Wesley Clark In Quotes

Because Howard Dean has been the frontrunner, he has drawn most of the attention away from the other candidates. I believe that has helped the Dems #2 candidate, Wesley Clark, quite a bit because he’s every bit as controversial and deserving of scorn as Dean is. So, I took it upon myself to put together a list of quotes by and about Clark that I think deserve a bit more attention….

Conspiracy Theories

“We bombed Afghanistan, we missed Osama Bin Laden, partly because the President never intended to put the resources in to get Osama Bin Laden.” — Wesley Clark

“Newsweek Magazine says (Bin Laden) is in the mountains of Western Pakistan. And I guess if Newsweek could find him there, we could, too, if we wanted to” — Wesley Clark

“I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, and one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan. So, I thought, this is what they mean when they talk about “draining the swamp.” — Wesley Clark before he backtracked and attributed this to “gossip” and “neoconservative talk”.

“I think we’re at risk with our democracy. I think we’re dealing with the most closed, imperialistic, nastiest administration in living memory. They even put Richard Nixon to shame. They are a threat to what this nation stands for, and we need to get him out of the White House. And we’re going to do it.” — Wesley Clark

“The White House actually back in February apparently tried to get me knocked off CNN and they wanted to do this because they were afraid that I would raise issues with their conduct of the war. Apparently they called CNN. I don’t have all the proof on this because they didn’t call me. I’ve only heard rumors about it.” — Wesley Clark

“I think (the war in Iraq) was purely political. I think it started with a Republican Party pledge, an effort to embarrass the Clinton administration. It swelled and just grew out of control.” — Wesley Clark

Wesley Clark: “I think there was an immediate determination right after 9/11 that Saddam Hussein was one of the keys to winning the war on terror….”
Tim Russert: “By who? Who did that?”
Wesley Clark: “Well, it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, ‘You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.” — Clark later backtracked on this story and claimed no one from the White House was involved

Megalomania

“If I’d been president, I would have had Osama bin Laden by this time.” — Wesley Clark

“And if I’m president of the United States, I’m going to take care of the American people. We are not going to have one of these incidents. I think the two greatest lies that have been told in the last three years are: You couldn’t have prevented 9/11 and there’s another one that’s bound to happen.” — Wesley Clark

“Nothing is going to hurt this country – not bioweapons, not a nuclear weapon, not a terrorist strike – there is nothing that can hurt us if we stay united and move together and have a vision for moving to the future the right way.” — Wesley Clark

Military Related

“Absolutely not.” — Tommy Franks reply when asked if Wesley Clark would make a good President

“I’ve known Wes for a long time. I will tell you the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart…Wes won’t get my vote.” — Hugh Shelton, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff & Clark’s former Boss

“Known by those who’ve served with him as the ‘Ultimate Perfumed Prince,’ he’s far more comfortable in a drawing room discussing political theories than hunkering down in the trenches where bullets fly and soldiers die. An intellectual in warrior’s gear.” — Col. David H. Hackworth

“I am not going to start World War III for you.” — British General Sir Michael Jackson’s response to Wesley Clark’s order to block a Russian advance towards Pristina airport in Kosovo

“(Wesley Clark) has met with a Serbian general suspected of ordering the deaths of civilians in a campaign of ethnic cleansing even though, State Department officials said, they had advised him not to do so. Lieutenant General Wesley Clark…met Saturday with General Ratko Mladic, who was named a war crimes suspect by a previous secretary of state, Lawrence S. Eagleburger. A spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, however, that General Clark ha(d) not been aware of any directions he not meet with General Mladic.” — International Herald Tribune, 9/2/94

“What State Department officials said they found especially disturbing was a photograph of General Clark and General Mladic wearing each other’s caps. The picture appeared in several European newspapers…Clark accepted as gifts General Mladic’s hat, a bottle of brandy and a pistol.” — International Herald Tribune, 9/2/94

“(T)here was friction between General Clark and myself. And frankly, I think it would be inappropriate for me to comment on his political aspirations. I made a judgment during the time that he was serving as head of NATO, SACEUR, and I felt that the ax, as such, when it fell spoke for itself.” — Defense Secretary William Cohen, 10/7/03

“Army Lt. Gen. Marc Cisneros recalls hearing that Clark was competing against him in 1996 for a four-star position heading the U.S. Southern Command, a job for which the Army was backing Cisneros. Cisneros says Clark ‘just outright lied’ when confronted, and denied to Cisneros that he was seeking the job, which did go to Clark. ‘I worry about his ethical standards regarding honesty and forthrightness,’ Cisneros said.” — Nancy Benac, 10/11/03

“I think the greatest condemnation against him, however, came from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when he was a NATO commander. I mean, he was fired as a NATO commander, and when Hugh Shelton said he was fired because of matters of character and integrity, that is a very, very damning statement, which says if that’s the case, he’s not the right man for president as far as I’m concerned.” — Norman Schwarzkopf

Misc

“I’m not going to be appointing judges who are pro-life.” — Wesley Clark

“Well, first of all, (the Bush tax cuts) were not efficient in terms of stimulating the kind of demand we need to move the economy back into a recovery mode, a strong recovery and a recovery that provides jobs. There are more effective ways of using the resources. Secondly, the tax cuts weren’t fair. I mean, the people that need the money and deserve the money are the people who are paying less, not the people who are paying more. I thought this country was founded on a principle of progressive taxation.” — Wesley Clark

“I’ll beat the s— out of them.” — Wesley Clark explains how he would respond if anyone questioned his patriotism or military record.

