Tuesday, December 06, 2005

General Clark's Opinion

Here's an interesting piece by Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.) reprinted from the NY Times. While I'm against this war and I completely distrust the motives of our morally bankrupt administration in invading Iraq, and I go from wanting us to pull out to not wanting us to pull out, I appreciate Clark's more dispassionate look at it. From a brutal realpolitik point of view, it makes more sense than some vaguely defined "strategy for victory."

6 Comments:

Blogger Don said...

Very interesting. If I weren't so rushed I'd do better than skim. This looks like a very different message than when he was a candidate for president. But it looks right to me. Iran was going to be the winner regardless. Implication is that if we didn't go into Iraq, then Iran would be held back by the constant warfare that a dysfunctional Iraq would inspire. Iraq as buffer state opposed to Iran, rather than as buffer state somewhat aligned with it. That alternative is the same old same old that helped engender 9/11 in the first place.

I am confused. He outlines a much broader and more engaged role for American troops, with a lot of violence implied among the risks, yet speaks of a draw-down. Doesn't add up.

There are no good choices. There are a lot of bad ones. Gen. Clark's ideas are good but requires a significant amplification of our involvement. So. I dunno.

8:07 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

How did the same old smae old engender 9/11? 9/11 was engendered by things like American troops in Saudi Arabia, etc....

As for draw down, he's talking about reducing our presence in some areas and redeploying mobile forces on the eastern front, as it were. We would be pulling out of some of the urban areas and turning over major control to Iraqi forces, with mobile forces ready to back them up. Not dissimiliar to Murtha's idea of a Marine presence over the horizon to go back in if need be. If the rightwing children hadn't squawked so loudly, people would'v erelized what Murtha was trying to say was as much redeployment as withdrawal.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Good article.

"Still, none of this necessitates a pullout until the job is done. After the elections, we should be able to draw down by 30,000 troops from the 160,000 now there. Don't bet against our troops."

Exactly. We are there, no matter what anyone believes about why< but certain factions in this country continue to be counter-productive to even the goal of reducing the amouint of Americans needed in Iraq.

"What a disaster it would be if the real winner in Iraq turned out to be Iran, a country that supports terrorism and opposes most of what we stand for. Surely, we can summon the wisdom, resources and bipartisan leadership to change the American course before it is too late."

Can I get an amen?

4:33 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

"Can I get an amen?"

Amen!

I have thought for a long time that Iran was our biggest worry. I just hope we haven't handed them a big prize. I would hope that someone with influence is listening to at least that part of Clark's argument. I don't have any faith that anyone is. They didn't listen to Shinseki when they should've, either. Still we gotta hope. Iran could cause a lot of problems for a lot fo people. El Baradei just said that the ball is in Iran's court. they need to show the transparency that the int'l community expects. I don't think they will. I'm feeling a wee bit pessimistic about it.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Don said...

"How did the same old smae old engender 9/11?"

Good question but rather than take time for a direct and incomplete answer I think this gives a sense of overall of what I mean: The Panic Over Iraq

11:27 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Harry - I hope you have e-mail notification of comments, as I have no e-mail addy for you.

Some time ago, I mentioned that WMD's had in fact been found, you said no they hadn't, and asked me to provide a source. I have done searches and so far have come up empty handed. However, I was listening to a radio review of the following book the other day:

"Disinformation: 22 Media Myths that Undermine the War on Terror" ($27.95, Regnery Publishing, Inc.) by Richard Miniter, an award-winning investigative journalist,

wherein they discussed the finding of WMD's by Italian Coalition troops some time ago. That is what I was referring to. At the time it was a blip in the MSM, and then gone.

The book is making the rounds of the right-wing talk show circuit so I am fully prepared for accusations of right-wing propaganda, however, I have ordered the book, will read it and comment later. Be that as it may, I know what I heard at the time and it was that the Italian forces had discovered 22 chemical-laden missiles, Sarin, if I remember correctly, and, I think, buried. G-d knows what else is buried in that country. You certainly can't dispute that Saddam had ample notice to bury all sorts of shit before we invaded. It wasn't like he didn't know we were coming.

Miniter asserts in his book that much more was found, and of course, I am a firm believer that one hell of a lot of crap went to Syria. Any way, more grist for the post New Year political debate mill.

Cheers, Mate, have a great what's left of 2005. Don't know about you, but I am sure ready for a new one.

6:10 PM  

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