Friday, May 26, 2006

WES CLARK PULLS A LITTLE CLOSER TO A PROGRESSIVE MURTHA-LIKE POSITION ON IRAQ-- WHAT ABOUT HILLARY?

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I had one not so very hot meeting with Wes Clark a few months ago-- during which his ideas about ending the U.S. occupation of Iraq sounded uncomfortably close to George Bush's ideas about ending the U.S. occupation of Iraq. I was very disappointed-- particularly because General Clark had been a lonely outspoken opponent of Bush's fatally flawed policies towards Iraq before the attack. After I wrote about it, I had many run-ins with Clark bully-boys who convinced me that at least an outspoken portion of his considerable following consists of the kind of weak-minded people who have historically attached themselves to military strongmen-- be it a Napoleon or a Tojo or a MacArthur.

But rudeness, racism, homophobia and bigotry from a few loud-mouthed fans of the general hasn't closed my mind to his message. And, even though I don't personally feel he has the right temperament and make-up for a U.S. president-- although he's be an improvement over the current fellow or his dad-- there is little doubt in my mind that Wes Clark can play a significant and positive role in our nation's destiny. I don't know if anyone is presumptuous enough to be making lists of vice presidential choices yet but if anyone is, I wouldn't be surprised to find Clark's name on the top of them all, especially Clinton's and even Feingold's. And if he doesn't wind up as Veep, he'd probably be a good bet for a Cabinet position.

I was really happy today to read that Clark's Iraq thinking has continued to evolve and that he is calling for troop withdrawals to begin. While he still hasn't been able to embrace a straight-forward Murtha-like approach, his thinking is definitely a major step-- albeit a late one for a leader-- in the right direction. He's miles ahead of reactionaries like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and, of course, Joe Lieberman, on this.

“It's necessary ... to make this year a year of transition in Iraq,” Clark told The Associated Press in an interview during his visit to Kosovo. “The Iraqi government must take charge... And then we should begin the process of withdrawing the U.S. soldiers and other coalition soldiers from Iraq... I do think that there should be no permanent bases there. I think that the United States should soon begin its process of redeployment,” he said, adding that he believed there will be “some withdrawals very soon given where we are.”

8 Comments:

At 11:58 AM, Blogger Retired LTC said...

I see you still don't "get it" as far as Clark's message is concerned. It hasn't changed in the least.

I also see you are still belittling Clark's supporters, and claiming to respect him, while posting headlines and photos which are nothing short of insulting.

But what do I know. I'm just a "bully-boy" (uhhh... -girl) who is "weak-minded" enough to follow a Napolean or Tojo.

Yeah, right... and you think we're the ones who indulge in ad hominem attacks. You might want to look that word up.

 
At 2:21 PM, Blogger dusty said...

I will listen to anyone that has a plan to get the hell out of there...anyone..cept the Shub and his boys..their lost.

 
At 2:30 PM, Anonymous teach said...

Well, Itc...I am not sure what you are talking about when you talk about unflattering photos, ahem! The photo of him with the Superman Donkey t-shirt positively gave me a hot flash.

As for the rest, to speak of temperament is an honest discussion. I have seen Clark when I loved him and other times when I felt he was little better than Bush. It is perhaps that vascillation that concerns me.

I too am willing to shop for a candidate and wait to see what message and strengths emerge.

But, unflattering...surely you jest!

 
At 6:46 PM, Anonymous colleen said...

Howie,

Yes, I've had the same experiences with Clarkie fans. Indeed a certain large orange blog is infested with them. These are the same folks who got so excited when Madonna endorsed him.
I completely agree with your characterization of this rather mindless cult. He was an artificial DLC candidate. Lets hope that he finds working for Rupert Murdoch so lucrative that he declines another run.

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger Timcanhear said...

Clarkie fans? As though this were a tv show? As though he never served the United States in the war in Bosnia to help end more madness? Could those "Clarkie's" be waiting patiently for 8pm Sunday nights to see their superhero cartoon character as he tries to unite people for the sake of the nation? Come on. "Clarkie" fans? While I personally don't know if he's the caliber of leader we need now, I think it's disingenuous to belittle, as you have, those who listen to and accept Clark as a viable leader in the midst of few.

 
At 2:51 AM, Blogger SteveAudio said...

After hearing Clark speak with you that time, I too was in agreement with you. While the General has knowledge and experience galore, with charisma as an added attraction, his biggest stumbling point with modern progressives is/was his view on Iraq re: troop withdrawing.

But he does seem to have turned it around some, and, like you, I believe that a cabinet position is well in order.

 
At 4:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've found that the most insightful analysis of Clark's position on what to do in Iraq RIGHT NOW (remember he was against it from the beginning) is the piece located HERE

Clark does not fall for the false dichotomy of "cut and run/out now" vs. "stay the course/quagmire" and I believe viewing his position through that false lens is the cause of misunderstanding in many cases.

I would be very interested in what you think of that article and if it has cleared up any misunderstandings you might have.

 
At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm gay and FOR Wesley Clark. He's the only with a plan for Iraq.

He's also center left along with social views I hold. His views are veeeeery different that George W so I don't know why you would say they are similar. They are not!

 

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