Wes Clark on the Iraq War

June 23, 2007

Closing down Guantanamo

Filed under: Interviews, Investigations, Prisons, Terrorism — faithinwes @ 6:11 pm

MSNBC Joe Scarborough 6/22/07

Joe Scarborough: Hey, so, there’s news. I’m, I’m just so confused, and you know, I don’t usually get confused, but I’m so confused by all the news coming out of the White House. We, we hear an Associated Press report that there’s going to be an announcement that Gitmo is going to be closed down, and then we have a report that the White House is backing off of it. They were supposed be meeting today to discuss the closing down of Gitmo, and now we have a report that the Guantanamo meeting was cancelled after the report came out that the closure was near.

Thank God, THANK GOD, MSNBC got General Wesley Clark on their side. He’s going to tell us what’s really going on. General!

Thank you so much for being with us!

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Nice to be with you, Joe.

Joe Scarborough: What in the world’s going on? Are they going to shut this thing down or not?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, I think that- I, I never guess what’s going on in the White House. It’s unpredictable, but I do think it’s a, it’d be a very good thing to get the Guantanamo monkey off the back of the United States. I’d like to see it turned over to an international organization, someone who can process those people in accordance with international law and international standards, get the ones that aren’t terrorists home, the ones that are terrorists, get them prosecuted, lay the evidence out and take it off the backs of the United States and especially off the United States Armed Forces.

Joe Scarborough: So, who do we trust to do that?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, I think you can set up an organization. I think you could go to NATO to start with. I think you’d get a coalition of the willing. I think you’d get some Islamic countries in there so that they can’t duck the responsibility, so to speak, of, of the people that are there. I think it could all be put together, if there’s a will to do it.

Joe Scarborough: So, do we, do we take a lead role in it or, or do we just sit back and are we one among several countries that are all equals?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, I think we have to do our share, but our share shouldn’t be guarding. It shouldn’t be providing the facility. We should set some timelines to say there’s a goal to get it closed down and people transferred by a certain date. Our role’s more to provide evidence at this point, and of course we got to protect our classified information, but there’s a way to sanitize it and provide it out there so the other nations can make a judgment about their own citizens. (more…)

June 21, 2007

“The American people have a right to know, they have a need to know”

Filed under: Afghanistan, Interviews, Media, Military Commentator, Terrorism — faithinwes @ 3:25 pm

Countdown with Keith Olbermann 6/20/07

Keith Olbermann: On the other issue that has been made and raised, the argument that’s being made and criticizing news organizations for covering, at all, insurgent attacks, terrorist bombings in Iraq, in Afghanistan, that covering them only helps the insurgents. What…what’s your assessment of that charge?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well I think it’s an absurd charge. I think the truth is that the word on military successes and defeats is important in a democracy and that word’s going to get out whether a TV station covers it or not.

And the American people have a right to know, they have a need to know and the idea that you could sort of decide not to show this because it might be discouraging or whatever, that’s the kind of…that’s the kind of censorship that undercuts faith not only in news organizations, but in governments. We’ve always believed in the truth. I think if you lay out the truth, if your policies are sound, if your motivations are correct, if your policies are honorable and legal, then the truth is the best policy. If it isn’t, if those aren’t your policies, maybe you’ve got something to hide.

Keith Olbermann: Amen. Let me ask you…this is more of a philosophical question, an assessment question than a breaking news question, but given that we had to do that, that there was an attack looking for an al Qaeda high-level target on the loose in Afghanistan, not to mention bin Laden and it’s 5 ½ years after the attacks of 9/11, and the start of a war in Afghanistan, do you think we are devoting our resources as we should when it comes to fighting what the administration calls the war on terror?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Absolutely not. It’s…it’s been mistaken almost from the beginning. We went into Afghanistan as we should. We did not have a plan for success in Afghanistan to get al Qaeda. We didn’t want to put the American troops in because the administration was already planning on going after Iraq even though there was no connection established between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein. So, we short-changed the operation in Afghanistan repeatedly. It was an economy of force mission, now we’re really committed in Iraq, the Taliban is coming back because basically, in that part of the world, there are forces and people that don’t want to see the Americans there. When you go in there, you have to have a plan for success, you have to get your success and you have to get out again. You cannot occupy these countries, it’s…we wouldn’t want to be occupied in America, either. And, so why we think we can stay there year after year and build friends, it’s backwards. You’ve got to have a plan for success at the outset, you’ve got to have enough resources to bring that success together and then you’ve got to turn it over to local people. That’s…we haven’t done that. In the meantime, al Qaeda’s using all our efforts as a recruiting incentive and so they’re training against us, they’re recruiting people against us…it’s, it’s trouble.

