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Ugh! Clark and Mladic? Politics makes strange bedfellows indeed.

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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:43 PM
Original message
Ugh! Clark and Mladic? Politics makes strange bedfellows indeed.


The guy wearing the US Army Lt General's hat was Ratko Mladic, who a year later was to oversee the worst war crime in Europe since WW2: the Srebrenica massacre. The owner of the hat was one Wesley Clark, visible to Mladic's left. The hat Clark is wearing in the photo is, yes, Mladic's. They also exchanged gifts.

www.prorev.com
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StephNW4Clark Donating Member (547 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. A little more context than the Drudge Report
"Re: General Clark and Ratko Mladic. I worked for many years on human rights in the context of the Bosnian war, specifically advocating for the prosecution of war criminals. I despise no one more than Ratko Mladic, who is responsible for more agony and mental anguish than I care to contemplate. This meeting between General Clark and Mladic was in the thick of the Bosnian war. Almost everyone sent to negotiate with the Bosnian Serbs at this time attempted to persuade these bozos to honor cease-fires, allow humanitarian aid to reach people in need, release POW's, etc.. (Leaving aside the fact that the only language they eventually understood was military force, at that time, engaging them was the wisdom of the day). It is important to understand that it was in this context that General Clark met Mladic. Ultimately, those injured by Mladic ought to be the judge of General Clark's service or disservice to them -- the camp detainees, the torture survivors, the refugees. I certainly can't speak for all of them, but I have spoken to dozens upon dozens of them, and overwhelmingly, they consider Clark a tremendous ally in the struggle against Serb extremists. He is revered by many people in the former Yugoslavia (except, of course, Serb nationalists) and that record really does speak for itself. I spent a decade of my life dealing with the genocide in Bosnia, and my experience is that this guy is overwhelmingly considered a hero. "

Posted by: Ghia at September 22, 2003 02:22 PM
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It does sound like more context, indeed
Where's it from?
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StephNW4Clark Donating Member (547 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. From someone who posted b/c
some Clark supporters shared your concerns about this. If you need verification or want to make sure this wasn't made up (perfectly reasonable) you can go to the www.wesleyclarkweblog.com and check out the comments under "The most interesting piece this morning comes from USA Today's coverage of the crisis in Kosovo back in 1999: Clark is the rock in a hard place."

The person who posted this has an email address available. Because I want to respect his/her privacy, I won't post it here but he/she will be able to direct both to his/her personal experience and those with whom he/she spoke to in the region.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
18. Interesting. I note, though, that she's not willing to name her
former affiliations. That seems misguided, to me--it's not as though anyone was asking her to 'use their names to endorse' Clark or anyone else. She's claiming that Clark is okay because of her experience and affiliations, but she won't name them. Without those links, her testimony seems less credible.

Steph4Clark, I think it's a good idea to write a letter to the editor. I worked with a number of different organizations, and not to sound evasive, but I can't use their names to endorse a presidential candidate unless I get permission because it's essential that they remain politically impartial. I am speaking in my personal capacity, and I think if you speak to anyone who worked seriously on behalf of victims in Bosnia, they will tell you something very similar to this. It's very easy to get positive testimonies about General Clark and I think it would be a good idea to incorporate them into a letter to the editor. CP, please don't drop your support because of this. I sympathise with your impulse (and thank you for feeling so strongly about creeps like Mladic), but honestly, General Clark is one of the people who stopped some of the worst war criminals of our day from continuing with their slaughter. It's really important that you take the time to learn about the big picture in the Bosnian war if you're not familiar with the details.

Posted by: Ghia at September 22, 2003 02:55 PM


An interesting paragraph:

Ironically, it was in the Balkans that Clark suffered one of his few embarrassments. While trying to build bridges with Serb leaders, Clark lunched with Serb commander and accused mass-murderer Ratko Mladic. Impulsively, the soft-spoken and ever-smiling Clark exchanged hats with Mladic and accepted an engraved service pistol, only to find the Serb press waiting, cameras ready, to record the apparent show of support as he emerged from the meeting.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/index/kosovo/koso061.htm


What I find puzzling is: if he was Director of Plans for the JCS, what was he doing over there? Rather than someone more intimately involved, I mean.
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. I'll Debunk The Myth
for the umpteenth time.....


