Wesley Clark Is Lying About His Support For The War In Iraq
You can really tell that Wesley Clark is Bill Clinton’s boy by watching him handle his big flip-flop on the war. Incredibly, Clark is still claiming,
“I was against the war then, I’m against the war now. It was a strategic mistake for America.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Clark was an ultra-hawk like Richard Perle, Don Rumsfeld, or me for that matter. But, on the other hand, Clark came across more like Colin Powell than he did Howard Dean, and that was even AFTER the war was over.
For example, here are some quotes from Clark on Al-Qaeda & WMD that I think are worth noting…
“(Saddam) retains his chemical and biological warfare capabilities and is actively pursuing nuclear capabilities. Were he to acquire such capabilities, we and our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks. Saddam might use such weapons as a deterrent while launching attacks against Israel or his neighbors, he might threaten American forces in the region, he might strike directly against Israel, or Israel, weighing the possibilities of nuclear blackmail or aggression, might feel compelled to strike Iraq first.” — Wesley Clark
“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
Then, after the war ended, Clark wrote a column of note for the Times Online. While Clark did not espouse unequivocal support for everything Bush did in the lead-up to war, the column was on balance pro-war. Here are a few key quotes…
“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. Liberation is at hand. Liberation — the powerful balm that justifies painful sacrifice, erases lingering doubt and reinforces bold actions. Already the scent of victory is in the air. Yet a bit more work and some careful reckoning need to be done before we take our triumph.”
“As for the political leaders themselves, 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. And more tough questions remain to be answered.”
“Let’s have those parades on the Mall and down Constitution Avenue — but don’t demobilize yet. There’s a lot yet to be done, and not only by the diplomats.”
To top all of this off, Clark not just once, but at least TWICE said that he would have voted for the war resolution,
“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
“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 on the opening day of his campaign, 9/19/ 2003.
Now given all of that, how can Clark and his supporters credibly claim that he has been anti-war all along? The answer is; they can’t. Dean and Lieberman are right, Clark is lying through his teeth about his “consistent” position on the war. In actuality, Clark changed his position 180% one day after his campaign to become the Democratic nominee began. I think that say a lot about Clark’s character and about how seriously his attacks on the Bush administration’s handling of the war should be taken.