrible, growing  imbalance of wealth in this country that is not only unfair it's unsustainable.

          Jim Webb understands that too and has written about it.

          Someone said Clark supported the war...that is incorrect. He testified before a Congressional cttee against it to vicious commentary in Sept 2002. He returned to testify in 2005 and this time was treated with a great deal of respect by the same congressmen.

          •  Thanks Eve for that commentary (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ArkySue, eve

            Hasn't Wes also stated that our policy in relation to Israel needs to be more balanced and that AIPAC has undue influence upon our foreign policy?

            •  yes he's had the courage to say that (0+ / 0-)

              and what may not be well known here is that perhaps more than half of Israelis believe that the Likud right wing Bush like policies are detrimental to peace.

              AIPAC from what I can tell is more neocon type thinking and should be challenged because they are probably doing harm to any peaceful resolution that would serve both Israelis and Palestinians.

        •  did a great job (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          witchamakallit, jasmint53

          eve did a great job of introducing you to more information about Wes Clark;

          there is a wealth of info at:

          http://www.securingamerica.com

          he is a progressive, democrat without a doubt

          There's nothing more American or patriotic than speaking out, questioning authority, holding your leaders accountable. - Wes Clark

          by pollwatch on Sun May 27, 2007 at 01:00:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  good (7+ / 0-)

        n/t

        There's nothing more American or patriotic than speaking out, questioning authority, holding your leaders accountable. - Wes Clark

        by pollwatch on Sat May 26, 2007 at 04:52:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Gore should enter the race (11+ / 0-)

    and pre-announce Clark as his VP choice.

    "Clark is the only one I would trust with my son's life"

    by ParaHammer on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:13:33 PM PDT

  •  Get Him Out There anf Get Him Coverage (8+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    texamer, KayCeSF, eve, sc kitty, bess, John L, Jimdotz, Lena

    Bill Moyers? Where can we get him exposure?

  •  It is not odd that the two men who are out their (15+ / 0-)

    fighting and working for the things we cherish while a bunch of nannies campaign for president. These men are tops, both qualified internationally and domestically beyond any other candidates or potential candidates. I supported Gore in 2000 and Clark in 2004. I was not wrong and I will do it again.

  •  My name is Eric Massa (39+ / 0-)

    And I speak with some personal understanding of Wes Clark the man and Wes Clark the military leader since I had the high honor to work direcrlty for him in a number of capacities over several years.  Our history together is well known to the political class and there is no need to validate that realtionship here in.  

    Suffice it to say that he motivated me .. that is to say he lead me, to run for office and then did everything he could do to support that effort even though I fell short.  It is from General Wes Clark that I learned the importance of picking myself up off the ground, rallying the troops and stating back up the Hill and it seems to me that is what we face today.  

    I will be posting tomorrow my thoughts on our inability to stand and force the President to veto again, and again a bill that brings us out of Iraq and I invite all to catch me live blogging, as I do almost every Sunday, from 3 to 6 PM Eastern Standard Time because I am not ready to go quietly into the night and something tells me ----- either is Wes Clark.  Whatever public future he chooses I know that his many supporters will be there with him, often pushing him forward.  I trust in his judgement, and I believe that his public service to this great Nation is far from over.

    Eric Massa
    Commander, US Navy (ret)
    Candidate, US Congress
    www.massaforcongress.com

  •  WOW Clark Diary makes Rec List (10+ / 0-)

    Congrats Pivot

    "Clark is the only one I would trust with my son's life"

    by ParaHammer on Sat May 26, 2007 at 05:09:14 PM PDT

  •  Wes Clark has a future somewhere in this country (8+ / 0-)

    President, VP, SecDef .. where ever he ends up, I know he'll do the job right.

    I just wish there were more people like him.

    •  There are lots of people like him... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Donna Z, sc kitty, bess, blueintheface

      unfortunately, they're not in our Leadership right now.

      •  Some mojo and a disagree (8+ / 0-)

        True there are some fine people and even some leaders in our world. And I agree that they are not in positions of leadership right now. This leadership vacuum is not confined to our country unfortunately. Why? It is probably the nature of rising through corrupt systems that fail to encourage the best. Considering the system that we use to elect leaders (follow the money) how could we expect to find leaders when the media is stacked against them.

        But even so, one could hope that somehow a leader can rise regardless of the obstacles. It was reading The March of Folly, a book that made me think about the nature of leadership. Tuchman defines the true leaders recorded by history as combination of the highest intelligence, common sense, and the ability to set their personal ambitions and egos aside. Of course they can communicate and thus, they can lead. Tuchman also writes that the world has seen few true leaders because they are rare.