Wes Clark exchanged caps with the Serbian leader after he thought they brokered an agreement to end the conflict in Bosnia. As we all know the Serbs reneged and stabbed the Americans and democratic Europe in the back... The exchanging of caps was the diplomatic equivalent of sharing a drink or breaking bread...

The kicker is that Wes Clark gets penalized for being too aggressive against the Sebs while also getting penalized for being too conciliatory....

He can't win with the right wing spin...
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IggleDoer Donating Member (601 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 07:16 AM
Response to Reply #6
29. Or Rummy shaking hands with Saddam Hussein
... after we agreed to send Iraq arms.
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
3. How Does The Saying Go?
First as history than as farce.....

Lenin called left leaning do gooders in the capitalist countries that were unwittingly doing the bidding of the Communists "useful idiots"

Now we have a new phenomenon.... Left leaning do gooders who are unwittingly doing the bidding of the Republican party....
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:54 PM
Response to Original message
5. They're Running Scared
http://www.bestoftheblogs.com /

The Mighty Wurlitzer is bellowing allegro molto at the prospect of Shrub having to face a real war hero with Robert Novak dredging up an example of "bizarre" behavior on the part of General Clark and Matt Drudge providing a picture of Clark wearing a "Bosnian war criminal's hat."

Here's the rest of the story. On August 26, 1994, the General met and exchanged gifts with Gen. Ratko Mladic, described by Novak as "the notorious Bosnian Serb commander and indicted war criminal" and as the man "considered by U.S. intelligence as the mastermind of the Srebrenica massacre of Muslim civilians (and still at large, sought by NATO peacekeeping forces)."

What Novak or Drudge don't say, of course, is that Mladic was not an indicted war criminal at the time and that the Srebrenica massacre didn't happen until July 1995--almost a full year after the two men met.

*********************************************************************

Whatever.
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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
7. Continue here...
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 07:57 PM by BlueEyedSon
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/sept0304.html#092203707pm

<excerpt follows>

Now, why would Clark meet with a man who'd masterminded the Srebrenica mass-killing? Perhaps because the event hadn't occured yet. Clark met with Mladic in late August 1994. The Srebrenica massacre happened in July 1995.

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Orangepeel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
8. diplomacy makes for strange bedfellows
part of his job as Nato commander was diplomacy, right? In the context of the job, diplomats sometimes have to meet and schmooze with unsavory characters. Whoever gets the nod for president will most likely have to do the same.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. But he apparently wasn't NATO commander at that time
According to Novak, he was head of Plans for the JCS. Do you have evidence to the contrary?
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Donna Zen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #10
23. J-5
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 09:04 PM by Donna Zen
handles policy....Clark handled international negotiations. So yes, he would have gone to Bosnia.

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TAH6988 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #23
30. As I recall
Clark was handpicked by Holbrooke to accopmany him to Bosnia to "negotitate" with the Serbs and others. The JCS J5 doesn't handle ANY international negotiations on his/her own.
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sugar_peas Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #23
32. This is covered in his book
of course i don't have it here to look up specifics, got it out of library. It was when he was J-5 and he was touring the region on diplomatic mission and wanted to meet with everyone.

There wasn't anything shady going on, though he did catch some flack back in Washington about it as I recall too, due to some newspaper article that said he went against orders which wasn't true.

Maybe someone who has the book, or a better memory than me can give more details on his explanation.
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WesWing2004 Donating Member (34 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #8
16. unsavory characters
yeah, look at all the diplomats who had to meet and schmooze with Bu$h??

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Raenelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
9. You really need to STOP listening to right-wing accusations
They are going to come out with distortions, lies, just crazy shit.

Please remember in the last election they made squeeky-clean Gore look like someone corrupt and unacquainted with the truth and corrupt, incompetent Chimpy like an honorable Christian man of the people.

