Wesley Clark: Brilliant general? Or another neo-con stooge?

Published 16 years ago -  - 16y ago 40

3820487487_6fb8f4d655_bImage courtesy of Center for American Progress Action Fund under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Last week, after several months of speculation, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley C. Clark announced he would seek the Democrat’s nomination for president. Clark now is the tenth candidate to enter the field.

A media consensus apparently has emerged about Wesley Clark’s candidacy: He is brilliant and a centrist, with just the kind of national security credentials to give President Bush the greatest challenge in next year’s presidential election.

In his Washington Post column Richard Cohen wrote, “He is undoubtedly brilliant — a Rhodes scholar and first in his class at West Point”. Asked about General Clark, humorist, author and political commentator Al Franken said, “he is brilliant”.

Just how “brilliant” is Wesley Clark? Based on his interview with “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert on June 15th, 2003, there is every indication, the general, as he likes to be addressed by aides, is no “Einstein”. In fact, there is ample evidence that Wesley Clark is no more smarter than the current field, and in fact he may not be as smart as most of the other nine Democrat presidential candidates.

In response to Russert’s question about Bush’s tax cuts, Clark responded:

“First of all, they were not efficient in terms of stimulating the kind of demand we need to move the economy back into a recovery mode, a strong recovery and a recovery that provides jobs. There are more effective ways of using the resources. Secondly, the tax cuts weren’t fair. I mean, the people that need the money and deserve the money are the people who are paying less, not the people who are paying more. I thought this country was founded on a principle of progressive taxation(emphasis added). In other words, it’s not only that the more you make, the more you give, but proportionately more because when you don’t have very much money, you need to spend it on the necessities of life. When you have more money, you have room for the luxuries and you should—one of the luxuries and one of the privileges we enjoy is living in this great country.

“So I think that the tax cuts were unfair. And, finally, I mean, you look at the long-run health of the country and the size of the deficit that we’ve incurred and a substantial part of that deficit is result of the tax cuts. You have to ask: “Is this wise, long-run policy?” I think the answer is no.”

So according to the first in his class at West Point Wesley Clark, the signers of the Declaration of Independence pledged their “lives, fortune and sacred honor” to establish a progressive income tax in a free America.

Not only does this statement reveal an incredible ignorance about the founding principles of our nation, for a prospective presidential candidate to have made this inaccurate statement on national television is simply mindboggling. So far, no one in the establishment media has challenged the general about his misstatement.

Why? Is it because Wesley Clark is the neo-con’s favorite Democrat? And, any criticism of the general is off-limits for the time being? Time will tell.

In another vein, Wesley Clark is being perceived as a “peace” candidate, or at least a harsh critic of the Bush’s administration’s conduct of the Iraqi invasion. But, according to Gregory Bresiger, writing on www.lewrockwell.com more than two years ago, a few months before the attacks on September 11th ….

“…General Clark displays the same sort of Kennedy Administration New Frontier arrogance, a belief that American power and values should guide the world. This kind of thinking dates back at least to the administration of Woodrow Wilson, a liberal icon of the last century along with FDR and Kennedy. Wilson was another American president who pursued a policy of ‘missionary diplomacy,’ which meant the frequent use of force to bring to heel the “heathens” who happened to resist the imposition of American values.

“General Clark is arguing in favor of these Wilsonian/New Frontier ideas. He believes that the United States’ prestige in the world is huge so our nation can and must provide direction, institutions and anything else for struggling nations. The problem is, General Clark says, our nation hasn’t been doing nearly enough up until this point. Like Wilson arguing for an America establishing, ‘a just democracy throughout the world,’ which meant that Wilson reversed our traditions of no entangling alliances, General Clark now insists that America must live up to its responsibilities. Soon we will likely hear General Clark, or one of his friends, say that they have to, ‘get the country moving again.’ ”

In short, Wesley Clark, 34-year military veteran, who nearly set off World War III in Kosovo, is another Democrat who embraces the Welfare-Warfare state with all his heart and soul.

Unlike another general who occupied the White House and warned about the influence of the military- industrial complex in America, Wesley Clark is a member of the military-industrial complex.

The neocons thus are placing their bets on a “brilliant centrist” who is a wounded decorated Vietnam veteran. If President Bush gets “cold feet” next year in Iraq and the Middle East, get ready for a Clark presidency, or will that be a Clinton-Clark administration?

If it is a Clark or Clinton presidency in 2005, the neocons will have an opportunity to take the next president into more military adventures.

Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”

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