The Awful Truth About General Wesley Clark
A Dissident Voice News Service Compilation
September 18, 2003
Updated: October 14, 2003

(This page will be updated again on February 1)

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When former cheerleaders of war, former warmongers and former war-supporting journalists suddenly become anti-war, it makes me suspicious. It often seems that, for such people, being anti-war is little more than a cynical posture, a way of scoring points by joining the critique of an unpopular war. They appear to be serving themselves, rather than serving the potential victims of war.

                                                                                            -- Brendan O’Neill



Editor's Note: I've long admired Michael Moore's film work and many of his writings, overlooking his often annoying tendency for self-puffery. Outside of his films, books and articles, Moore has spent a great deal of time and money working on issues kindred to progressives. That said, his recent article/letter imploring General Wesley Clark to run for the presidency on the Democratic ticket reveals that Moore has (temporarily I hope) gone plumb stupid. In the PS to his most recent piece, Moore writes: "Thanks for the astounding response to the Wesley Clark letter (and for your kind comments to me). Over 95% of the thousands of letters received favored the General tossing his helmet in the ring. All were passed on to his organization. More to come on the road to removing Bush..."


Clark announced yesterday that he is running for the presidency as a Democratic candidate.


This is even lamer than folks of liberal, progressive, or left persuasion backing the non-liberal Howard Dean this early in the campaign, when clearly there is a genuinely progressive alternative in the form of Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich is only a "long shot" because liberal and so-called progressive groups have made it a self-fulfilling prophecy by reiterating this over and over, while throwing their time and resources into Dean. Given the positions Kucinich supports that Moore would presumably agree with (single-payer health care, universal pre-kindergarten care for all children, a just peace in the Middle East, scaling back the military budget, repealing NAFTA and other investor rights treaties, principled opposition to the war in Iraq, remove US troops from Iraq, emphasis on alternative energy resources, scaling back corporate power, etc.), I would think Moore would be putting a spotlight on and rallying folks to support Kucinich.  All of this shows what a pathetic state of affairs the Left is in here in the US.


As a public service, here are links to a number of articles describing the real Wesley Clark, and it ain't pretty. He's a four-star general on account of his commanding ability to kiss the asses of those above him, probably his only skill when you consider what some of his military colleagues have to say (see the CounterPunch articles), and the man is clearly a pathological egomaniac. If any of you have seen his appearances in different settings (during NATO press conferences, giving testimony to Congress, etc.), one can't fail to be struck by the arrogance and pomposity of this twit, who appears on any scene like a pasha, accompanied by a huge entourage of underlings nervously setting the stage and dusting the seats for his genteel derriere in advance of his grand entrance. Can you imagine this man on the White House throne?  It makes King George II look mighty appealing by comparison.


If indeed Moore has received thousands of letters thanking him for his article and endorsing Clark to run, then the squalid state of the "opposition" here in America is worse than I imagined. I hope you folks prove 'tis ain't so. Please spread this around, especially to folks you know who think Clark is just peachy. If you agree with all of this, let Michael Moore know what you think. I think this is important given the huge audience Moore has: mike@michaelmoore.com  

Sunil K. Sharma
Dissident Voice Editor
Santa Rosa, CA

* Read Michael Moore’s follow up article: "And Now a Chance to Bid Farewell to Mr. Bush"


* * Read a Reply to Michael Moore from Rustie Woods: The Bodysnatchers Have Arrived: First Casualty, Documentary Filmmaker





* * Two Measures of American Desparation

bby Sunil K. Sharma and Josh Frank, Dissident Voice, October 15, 2003


FFour-star general Wesley Clark first came to public attention as the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO during the US war on Serbia in 1999, and was until recently a CNN military analyst. Early this year, a grassroots campaign to draft Clark to run for the presidency formed and, mostly through the internet, garnered many signatures. Their efforts received an unlikely boost in the form of a letter from left-liberal author and filmmaker Michael Moore urging Clark to run. Moore claims that his article/letter helped generate 30,000 letters to the Draft Clark campaign and, sure enough, a few days later Clark declared his candidacy. Yet a look at the real Wesley Clark’s past makes us wonder why so many liberals and erstwhile progressives like Moore are so gaga over Clark. . . (read more)


