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ludwigb Donating Member (789 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:19 PM
Original message
Very worrying article on Clark
http://www.thenation.com/edcut/index.mhtml?bid=7&pid=94...

I'm as desperate to beat Bush and as excited about Clark as anyone. From his stands on the issues (still a work in progress) to his biography. Still, taken together with his recent gaffes, I'm not sure I can get past this. Should we want to get past this?
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. Katrina VanderHeuvel
was on Hardball after that article and she had nice things to say about Wes Clark...
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Kahuna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. She sure did. You could have ...
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 01:15 PM by Kahuna
knocked be over with a feather when I heard her on Hardball.

After first seeing this article, I thought she was going to do what she did in 2000 and go against an establishment candidate. I surprised to hear her say that progressives are so desperate to get rid of bush that they're looking to a military person as our saviour.
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Cappurr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
2. This is mostly true
And it is something Clark is going to have to explain. I will withhold judgment until I hear his explanation.
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disgruntella Donating Member (983 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. Here is another perspective
From a PBS interview with Clark
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/conversation/jan-june01/cla...

"I was very surprised because I had gotten word from Washington that Washington supported, in fact, suggested that I block these runways and strongly supported how I did it, how I wanted to do it. "

It's about 2/3 of the way down.
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ludwigb Donating Member (789 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. thanks for the link
The way Van Heuvel represents it makes it seem as if Clark actually wanted to ATTACK the Russians, which seems totally insane. Clark suggests he merely wanted to block the Russians, which sounds reasonable enough.

Does anyone have a more definitive source on this? I must admit I'll be very dissapointed if Van Heuvel didn't do her homework--I've had a bit of a crush on her for some time!
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. Clark wanted to attack the Russians
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 04:22 PM by Nicholas_J
Who had taken over the Pristina Airport and his immediate British subordinate, General Jackson, refused to follow orders stating "I am not going to fucking start World War III for You" essentially.


'Third World War'

General Wesley Clark, Nato's supreme commander, immediately ordered 500 British and French paratroopers to be put on standby to occupy the airport.

''I called the Secretary General and told him what the circumstances were,'' General Clark tells the BBC programme Moral Combat: Nato at War.

''He talked about what the risks were and what might happen if the Russian's got there first, and he said: 'Of course you have to get to the airport'.



General Jackson: Backed by UK Government

''I said: 'Do you consider I have the authority to do so?' He said: 'Of course you do, you have transfer of authority'.''

But General Clark's plan was blocked by General Sir Mike Jackson, K-For's British commander.

"I'm not going to start the Third World War for you," he reportedly told General Clark during one heated exchange.

General Jackson tells the BBC: ''We were a possibility....of confrontation with the Russian contingent which seemed to me probably not the right way to start off a relationship with Russians who were going to become part of my command.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/671495.stm

The Newspapers cleaned up General Jacksons statements to Clark considerably.

Clark made a bad move...

Its easy for a monday morning quarterback who is not in the middle of a battlefield to call it a bad move, but then again, thats what politics is all about. The guys who are willing to take the heat take the blame, and they guysd who are sitting on their asses in front of their televisions and on their computer terminals make the calls after the fact.

I'd take a guy who had to make decisions on a battle field and made the odd error over someone who avoided the draft anyday.

Character come out under heat and pressure, not in a ski lodge.
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newsguyatl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. wow
lookey here... nicholas_j might be backing clark now... hmm

first post i've ever seen where he wasn't attacking dean...



guess there's a first for everything...



oh, and why am i not surprised YOU (or all people) like clark?
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Support anyone
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 05:48 PM by Nicholas_J
But Dean or Bush because I can barely tell the difference between the two weasels.

I have never criticized any other presidential candidates other than these two. Both are congenital liars. Comes from being spoiled and rich.
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carpetbagger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. Clark didn't want to attack the Russians.
He did, however, want to block Russian reinforcements to Pristina, which would have created a large mess. Ultimately we did block them, mostly by doing the same thing in Bosnia that didn't happen at the airport.

Clark had the support of his NATO and U.S. superiors on this one. I hardly thing Javier Solana, NATO Sec-Gen and a member of Spain's Socialist Party, was trying to start World War III.
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Another Bill C. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
4. variations on a theme.
There are at least a couple of variations in the stories of Clark's "High Noon."

In some, he merely blocked access to the airport and in others, he had his men aiming their weapons at the Russians.