Keith Olbermann: Retired General Wesley Clark. We’re proud to have you with us on MSNBC and particularly on Countdown. We look forward to talking with you again soon, sir.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Thank you, Keith.

June 18, 2007

“We have to find the right way to back out of this”

Filed under: Budget, Diplomacy, Interviews, Military Force, Occupation, Strategy, Withdrawal — faithinwes @ 3:26 pm

Ed Schultz radio show 6/18/07

Ed Schultz: General Wesley Clark here on the Ed Schultz Show. The website is securingamerica.com. General Clark, if things won’t improve by September, this means that the Congress is going to have to go back and fund, continually fund these operations. Is that correct?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, I think even if it does improve in September, the Congress is going to continue to have to fund the operations.

Ed Schultz: We’re going to have this vote all over again then. Aren’t we?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: We’re going to have this vote for the next few years unless something catastrophic happens that causes us to reconsider and pull the plug on the whole operation.

Ed Schultz: If we were to do that, pull the plug on the whole operation, what’s your prediction as to what would happen, General Clark?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: We’d, um, we, we’d have a hard time disengaging from the region, Ed. We’ve got security responsibilities to the Gulf States. We’ve got Security interests with Israel. We’ve got friends in Lebanon. We’ve got many different issues that are effected by the outcome in Iraq. So, If we pull the plug on the operation, you could probably physically remove the troops in six to eight months in good order.

If you saw a larger war go, would you want to be back in? How ’bout if you saw Al Qaeda taking over provinces? How ’bout if you saw the collapse in the West Bank and aid flowing in through Syria from Iran and a corridor being cut across Iran, across Iraq by the Iranians to facilitate that, and you saw widespread deployment of, let’s say, Iranian Revolutionary Guards inside Iraq, would you want to be back in at that point? And so, I, there’s so many unpredictables in this that I’m one of those who’s counseled against just getting frustrated and pulling the plug.

I wouldnt’ve gone in in the first place. It was a huge strategic mistake. We have to find the right way to back out of this.

Ed Schultz: And doing that is almost impossible in your opinion. So, we’re, we’re in it, and we got to make the best of it somehow. And the best thing we can have happen is for the Iraqis to a-accept what’s going on governmentally and get involved in the process and, and Americans are feeling like that’s a pipe dream at this point. How could we have gotten all of this so wrong? And I’m just hearing you, General, say that, you know, we’re so, we’re into this so thick it- there are just few options that we have at this point.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: And with each succeeding month, the options diminish. The people that we could talk to on the ground in Iraq are compromised. The leverage that we hold over Iran erodes. The strength of the Israeli position weakens. With each successive month, we’ve been getting weaker. Now, the Saudis put in a good strategic effort over the last eight months to try to salvage this. It hasn’t worked.

Ed Schultz: What about arming Sunni insurgents to fight Al Qaeda? Is that a good idea?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, that’s one of the issues, and certainly if we can strengthen localities inside Iraq, and if we can be sure they’re actually fighting Al Qaeda, that’s a good thing. But what if, in doing that, they’re bringing Al Qaeda in and not simply strengthening the resistance to Al Qaeda? That’s what we don’t know about. Apparently, some of the weapons that were-, I’m told that some of the weapons that ended up in the refugee camps in Lebanon, that the Lebanese Army’s been fighting against, because the weapons were being used by Al Qaeda in Lebanon, those weapons were paid for as part of the Saudi initiative to arm the Sunnis to fight against Iran.

Ed Schultz: What a mess. What an absolute mess.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: It is a mess. It’s a really difficult set of issues.

June 13, 2007

Clark slams Lieberman on Iran

Filed under: Diplomacy, Iran — faithinwes @ 3:36 pm

UPI | June 13, 2007

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., June 13 (UPI) — Retired Gen. Wesley Clark has slammed Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., for threatening military force against Iran.

Clark, the former Supreme Allied NATO Commander and chair of the Board of Advisers of VoteVets.org, Monday said in a statement that Lieberman, the former Democratic candidate for vice president in the 2000 presidential election, had been irresponsible in saying Sunday that such action against Iran might be necessary.

