Wes Clark on the Iraq War

November 16, 2003

“The resolution I would have supported is a resolution that required the president to return to the United States Congress before he took any military action”

Filed under: Iraq War Resolution (IWR), Levin Amendment, WMD — faithinwes @ 8:37 pm

A month later you went up to New Hampshire, campaigning for Katrina Swett, a candidate for Congress in the 2nd District, and said this: “Clark endorsed Democratic Katrina Swett in the 2nd District in New Hampshire.” And “He said if she were in Congress this week, he would advise her to vote for the resolution.” And as recently as September of this year, in response to a question of the press, “On balance, I probably would have voted for it.”

This was the resolution that the president asked for, giving him the authority to go to war. And the record’s pretty clear, General, that you were supporting the president.

GEN. CLARK: Well, I don’t think the record’s clear, that I was supporting the president, Tim. I think the record’s pretty clear in the opposite direction. What I would have supported was taking the problem to the United Nations. I wanted to see the problem of Saddam Hussein taken to the United Nations. Yes, I believe Saddam Hussein was a challenge and a threat but I did not see an imminent threat. I’ve written thousands of words, I’ve spoken dozens of times on CNN and you’ve simply got to pull the whole record out to see this. I even said on the 16th of September on CNN, “Don’t give the president a blank check.”

The resolution I would have supported is a resolution that required the president to return to the United States Congress before he took any military action. I supported a resolution that would have given him leverage with the United Nations but not a resolution that would have authorized war at that time. So I want to make it…

MR. RUSSERT: But you did say, “Our president has emphasized the urgency of eliminating these weapons. I support his efforts.”

GEN. CLARK: I do support the effort to eliminate those weapons and I did then, but I did not see it as a threat that required us to go to war at the time. And I’ve made that very clear, too.

Meet the Press 11/16/03

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