        I suppose General Clark touched on this theme when he was interviewed by Amy Goodman. His answer to one of her questions was that people must be bigger than their job. He explained that Washington is a place of great pressure where people give in and ignore what they know about ethics and morality.

        Do I think that Wes Clark is bigger than his job no matter the job? I think that he holds that concept as part of his personal philosophy; a guide when decisions get tough.

        Personally, I'm not worried about candidates, I'm worried about the country and the country needs a leader right now.  

        Stop Iran War Please add to our collective voice.

        by Donna Z on Sat May 26, 2007 at 07:03:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is precisely why I'm exasperated: (8+ / 0-)

          Do I think that Wes Clark is bigger than his job no matter the job?
          I think that he holds that concept as part of his personal philosophy;
          a guide when decisions get tough.

          I believe he has the capacity to be far greater than just "44".
          He has prepared himself to rank among our best.

          America and the World is in desperate need of a "Great American President"...
          a Lincoln, a Roosevelt, a Washington.

          More than any other candidate, declared or not, I am unequivocally convinced that Wes Clark is prepared to be that President.

          Wes Clark -- The President we were promised as kids.

          by Jimdotz on Sat May 26, 2007 at 08:17:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Restoration fo ideals (5+ / 0-)

            Our country, as Wes Clark pointed out in his address at SIAS, has not always lived up to its ideals, but has historically been able to squeek by with its reputatin intact. This time we may have strayed too far.

            Touchman uses Solon as a great leader who was able to chart a new course for his country. He had all of the right stuff. Part of that right stuff was knowing when he had gained fame and the trust of his people, he needed to let go of power and walk away. Leaders want the people to do it for themselves.

            Bringing our country back to our ideals will mean getting ordinary people to do it for themselves. A leader can do that: lift people up. But between charting the course and getting the people to follow will mean spending political capital.

            Who do we see that can risk the subtle adication of that power to do the hard work? With all do respect to those who have fallen in love with a candidate, I don't see anyone currently standing on the stage.

            Yes, I agree, Wes Clark has lived a life and absorded the lessons of that life that would seem to lead to just this moment. I wish I had more faith in the gatekeepers to want to restore our ideals. Country first doesn't seem to be in fashion today.

            Stop Iran War Please add to our collective voice.

            by Donna Z on Sat May 26, 2007 at 08:49:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Never, Never, Never Surrender" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Donna Z

              Winston Churchill was a man who could make an impression.

              You wrote:

              I wish I had more faith in the gatekeepers to want to restore our ideals. Country first doesn't seem to be in fashion today.

              A great leader like Clark will NOT allow himself to be ignored.

              Wes Clark -- The President we were promised as kids.

              by Jimdotz on Sat May 26, 2007 at 09:04:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  His speech on Legitimacy (11+ / 0-)

    last week at Johns Hopkins demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt the grasp he has on the big picture of our place in the world and what we need to do about it.

    Nobody else seems able to get beyond troops and tactics, or communicate what happens after that except in the most nebulous terms.

    http://securingamerica.com/...

  •  Wes Clark is the man (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sc kitty, Rex Freedom, Jimdotz, Lena

    But is he calling for the troops to be withdrawn? That was not his position in 2003. And I don't believe that he is for immediate or phased redeployment now:

    Americans want a new approach. Withdrawal? A bad idea. Partitioning? Won't work. The right approach is one that addresses U.S. interests in the entire region.

    I've been making this case repeatedly. We should be listening to our Fighting Dems, and not insisting on the one approach. Wes Clark knows a lot more than we do about how to win wars, why do so many here insist that the only right answer on Iraq is getting out now?

    We allowed a good chance to go by because the only alternative response to Bush's plan was timelines. Why aren't we allowing Jim Webb, Wes Clark, and others to take the lead on this issue? Why is it only a choice of withdraw now (or in a year) or "stay the course"?

  •  I Thought You Should Know, Pivot (6+ / 0-)

    You pulled me in with your title.

    Can we beat the shit out of them now? I'm ready.

    oh, the domestic terrorists, that is. i'm not willing to travel. ;)

    I'm with you on this all the way:

    THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DOES NOT TORTURE. Period. I want my reputation back.

    I won't torture, but I will fight.