“Sen. Lieberman’s saber rattling does nothing to help dissuade Iran from aiding Shiite militias in Iraq, or trying to obtain nuclear capabilities. In fact, it’s highly irresponsible and counter-productive, and I would urge him to stop,” Clark said.

“This kind of rhetoric is irresponsible and only plays into the hands of (Iranian) President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad and those who seek an excuse for military action,” the retired four-star general said.

“What we need now is full-fledged engagement with Iran,” he said. “All options are on the table, but we should be striving to bridge the gulf of almost 30 years of hostility before, and only when all else fails should there be any consideration of other options.”

“Only someone who never wore the uniform or thought seriously about national security would make threats at this point,” Clark said. “What our soldiers need is responsible strategy, not a further escalation of tensions in the region. Sen. Lieberman has to act much more responsibly and tone down his threat machine.”

In his comments, Lieberman said, “If (the Iranians) don’t play by the rules, we’ve got to use our force, and to me, that would include taking military action to stop them from doing what they’re doing.”

May 30, 2007

“There’s no magic bullet solution”

Filed under: Budget, Strategy, Troops & Vets, Withdrawal — faithinwes @ 10:09 pm

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: But, you know… sometimes politics doesn’t work. Iraq is one of these issues where politics doesn’t quite work. Take the case of the original legislation that Congress sent to the President, you know the one he vetoed.

Alan Colmes: Yes.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: There were actually three big loopholes about the withdrawal. He didn’t have to withdraw troops that were fighting al Qaeda, he didn’t have to withdraw troops that were training the Iraqis and you didn’t have to withdraw troops who were protecting the troops fighting al Qaeda and training Iraqis. Those are huge loopholes. Nobody knows who’s doing what over there. You could have ended up with 150,000 troops left.

Alan Colmes: Even with that legislation, with the benchmarks, with the date certain?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Absolutely. All you had to do… none of that stuff applied to training or fighting al Qaeda.

Alan Colmes: And yet the administration kept saying “if you vote against the supplemental, you’ve voting against the troops.’

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Sure.

Alan Colmes: You got the impression that they weren’t going to have bullets in their guns.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Sure, but the truth was the Democrats didn’t say “there’s huge loopholes and even after we do this, these troops are going to be left there.’ Neither side did it. It got simplified in politics and this is the danger. The truth about Iraq is that we’re going to be there for a while, maybe not in the same strength we’re in now, I hope not. And hopefully, you know, we’ll get the fighting calmed down and I don’t think the military’s the solution – it’s just part of the solution, but…

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: … but, there’s no magic bullet solution and no matter who comes into office it’s going to be a huge problem because… here’s the problem, Alan – we’ve been talking about troops and tactics and we should have been talking as a nation about strategy and policies.

Alan Colmes: Yeah, yeah.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Not the troops and the tactics.

Alan Colmes: What would you have done if you were in the Senate, though? Would you have voted against or for the supplemental?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Oh, I’d have had to vote against it.

Alan Colmes: You would have voted against it?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Absolutely.

Alan Colmes: Then, of course you have the other side saying “see, you don’t care about the troops.”

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: I know that.

Alan Colmes: You can’t say that to Wesley Clark.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: It’s not about the troops, it’s about the strategy. You’ve got to fix the strategy.

Alan Colmes: What do you think of Petraeus?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: I like him. I think he’s great. Look, think of it this way with Petraeus. You’re… you’re a football player; and you’re on the bench and you played well on the junior varsity but now you’re ready… you’d like to be the quarterback but no one’s put you in. And suddenly the coach comes over, there’s 10 minutes left in the game, you’re behind by 20 points, it’s pouring down rain, the other side are like monsters, your offensive line is crumbling, the fans are leaving and the coach says to you, “kid, I want you to go in there and win this game” he says, “and don’t worry about how bad you run up the score, beat them 50 to nothing.” What are you going to say? “Coach, let’s do it.’ You’re going to go in, but you’re not going to say “uh, coach… I, uh… it’s hard to throw passes in this kind of weather and uh, you know, we really need some more emotional lift from the fans and, uh, I’m not sure we had the practice for me being quarterback this week and so I’m gonna do my best but I’ll be the first one to tell ya when it can’t be done.’ I mean, you don’t do that.

