I would have asked Clark is it not the responsibility of the military to use its human recourses with respect for their well being?
This is the last three minuets of a segment with Steve Kornaki and Wesley Clark from Sunday's UP. In a segment called Wesley Clark: "US could "re-insert itself" on right side of Iraq". A title with no actual meaning unless one defines "right side."
The discussion included the political exclusion of disparate ethnic/religious groups by the current government and the possibility of sending troops in the light of the exploding civil war that we recently pulled out of.
K: "You obviously um uh uh you have a sense of a unh uh garble with a such a presence garble with a military background. I just wonder when you think of the soldiers. When you think of the families. When you think of the lives that have been lost and the cost that individuals have paid uh uh in on the United States' side uh un in the last uh ten plus years in Iraq. And you look at the cost that the entire country has paid, and you look at what the conditions were in Iraq before the invasion in 2003. And you look at what's playing out right now. What would you say tuh tuh to the family of uh of uh of uh fallen soldiers in Iraq thit wha wha what was it for. What have we gotten now that wasn't in place before. I i is it better in some meaningful way?"
Clark: "I'm not sure that you weight it that way. I think what you say is, you know, we love your children, your son, your daughter, their sacrifice. It was for the United States of America. We honor you and your family and their sacrifice.
But I think when you go up and tout the cost and benefits you are on shaky ground in any conflict. You you do what is supposed to be done. This nation uh was, 70 60 70% in favor of the war in Iraq. The news media was pushing it. Lots of the political leaders were pushing it. 55% of the American public believed that Sadam Hussein was behind 9/11. Um, governmental leaders threatened uh mushroom clouds over American cities if we didn't do something.
So when you look at the hype at the time you can hardly go back to the families and say you shouldn't have allowed your sons or daughter to enlist. That was a mistake. It wasn't a mistake. They believed in this country. They trusted the leadership of this country to do the right thing. It turns out in retrospect, it wasn't the right thing. Some of us said that at the time. But that's the Democratic process and we love this country. We believe in the system we have in the United States of America and those men and women who fought and died and were injured, they believed in that system too. They served and protected it and we honor them."
There are so many things that can be said about Clark's answer that it is hard to know how to say it all is less than a life time.
I would have asked him however, is it not the responsibility of the military leadership to use its human recourses with some respect for their well being? Do generals, in the field and the Joint Chiefs, who are also leaders in the nation and citizens of this nation, not have a responsibility to confront the CIC and the Congress if in their best military judgment lives are being wasted?
This was not a war fought to protect the soil of this country, or for the sake of our real allies, like Britain in WWII. Treating American citizens as cannon fodder surely should be done for some purpose with greater gravity than increasing the cost of gas at the pump.
Saying, I honor you, to a parent after you have killed or mangled their kid for no good purpose, is about as useless as it comes