“How dare this administration make the charge that if you disagree with its policies, you are somehow unpatriotic!” — Wesley Clark complains about something that never happened

“I don’t think it’s patriotic to put on a flight suit and prance around on the deck of an aircraft carrier looking for a photo op. We have a president of the United States who did not do his duty to take care of America. If you’re patriotic, you do your duty.” — Wesley Clark

“I don’t think it was a patriotic war. I think it was a mistake, a strategic mistake, and I think that the president of the United States wasn’t patriotic in going after Saddam Hussein. He simply misled America and cost us casualties and killed and injured America’s reputation around the world without valid reason for doing so. It’s not patriotic; it’s wrong.” — Wesley Clark

War Flip-Flops

“I think (Saddam’s WMD) will be found. There’s so much intelligence on this.” — Wesley Clark

“I think there are some mass destruction capabilities that are still inside Iraq. I think there’s some weapons that have been shipped over the border to Syria. But I don’t think we’re going to find that their capabilities provided the imminent threat that many feared in this country. So I think it’s going to be a tough search, but I think there’s stuff there.” — Wesley Clark on 6/15/03

“There’s no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat… Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He’s had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001… He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn’t have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we.” — Wesley Clark to Congress on September 26, 2002

“Retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark said Wednesday he supports a congressional resolution that would give President Bush authority to use military force against Iraq, although he has reservations about the country’s move toward war. Clark…endorsed Democrat Katrina Swett in the 2nd District race. He said if she were in Congress this week, he would advise her to vote for the resolution, but only after vigorous debate.” — The Associated Press, 10/9/02

“Certainly there’s a connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda. It doesn’t surprise me at all that they would be talking to Al Qaeda, that there would be some Al Qaeda there or that Saddam Hussein might even be, you know, discussing gee, I wonder since I don’t have any scuds and since the Americans are coming at me, I wonder if I could take advantage of Al Qaeda? How would I do it? Is it worth the risk? What could they do for me?” — Wesley Clark, 2002

“I think there’s no question that, even though we may not have the evidence as Richard (Perle) says, that there have been such contacts (between Iraq and al Qaeda). It’ s normal. It’s natural. These are a lot of bad actors in the same region together. They are going to bump into each other. They are going to exchange information. They’re going to feel each other out and see whether there are opportunities to cooperate. That’s inevitable in this region, and I think it’s clear that regardless of whether or not such evidence is produced of these connections that Saddam Hussein is a threat.” — Wesley Clark to Congress on September 26, 2002

“Can anything be more moving than the joyous throngs swarming the streets of Baghdad? Memories of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the defeat of Milosevic in Belgrade flood back. Statues and images of Saddam are smashed and defiled…President Bush and Tony Blair should be proud of their resolve in the face of so much doubt. And especially Mr. Blair, who skillfully managed tough internal politics, an incredibly powerful and sometimes almost irrationally resolute ally, and concerns within Europe. Their opponents, those who questioned the necessity or wisdom of the operation, are temporarily silent, but probably unconvinced.” — Wesley Clark in a London Times editorial on 4/10/03

“At the time, I probably would have voted (to give Bush authorization to go to war), but I think that’s too simple a question.” — Wesley Clark before he backtracked on this the next day

“I think I’ve been very consistent…I’ve been against this war from the beginning. I was against it last summer, I was against it in the fall, I was against it in the winter, I was against it in the spring. And I’m against it now.” — Fox News/Congressional Black Caucus Democrat Candidate Debate, 10/26/03

Wesley Clark (R)

“It may come as a surprise to some of his supporters, but Democratic Presidential candidate Wesley K. Clark still hasn’t joined the Democratic Party. According to the Pulaski County (Ark.) Voter Registrar’s office, the former four-star general remains a registered independent. Even though he has been a declared candidate for the Dem nomination for two weeks now, he has yet to officially change his party affiliation.” — October 1, Businessweek

“And I’m very glad we’ve got the great team in office, men like Colin Powell, Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice… people I know very well – our president George W. Bush. We need them there.” — Wesley Clark, May 11, 2001

“(A)t a conference in Switzerland, (Wesley Clark) happened to chat with two prominent Republicans, Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and Marc Holtzman, now president of the University of Denver. ‘I would have been a Republican,’ Clark told them, ‘if Karl Rove had returned my phone calls.'” — Newsweek, 9/29/03. Clark claimed he was joking, Holtzman says he wasn’t

“President George Bush had the courage and the vision… and we will always be grateful to President George Bush for that tremendous leadership and statesmanship.” — Wesley Clark, May 11, 2001

“We were really helped when President Ronald Reagan came in. I remember non-commissioned officers who were going to retire and they re-enlisted because they believed in President Reagan. That’s the kind of President Ronald Reagan was. He helped our country win the Cold War. He put it behind us in a way no one ever believed would be possible. He was truly a great American leader. And those of us in the Armed Forces loved him, respected him, and tremendously admired him for his great leadership.” — Wesley Clark, May 11, 2001

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