In any narratives depending on the word of British General Michael Jackson, I would highly suspect General Jackson's veracity. He was second in command of the British Army Unit that shot and killed 14 unarmed protesters on Bloody Sunday in Derry, Ireland in 1972. The British Army continues its cover-up of this incident to this day.
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. If there were any justice in this world...
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 01:54 PM by Padraig18
...General Jackson would be swinging from the gibbet for the murder of 14 people. If Gen. Jackson told me the sun rose in the east, I'd wait until dawn before I believed him.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
6. Pristina is a ghost that the Clark campaign needs to exorcise
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 12:50 PM by HereSince1628
It will be interesting to see if this is done by triangulation.

That meme could start with owning it by something like "Yes, I really was prepared to have N.A.T.O. forces confront Russian combat troops..."

and then coopt the criticism of militarism into a defense of Clark's interest in multinational diplomatic solutions...perhaps something like "however as the situation developed it became clear that it was possible to use diplomacy and our new east European allies to resolve the problem."
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lindashaw Donating Member (921 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
8. I don't know the whole of Pristina, but I do know that William Cohen...
(the Rumsfeld of his day) hated Clark. Bill Clinton was tricked into firing Clark (and Pristina figured into that) and when Clinton found out he was snookered, he was furious. As was Madeline Albright, and she let a lot of people know it.

David Halberstam says, "The Clinton administration owed Wes Clark, big time. He had taken on the most difficult of commands, one that the Clinton people had sent him to undertake, and pulled it off, even though he had had to struggle constantly against the undertow of his own people."

(I think it was basically an old struggle between Army and Air Force, one even Colin Powell was involved in. Anyway, Cohen hated Clark.)

"...if the Clinton people had been tricked by the Pentagon as they later claimed, then the least they owed Clark was to reverse the process they had inadvertently agreed to."

snip...

Clinton was deeply in debt to him (Clark) for the way he had run the war. Now when he (Clark) had been sliced up, Clinton had somehow stood on the sidelines and done nothing."

(In my opinion, Clark was victimized big-time, and that is why Clinton is trying to play nice and help Clark. He knows how badly and how wrongly Clark was treated.)
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PROGRESSIVE1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Clark was treated unfairly!
Maybe Clinton should not have a taken a Republican, Cohen, for such a high position as the Secretary of Defense!
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Cappurr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Clinton did give Clark
The Distinguished Service Cross. And he is standing by Clark now.
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. It was NOT Clinton
Who stripped Clark of his position as NATO Supreme Commander, but the Pentagon itself who forced him into retirement.
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lindashaw Donating Member (921 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
12. Just found on BBC - a quote from the man who gave Clark authority...
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 02:09 PM by lindashaw
to block the Russian forces at the airport...Nato Secretary-General Javier Solana paid a warm tribute to Gen Clark who, he said, "has made and will continue to make a major contribution to peace in Europe and to the shaping of a new alliance ready for the 21st Century".

If you want to see something interesting, go to this site and compare the two pictures of Clark and the man the Pentagon replaced him with, Ralston.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/407040.stm
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kang Donating Member (254 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
13. What's the problem w/Pristina?
I'm not sure I understand why people are making such a big deal over this incident. Nobody died and Clark says he was following instructions. The Russians burst into Kosovo without announcement and having been sympathetic to the Serb forces, the very same guys who committed all those atrocities in Bosnia and elsewhere. Clark didn't know their intentions and acted accordingly, but hit a snag with Gen. Jackson. It turned out not to be a problem. End of story.

Clark got canned for alot of reasons, but mostly due to his aggressive lobbying for ground troops, apaches, and being an overall dissenting voice in the Pentagon. I find it amusing that the right is now trying to smear him as some incredibly horrible person by leaking unnamed sources from the military who say bad things about him.
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lindashaw Donating Member (921 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Exactly!!!!!
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
20. Jane's on Pristina Airport Incident
http://www.janes.com/defence/news/kosovo/jdw990721_01_n...

The second incident came as NATO forces were about to enter Kosovo to establish its peacekeeping operation. Russia managed to steal NATO's thunder by moving several hundred Russian troops, who had been serving as part of the Stabilisation Force (SFOR) in Bosnia into Kosovo, establishing themselves at the main airport in Pristina.

The dash to Pristina seemed a clever ruse, creating a bargaining position out of nothing. But in the end Russia lacked the funds and spare military capacity to follow it up. Within a short time, NATO forces surrounded the airport and took up positions throughout the province, thus smothering the Russians with condescension. KFOR personnel eventually became the Russians' only supplier of water.


Notice how the WW3 standoff isn't mentioned at all. It's clear now that Russia couldn't back up what they were pulling off at Pristina, and Clark wouldn't have started WW3 had he taken the airport before the Russians got there.

This meme is a bunch of hooey, but so was Gore's Inventing the Internet saga. We have to be vigilant against this kind of nonsense.
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