Alan Colmes: Uh huh. Yeah, yeah.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Petraeus’s mission is to succeed. And…

Alan Colmes: They haven’t defined what “succeed’ is. They haven’t told us what success really is, we don’t understand… at least I don’t, the American…

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, get off Petraeus for that.

Alan Colmes: No, I understand.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Get on the administration.

Alan Colmes: Exactly. The administration has to define for the American people what success is, other than have the President say “we’ve got to win… victory, victory, victory.’ Well, what is victory?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Petraeus would tell you victory is reducing the violence, bringing about a political solution and being able to cut down the numbers of troops that are there by some substantial number. That’s what he’ll be trying to do. The administration won’t quite articulate it that way because… this is what I’m saying, the politics don’t work. But they don’t work on either side, Alan.

Alan Colmes: Yeah.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: I mean, people don’t want to hear the fact that we’re in a real mess in Iraq, no matter who’s president. It’s not a matter of sort of saying “okay, get me 10,000 trucks, I want that stuff loaded out by 06:00. Line the troops up, we’re leaving.’ I mean, that’s not going to happen.

Alan Colmes: What can you do then? What could a President do? What could General Clark do if you were in that position?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, I’d really be working the diplomacy with Iran and Syria. I’d be trying to change the vision of what people have in the region. And then I’d carry a trick bag into the Iranians and say “here’s my tricks – I can put more troops in, I can put “em right up on your border… I can, I can be worse to you or I can be better. We could even go so far as to recognize you. We can give you economic development assistance. We could even let Chevron Oil fix your whole energy sector so you’re not running out of energy.’ And, um… all that can happen. We just have to have a different understanding of what’s going to happen in the region. And I think if you change the nature of the dialogue, you won’t… you won’t succeed right away but I think it’s the only way you can begin to lay the conditions for success.

Alan Colmes: You hear some of the neocons talking almost as though frothing at the mouth, almost as if war with Iran is inevitable and that’s the only way we can keep them in line and protect Israel for example.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, there are some people who think that. I think that would be… right now, I haven’t taken the use of force off the table, but I think that we’re a long, long way from thinking about that, wanting to do it. It doesn’t look like the best solution to me and uh, you know you’ve got to talk to people.

Alan Colmes: Yeah. We’re talking to General Wesley Clark. A few more moments with the General. It’s 877-for-Alan, 877-467-2526. My opening question having to do with a run for president and you said you haven’t decided not to. So, is the door open still in ’08 for you to jump in?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, I just… I’d like to leave it just the way I said it, Alan.

Alan Colmes:

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: I haven’t decided not to run.

Alan Colmes: Really? It’s my job to coax you a little further, though along those lines.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well you can try. I’m pretty good at maintaining this position.

Alan Colmes: I’m sure. Among the candidates now, is there any one you favor?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: I like them all. I think there’s some great people in the race. I think there’s some tremendous talent out there and um, and you know I think that the American people are going to have some real opportunities to express their views. But…

Alan Colmes: You…

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: … but, but this election is going to be about international affairs and national security, whether we want it to be or not. That’s what it’s going to be about because this problem is not going to go away. No matter… I’ve seen… President Bush says “ah maybe there’s someone thinking about withdrawing troops.” Believe me, they can start withdrawing troops in September. A year from now… unless… I don’t know… unless something really amazing happens we’re still going to have this problem.

Alan Colmes: So you’re saying whatever happens, we’re still probably going to wind up with a sizable force in Iraq for how long?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: It really depends on the leadership of the administration. Could be a few months after 2009, could be years after 2009. It… it could come down substantially before 2009.

Alan Colmes: What would have to happen…

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: I’d be surprised if it does with this administration.

Alan Colmes: What would have to happen to get the troops home?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: I think you’ve got to really put some horsepower into working the Iraqi faction problem and look, there’s not a government. Let’s be clear about what’s there. There are some people who have been elected, they’ve collected signatures, they got votes, they’ve got parties, but it’s not a government. It doesn’t provide services for people. It’s basically their trying to divvy up authority and power among various factions.

Alan Colmes: What makes us think we can have any sway over what happens over there governmentally?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, it depends on how much resource we’re willing to put into it and, you know, how effective we are as interlocutors. Right now, we’ve basically tried to dodge the problem for four years. We have from the beginning said “oh, let’s have a formulaic solution, give them purple fingers, let them vote and in the meanwhile, you know, we’ll try and win it with the military.’ We never built the civilian side of this thing up the way we could have to do the job with the civilians.