    I'm the person your mother warned you about.

    by Unique Material on Sat May 26, 2007 at 07:08:45 PM PDT

  •  General, My General (4+ / 0-)

    n/t

    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Sat May 26, 2007 at 07:15:47 PM PDT

  •  Great diary (7+ / 0-)

    I HOPE he gets the opening he's looking for to get in the race soon.

  •  excellent diary (8+ / 0-)

    I'm ready and willing to devote a great deal of time and effort to a Clark 08 campaign.

    I suspect Gen. Clark is trying to figure out what would be the most effective role for him in reversing the current disaster that the US is facing.  After all, he has sworn a sacred oath to uphold the US constitution.  I have no doubt that if he believes his optimal role in this effort is as the next US president, he will enter this race.

    I'm looking forward to finding out what Gen. Clark's role will be...

  •  does Wes have enough? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jimdotz

    in 2004, i didnt question the general's credentials.  I still dont.  from a military and foreign policy standpoint, he is the most qualified candidate either party has to offer.  

    BUT THAT IS NOT ENOUGH.

    in the last election, we saw that WC wasnt an effective politician.  he didnt play to the cameras, he wasnt smooth, he didnt have the quick responses that seasoned polticians have.  in short, he was still very military.  

     in today's political world, where being simply qualifed isnt enough, i question WC's electability as compared to hilary, or edwards or obama.  

     I'll put it this way- when was the last time u heard Wes called a rock star?

    "Where were you while we were getting high?" -Noel via Liam

    by un figlio della sinistra on Sat May 26, 2007 at 08:35:59 PM PDT

  •  If he'd enter the race I'd point my truck (9+ / 0-)

    toward New Hampshire and do whatever I could do.
    I'll work hard for any Democrat but to my mind Clark stands head and shoulders above the rest of the field.
    He'd turn this country around and make us proud to be Americans again.

    The Truth is such that it cannot be seen and not be believed. Wm. Blake

    by John L on Sat May 26, 2007 at 09:43:06 PM PDT

  •  Saw him at Stanford the other day... (6+ / 0-)

    and if his skin color is any indication, he's running. The way he answered two questions about whether or not he (or someone with military experience, wink wink) should run sounded pretty determined for 'non answers'. But seriously, he's incredibly tan, I don't know if this is normal for him, but he looks great. He ought to run and I hope he wins, but Gore/Clark seems feasible if they both do it.

  •  Maybe it's time for Draft Wes 2008? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JackTheIntelligentDesigner, bess

    And maybe I should start looking into setting up a So. Cal. branch, with it's own website.  If Al can have a draft movement, why not the General?

    Coimhead fearg fhear na foighde.

    by IrishCatholicDemocrat on Sat May 26, 2007 at 10:26:12 PM PDT

  •  Gore should announce his candidacy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ParaHammer, bess

    and at the same time say he is running with General Clark. Done deal.

  •  Pragmatic progressive (7+ / 0-)

    That's what Clark is. He's sharp, he's tough, he's likeable, he's honest.
    He has the foreign policy experience to understand what, when, and how the military is supposed to be for.
    He knows who not to trust and why. He knows how to deal these people in a tough, firm, skillfully diplomatic way.
    He ended a fucking genocide without losing one american soldier's life.
    To all you new age flakes with your anti-Kosovo intervention/conspiritorial BS...get bent, you don't know the slightest of what the fuck your going on about.
    Please Clark, we need ya in the mix!

    "I don't wanna listen to the fundamentalist preachers anymore!" -Howard Dean

    by astronautagogo on Sun May 27, 2007 at 01:14:53 AM PDT

  •  Wes is more (6+ / 0-)

    Funny how the two best leaders (in my opinion) are not (yet) running, Gore and Clark. I'll probably end up working my tail off for whoever is nominated but what a sad commentary that at this very point in history, surviving the Bush regime with so much work to do to change direction and repair the damage done by the Bushites that we're about to nominate one of three semi-good Dems, each more corporatized and hence compromised than I would like; each not yet on record as to whether they would renounce the 'unitary executive' and restore the Constitution (we're set up to slide into a Dem presidency with Bush's 'uber powers' and hardly anyone is batting an eye -- or even worse a Giuliani presidency); none on record to put more emphasis on law enforcement than war in the struggle against terrorism (as Clark is) -- and I'm not a pacifist, by the way -- it's the smarter, more effective approach. This should be the post-Bush American national security policy on terrorism and Dems should adopt this in their party platform:

    [E]ssentially, you cannot win the war on terror by military force. It is first and foremost a battle of ideas. It is secondly a law enforcement effort and a cooperative effort among nations. And only as a last resort do you use military force. (Gen. Wesley Clark)

    But our current frontrunner Dems won’t stand up for this because they’re afraid of being called "soft on terror." Somehow I don’t see Wes Clark worrying about being called "soft on terror." This is such a crippling propaganda meme to our side of the game that Clark's immunity to this charge, alone, is a reason to elect him in my book. Same with Gore who thinks the same way as Clark as to priorities in approaching terrorism. My God, how can we be deprived of these two men right now?

