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This is an expansion of a comment I made at myleftwing on Wes Clark’s paragraph two down from the one in The Next War (hmm, that title, just a little warmongerish, maybe?) that I called the Bloodiest Paragraph of the New Century. (Here’s the headline’s subhead: “It’s always looming. But has our military learned the right lessons from this one to fight it and win?”). I’m talking about the paragraph where – whether war is the “last last” or even “last last last” option a responsible imperialist should employ – he buys into the FIVE assumptions that will surely ‘force us’ to blitzkrieg Iran. You see, several people commented that Wesley had said, in the same Washington Post Op-Ed, that “War is the last, last, last resort.” That’s three ‘lasts’, so how can he really be a warmonger? C’mon fairleft, why do you think Wesley is a puppyish, cardigan-wearing, last resort warfukingmonger? So here’s what I said, new & improved version:

I think Clark wants to have it both ways

Just like in the lead up to our Iraq invasion, if it looks successful he can say he was in early and even provided the battle plans, if it turns out a disaster he can say i told you so and that he was trying to stop it. It’s a despicable practice but soft love bloggies and the soft mainstream media help him get away with his b.s.

And I don’t see how you avoid the implications of the following Clark paragraph, as full of lies and paranoia as the one later is full of innocent blood:

Today, the most likely next conflict will be with Iran, a radical state that America has tried to isolate for almost 30 years and that now threatens to further destabilize the Middle East through its expansionist aims, backing of terrorist proxies such as the Lebanese group Hezbollah and Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank, and far-reaching support for radical Shiite militias in Iraq. As Iran seems to draw closer to acquiring nuclear weapons, almost every U.S. leader — and would-be president — has said that it simply won’t be permitted to reach that goal.

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Derived from the above, here are five ‘tough love’ questions you might ask Mr. Clark:

  1. There’s no substance to this charge that Iran threatens to ‘destabilize’ the Middle East. There is plenty of evidence, documentary and directly from their military operations that the U.S. and Israel are executing a vast plan to destabilize the Middle East. How does your ‘black vs. white’ mischaracterization of Iran’s intentions advance us closer to peace? How does it hold off war with Iran?

  2. Hezbollah is a nationalist armed militia of the Shiite Arabs of Lebanon. Based on numbers of civilians killed, it is about a 20th as terrorist as Israel. How does your ‘black vs. white’ mischaracterization of Hezbollah advance the Middle East closer to peace? How does emphasizing the Iran connection hold off war with that country?

  3. Hamas was elected to govern Palestine by its citizens. It has practiced terrorism, but again not on nearly an Israeli scale. How does your ‘black vs. white’ mischaracterization of Hamas advance Israel and the Palestinian Territories closer to peace and justice? How does your stark condemnation of Iran for supporting Hamas, the legitimately elected government of the Palestinian Territories, stave off war with Iran?

  4. Radical & nationalist Shiite militias are supported by Iran, radical and collaborationist Shiite militias are supported by the U.S. How does your hypocrisy about this matter, choosing to condemn similarly ‘radical’ militias simply based on which country backs them, stave off war with Iran?

  5. Iran is attempting to develop nuclear power, as is its right under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty it has signed (Israel has never signed that treaty, of course). However, your and the warmongers’ paranoia says Iran is developing nuclear weapons. How does this ‘black vs. white’ mischaracterization of what Iran is doing advance us closer to peace?

I’m important, and everyone else is too. – G.K. Chesterton

by: fairleft @ Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 07:57:10 AM PDT

Or, as Wesley states (if you note the helpful emphasized word),

Military force against Iran is not the solution now, and if we adopt the right strategy, perhaps it need never be.


As I said, we’ve seen this crap from Wesley Clark before, in the Iraq invasion run-up. Way way back only five years ago, when he combined his ‘last resort’ Iraq invasion advice with wonkish military detail and with kissing Richard Perle’s murderously stupid ass:

…the option to use force must remain on the table. It should be used as the last resort after all diplomatic means have been exhausted, unless there is information that indicates that a further delay would represent an immediate risk to the assembled forces and organizations. And, I want to underscore that the United States should not categorize this action as preemptive. Preemptive-and that doctrine has nothing whatsoever to do with this problem. As Richard Perle so eloquently pointed out, this is a problem that is longstanding, it has been a decade in the making and needs to be dealt with and the clock is ticking on this.

Obviously, once initiated, a military operation should aim for the most respected accomplishment of its operational aims and prompt turnover to follow-on organizations and agencies.

Here is our ‘last resorter’ on the real purpose of weapons inspections:

… I am not making my case on the presumption that inspections won’t necessarily be effective. That is not the case. I think an inspection program will provide some impedance and interference with Saddam’s efforts. I think it can undercut the legitimacy and authorities of his regime at home. I think it can provide warning of further developments. I think it can establish a trigger. I think it can build legitimacy for the United States. Ultimately, it is going to be inadequate in the main.

Yes, Wesley, you made yourself perfectly clear, to anyone not too blind to see:

… I think it is not time yet to use force against Iraq, but it is certainly time to put that card on the table, to turn it face up and to wave it.

Another cure for Clark adulation might be to read the following, from January 2004:

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DEMOCRACY NOW! Confronts Wesley Clark Over His Bombing Of Civilians, Use Of Cluster Bombs And Depleted Uranium And The Bombing Of Serb Television

There, by the way, you’ll read some of Clark’s early 2003 CNN commentary:

In January, Clark told CNN, “He [Hussein] does have weapons of mass destruction.” When asked, “And you could say that categorically?” Clark responded: “Absolutely.”

In February, Clark told CNN, “The credibility of the United States is on the line, and Saddam Hussein has these weapons and so, you know, we’re going to go ahead and do this and the rest of the world’s got to get with us…The U.N. has got to come in and belly up to the bar on this. But the president of the United States has put his credibility on the line, too. And so this is the time that these nations around the world, and the United Nations, are going to have to look at this evidence and decide who they line up with.”

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But here’s the heart of the Democracy Now transcript, when Jeremy Scahill and Clark really start to get into it:

JEREMY SCAHILL: In Yugoslavia, you used cluster bombs and depleted uranium…


JEREMY SCAHILL: I want to know if you are president, will you vow not to use them.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: I will use whatever it takes that’s legal to protect the men and women against force.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Even against civilians in the Nis marketplace? Why bomb Radio Television Serbia? Why did you bomb Radio Television Serbia? You killed 16 media workers, sir.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: They were-[inaudible – Interview interrupted by another questioner.]

That was Clark making an exit off the stage. …

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All photos are from the US war on Yugoslavia. Also at

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