Alan Colmes radio show, 5/30/07
http://securingamerica.com/node/2446

March 27, 2007

Wes Clark on “Averting the Next Gulf War”

Filed under: Diplomacy, Iran, Occupation, OpEds, Strategy — faithinwes @ 5:19 pm

The troop “surge” in Iraq is also a signal to Iran—but stopping Tehran’s nukes for good will require a different kind of leverage.

-snip

In essence, the policy issues come down to a debate over leverage—how much and what type of leverage is required for Iran to dismantle and bar the resumption of any nuclear weapons programs. The administration would argue that it currently lacks leverage, and so must continue to apply pressure and use indirect dialogue—that the Iranians are stubborn, only understand the use of force, can’t be given the impression that they are winning, and so forth. The administration seems to consider “sticks” the only form of leverage. But the truth is that the Iranians have survived almost thirty years of isolation, hostility, and war. The U.S. intervention in Iraq probably altered permanently the sectarian balance of power in the region in Iran’s favor. And whether our allies in the region appreciate Iran or not, its population of nearly 70 million people, enormous wealth of resources, and strong heritage make it a significant power. A policy of sticks alone is unlikely to persuade Iran to give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The administration’s dogged pursuit of leverage by sticks, unfortunately, is too much a holdover of the tough-guy, new-sheriff attitude that landed us in the Iraq mess. But another kind of leverage—carrots—could succeed. The United States is the largest economic power in the world, and has control, or very near controlling influence, over almost every international institution of significance to the Iranians. I believe we can gain far more from Iran by dispensing some carrots—and can also apply the sticks more effectively—if we are in face-to-face dialogue. Dangling some carrots now in an unconditional dialogue with Tehran while the surge in Baghdad is only beginning could prove decisive.

What can Congress do to help? First, push the administration to support Iraq with the nonmilitary resources that are essential to progress there. Congress should hold immediate hearings to investigate why the nonmilitary elements of the administration’s strategy have failed so badly, and why the appropriate resources cannot be brought to bear. Second, add pressure on al-Maliki to convince him to take the tough measures required to settle the issues of oil revenues, federalism, and the militias. Congress should strengthen its efforts to investigate corruption inside the economic-development program, and demand stronger accounting for the Iraqi government’s and leaders’ relationships with Iran. And third, demand that the Bush administration commence an unconditional dialogue with the regional powers and each of Iraq’s neighbors immediately. This is the next sense-of-the-Congress resolution that is required.

For the United States, the possible use of force against Iran must remain on the table. But military conflict is not inevitable, and neither is Iranian nuclear weaponry. It is a matter of strategy and leadership. It’s time for the United States to stop isolating those it disagrees with, pretending that other nations have more influence, asking others to carry the burden of dialogue, and leaving our soldiers in Iraq to struggle without an adequate diplomatic strategy to reinforce their efforts. The evidence of the administration’s lack of diplomatic leadership is evident in the new agreement with North Korea, which could have been reached four years ago before the North Koreans acquired fuel for additional nuclear weapons. We cannot afford more delays with Iran while we pursue a misplaced strategy. Congress and the American people should demand that the administration step forward and lead.

By Wesley Clark | Washington Monthly, April 2007

March 3, 2007

9/20/01: “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.”

AMY GOODMAN: Now, let’s talk about Iran. You have a whole website devoted to stopping war.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Www.stopiranwar.com.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you see a replay in what happened in the lead-up to the war with Iraq — the allegations of the weapons of mass destruction, the media leaping onto the bandwagon?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, in a way. But, you know, history doesn’t repeat itself exactly twice. What I did warn about when I testified in front of Congress in 2002, I said if you want to worry about a state, it shouldn’t be Iraq, it should be Iran. But this government, our administration, wanted to worry about Iraq, not Iran.

I knew why, because I had been through the Pentagon right after 9/11. About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”

So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!” (more…)

March 1, 2007

The Levin Amendment reprised

Filed under: Iraq War Resolution (IWR), Levin Amendment — faithinwes @ 8:22 pm

The Senate’s Forgotten Iraq Choice

By LINCOLN D. CHAFEE

Providence, R.I.

AS the presidential primary campaigns begin in earnest, the Iraq war is overshadowing all other issues, as it did during the midterm elections. Presidential candidates who were in the Senate in October 2002 are particularly under the microscope, as they are being called upon to justify their votes for going to war.