Don't listen to them. Really. Not unless you know how to measure and weigh and consider the sources, etc. If you are not an expert at untangling distortions, and finding contexts, and unraveling innuendoes and direct lies, I would stay the fuck away from any right-wing source. It's what I'm going to do. I'll get my information from the left-wing sites, not because I don't want to her bad things, but because I know how good they are at lying and how easy it is to let their false insinuations into my understanding.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. That's nice. I picked it up from a left-wing site
as the link should have told you. Do you have a problem with my recitation of the facts? Novak implies that Mladic was an indicted war criminal at that point, but since I knew that not to be true, I didn't repeat it. So what exactly is your problem?
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Novak Is A Liar
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Pepperbelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. This is also Drudge's big front page story ...
with the photo, of course. Now doesn't it strike you a bit odd that a "left wing" site is flailing the same bullshit as Drudge?

I am at a loss to explain it myself.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. Well, prorev is a leftwing site and has been for years and years
Ask around.
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starscape Donating Member (206 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. say what?
your recitation of what facts?

It's obvious you just posted the picture with less than even a cursory knowledge of the sitiuation in which it was taken. To me, it's like showing a picture of Madeline Albright when she met Kim Jung Ill of North Korea - and saying, "look, the administration was in bed with the North Koreans.."!

Now, with people trying to explain it to you, you still don't want to hear it... uggh.. disinformation, it comes from all angles.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. What facts?
That it was Mladic and Clark in the photo, that they were each wearing the other's hat, that Clark was standing to Mladic's left, that a year later Mladic would make himself responsible for the worst European atrocity since WW2. Those facts.

Get a grip, okay?
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starscape Donating Member (206 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. I will if you will...
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 08:47 PM by starscape
Get a grip, that is.

Roosevelt met and "collaborated" with Stalin, perhaps the greatest international criminal next to Hitler. And he met him, joked with him, and had his photo taken with him ten years after the great purges!

What about my mention of Albright meeting Kim Jun Ill. Does that make her a traitor? I think they even had dinner together..(gasp)

I just don't understand this "mission" you are on. I hope you find what you want or keep digging.. or just keep posting photos with cursory info. Enjoy!
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Please, quote me.
You're reading something off the inside of your forehead, not something that I wrote. If you think you're not, then quote me and explain what the quoted words mean to you and why.
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starscape Donating Member (206 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. why?
Quote what, and why?

Well, every picture tells a story, and you posted this one, along with your "ugh, Clark and Mladic.. politics makes strange bedfellows" subject line, so...

The answer to your question (or was it a question?) is yes, politics sure does do that. People find themselves having to shake and hands and maybe even trade gifts with those who aren't exactly in line with them, or us, or our sensibilities of what kind of person we should even associate with. In this case, I think the end result is clear, with Mladic and Milosevic being brought to justice as war criminals.

Or am I getting it wrong? Maybe you should tell me what the picture means to you, and we'll go from there.
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Raenelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #12
24. I apologize. I said it too strongly. Toward the end I included myself
as needing to avoid propaganda. That was probably my real point--I was telling myself to catch my breath and let the facts sift themselves out. This was just advice not to buy into anything yet. The lies are flying fast and furious, and it takes a while for the truth to sort out. I really did, really, really, really, mean this as advice, not as an attack. I was probably personalizing it to you too much. I am seriously concerned that the Repuklicons have very little record to run on, they are serial liars, Karl Rove cut his teeth on dirty tricks, and we need to trat every piece of dirt about every Dem candidate with a large grain of fucking salt.

Please accept my apology for landing on you with both feet with my fears.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 05:19 AM
Response to Reply #24
27. No worries
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
11. Two questions for Clark.
1. Were you ever involved in providing weapons--particularly chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons--to Mladic?

2. Would you personally arrest Mladic today and send him to the International Court for trial?

I have my bets ready to go.
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Lefty48197 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
17. Clark stomped the Serbian war machine
I'll bet they don't go anywhere near him today.
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
25. There's a picture at the Smithsonian with FDR,Churchill and Joe Stalin
having a jolly good time together.

Care to take a jab at Roosevelt for having tea with Stalin?
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 05:21 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. This is getting insane, isn't it?
Mmmm, I love the taste of me in the morning.

*munch munch munch*

Mmmmmmm...meeeeeeeee...
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #25
31. Care to sober up a bit?
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