    •  So true (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jen, dbmillen

      Why are the two leaders we need standing off stage?

      The media? Well, yes, the media are the gatekeepers. Yesterday Wes Clark made a statement I can only paraphrase. He said that to run a person had to be ready to give up everything: their reputation, jobs, friends...everything.

      I wonder why our system is so messed up. This is no way to select a leader. You wouldn't even interview someone for a middle-management position the way we choose a president.

      It is all about the money, the media, and who can be bashed the least because of that money and media. Crazy.

      And don't get me started on those useless debates.

      Stop Iran War Please add to our collective voice.

      by Donna Z on Sun May 27, 2007 at 07:03:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  excuse if a repeat to this thread (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Donna Z, ArkySue, jen, dbmillen, bess, jasmint53

    Today I'm here on a very serious and sober topic. I want to talk about restoring legitimacy as the first order of business for a new American strategy.

    I was in Europe when, a few days ago, Vice President Cheney visited the Gulf. He traveled around. He reminded Iran and others in the Gulf that we have two aircraft carrier battle groups out there. Two! It was a stark reminder of military power. There's no other nation that has two aircraft carrier battle groups. It's about sea control - more than a hundred strike aircraft, dozens and dozens of cruise missiles, hundreds of precision GPS-guided bombs, 500,000 2000 pounds, coupled with overhead imagery and stealth land-based aircraft and conventionally armed ballistic missiles perhaps launched from the United States itself. I hope the leaders in Iran understood that their air defenses, their military, their military supporting infrastructure, their civilian infrastructure that supports the military, their scientific military related activities - all of that is at risk.

    This is serious military power potential. I know about it because I've used it. As NATO Commander, we used every one of those assets, except for the
    US-based missiles, against Serbia in 1999, and I'm well aware of what they can do. But I'm also aware of their limitations, as is the rest of the world
    today.

    In Afghanistan, the Taliban is resurgent. In the tragic American saga of Iraq, American battle losses are painful and there's no end in sight.
    The strength, the malignancy of Al Qaeda and its affiliates, supporters, sympathizers around the world has only grown. All this despite the awesome
    power of the two aircraft carrier battle groups and the rest of America's Armed forces. Because this is the truth that military power is only one element in the complex array of factors that influences the behavior of other nations and states and other people. Military power may not always be the most significant factor, and when military power is threatened or employed, it might even be at times counterproductive.

    Of course, human history is replete with examples of military conquest. You just call out the troops and roll over the opposition, and certainly
    that's true in the Middle East itself where armies and empires have marched and counter-marched for thousands of years. They've crossed continents,
    changed dynasties, implanted civilizations,besieged cities, in some cases stacked skulls, wiped out
    sizable populations.

    We have nuclear weapons. Today, the widespread destruction of, of, of human populations is certainly a possibility, even without armies marching back and forth. But for the United States of America, if we aim to succeed in the world today, it won't be by wiping out populations. It'll be by changing people's minds and changing governments' policies. We've got to do a lot less threatening and a lot more listening and reasoning and rethinking. - Wes Clark

    http://securingamerica.com/...

    There's nothing more American or patriotic than speaking out, questioning authority, holding your leaders accountable. - Wes Clark

    by pollwatch on Sun May 27, 2007 at 01:50:27 AM PDT

    •  We Need Wes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jen

      If only the MSM would repeat this or more acurately report this.

      •  we are the media (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jen

        they fell down on the job long time ago; I was watching a google video yesterday about the militarization of space and one of the comments ( don't know the date of taping of the video)said  that the Chicago Tribune and its media network state about itself that 80% of all the information Americans get each day is news from media their corporation owns; Donald Rumsfeld was on their board of directors until his 2001 appointment as Sec. of Defense;

        I haven't fact checked that statement; you know the media is owned by a handful of people and a few corporations; netroots grassroots are the media now;

        There's nothing more American or patriotic than speaking out, questioning authority, holding your leaders accountable. - Wes Clark

        by pollwatch on Sun May 27, 2007 at 09:09:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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