As someone who was in the Senate at the time, I have been struck by the contours of the debate. The situation facing the candidates who cast war votes has, to my surprise, often been presented as a binary one — they could either vote for the war, or not. There was no middle ground.

On the contrary. There was indeed a third way, which Senator James Jeffords, independent of Vermont, hailed at the time as “one of the most important votes we will cast in this process.” And it was opposed by every single senator at the time who now seeks higher office.

A mere 10 hours before the roll was called on the administration-backed Iraq war resolution, the Senate had an opportunity to prevent the current catastrophe in Iraq and to salvage the United States’ international standing. Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, offered a substitute to the war resolution, the Multilateral Use of Force Authorization Act of 2002.

-more

New York Times, 3/1/07

February 20, 2007

“Al Qaeda’s got a stronger base area now”

Filed under: Afghanistan, Interviews, Military Commentator, Terrorism — faithinwes @ 3:19 pm

Fox & Friends, February 20, 2007

Brian Kilmeade: You heard it on Fox: President Bush announced that a, a NATO-led offensive will take place this spring in Afghanistan rather than be on the defensive, but with reports of Al Qaeda actively rebuilding in Pakistan, what can we do about it?

-snip

Brian Kilmeade: Do you take this report as credible – what was in the New York Times yesterday – saying that the Bin Laden and Zawahiri have reaffirmed control. They’ve opened up camps right in the Northern Waziristan area.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Yes, because there, there has been movement in this direction for some time. In September, when Musharraf signed the agreement and basically let the tribes and, and Taliban alone, he lo- He had 70,000 people, 70,000 troops in the area. He’d had tremendous losses in the area. He was unable to get a grip on it, and he basically cut a deal, and they declared a truce. And after that, all the sort of mechanics of terrorism have come up and taken root, and they’re more visible now. They were there before, but Al Qaeda’s got a stronger base area now.

Gretchen Carlson: Yeah, because Musharraf is in a no-win situation in his own country. He has the people of his country-

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: He is.

Gretchen Carlson: -who don’t want him to have the fight along side with the Western, you know, with President Bush. So, what are we going to do about the situation there, because you have Karzai and Musharraf who don’t like each other, and how long can this continue without having complete unrest?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well it’s, -i-it’s going to have complete unrest, and we’ve got to work this as a classic insurgency situation inside Afghanistan.

Gretchen Carlson: Mm hm.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: So, that means you’ve got to have the, what they call PRTs, the reconstruction teams out there that are military and economic and political everywhere, and they’ve got to stay in there and work the people, because the Taliban are coming back at night. They’re working through the relationships. And then, we’ve got to use our NATO allies to put more pressure on Musharraf. He’s got to tighten back down and make it more difficult. You’ll never cut it off, but you’ve got to make it more difficult so the people themselves-

Gretchen Carlson: Right.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: -got to the Karzai government instead of relying on the Taliban.
Securing America

February 17, 2007

“We want people to take a stand”

Filed under: Congress, Interviews, Military Commentator — faithinwes @ 3:18 pm

Fox Big News Weekend 2/17/07

Julie Banderas:  Alright, let’s talk about today’s resolution. Yesterday the House votes then today the Senate votes.  Basically you know the Democrats are trying to express their discontent with the President’s war plan.  Many Republicans are even crossing the aisle with them, but nonetheless, it almost seems that yesterday and today made no difference because it seems we’re nowhere further than we were a week ago.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK:  Well I think that what you got is a sense of the Congress.  Both houses of Congress – the United States House of Representatives and the Senate voted against the concept of the President’s surge.  I think that’s very significant.  That reflects the results of the election.  That’s what the American people asked Congress to do.  The election was a referendum on the war and the American people were unhappy, didn’t feel it was going well; Congress is reflecting their opinions so I think it’s significant.

Julie Banderas:  Okay.  And…and uh, Hillary today, among many other politicians had to kind of stop her schedule and go to DC to make this vote.  Do you think it was all worth it, before I let you go?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK:  I think it’s important that our elected representatives get on record for what they stand for.  I think this question of Iraq is going to be with us for a long time, we’ve invested a lot of lives and treasure in this and we want to succeed but we want people to take a stand.

Securing America

Older Posts »

The Silver is the New Black Theme Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.