The Chameleon Candidate: Wesley Clark, Democrat or Republican?
by Doug Ireland, LA Weekly, Sept. 26 – Oct.2, 2003 (Posted 10/14)

The putative new Great White (Male) Hope of the Democratic Party, General Wesley Clark, came of age politically when he was seduced by Richard Nixon, for whom he cast his first presidential vote. He later voted for Ronald Reagan (twice), and for Bush père. As recently as two years ago, Clark was appearing at Republican fund-raisers. In Arkansas, at the Pulaski County Republican Committee dinner on May 12, 2001, Clark said “that American involvement abroad helps prevent war and spreads the ideals of the United States.”

Just two weeks later, U.S. News and World Report said, “Insiders say Clark, who is a consultant for Stephens Group in Little Rock, is preparing a political run as a Republican. Less clear: what office he’d campaign for. At a recent Republican fund-raiser, he heralded Ronald Reagan’s Cold War actions and George Bush’s foreign policy. He also talked glowingly of current President Bush’s national security team. Absent from the praise list — his former boss, ex–Commander in Chief Bill Clinton.”

It’s only been a month since Clark declared that he was a Democrat, although he went out of his way to tell CNN when he did that both parties have good ideas. However, he’s never explained those appetizing GOP ideas. Nor has he ever said in public what made him become a Democrat after a lifelong history of Republican affinities, which makes his conversion sound more like opportunism than principle. . . . (read more)

* Clark Worked for Personal Data Firm: Acxiom Role Part of Airline Passenger Privacy Debate (posted 9/27) The Washington Post, September 27, 2003


Retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark helped an Arkansas information company win a contract to assist development of an airline passenger screening system, one of the largest surveillance programs ever devised by the government. Starting just after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, Clark sought out dozens of government and industry officials on behalf of Acxiom Corp., a data powerhouse that maintains names, addresses and a wide array of personal details about nearly every adult in the United States and their households, according to interviews and documents. Clark, a Democrat who declared himself a presidential candidate 10 days ago, joined Acxiom’s board of directors in December 2001. He earned $300,000 from Acxiom last year and was set to receive $150,000, plus potential commissions, this year, according to financial disclosure records. He owns several thousand shares of Acxiom stock worth more than $67,000. Clark’s consulting role at Acxiom puts him near the center of a national debate over expanded government authority to use personal data and surveillance technology to fight the war on terrorism and protect homeland security. . . . (read more)


 * Wesley Clark Endorses Bush As 'Needed'
MichNews.com, September 26, 2003 (Full Text)

Matt Drudge has done his homework. He's come up with Republican Wesley Clark. True.
Read it here from DRUDGE REPORT: http://drudgereport.com/clark.htm 

"During extended remarks delivered at the Pulaski County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner in Little Rock, Arkansas on May 11, 2001, General Clark declared: 'And I'm very glad we've got the great team in office, men like Colin Powell, Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice... people I know very well - our president George W. Bush. We need them there.'"

Clark praises United States President George [H. W.] Bush with these words:

"President George Bush had the courage and the vision... and we will always be grateful to President George Bush for that tremendous leadership and statesmanship."

Drudge continues with Clark on American military involvement overseas:


"Do you ever ask why it is that these people in these other countries can't solve their own problems without the United States sending its troops over there? And do you ever ask why it is the Europeans, the people that make the Mercedes and the BMW's that got so much money can't put some of that money in their own defense programs and they need us to do their defense for them?


"And I'll tell you what I've learned from Europe is that are a lot of people out in the world who really, really love and admire the United States. Don't you ever believe it when you hear foreign leaders making nasty comments about us. That's them playing to their domestic politics as they misread it. Because when you talk to the people out there, they love us. They love our values. They love what we stand for in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights."


So there you have it: Bush-praising-Republican Wesley Clark.


Indecisive on important matters? Not. Right on target, brothers and sisters. Right on target.



* Another Kosovo lie exposed: NATO used doctored video to justify bombing of passenger train

World Socialist Website, January 8, 2000 (posted 10/14)


In the Frankfurter Rundschau of January 6 reporter Arnd Festerling documented how NATO used falsified video recordings to justify its conduct of the war in Kosovo.


At least 14 people died on April 12, 1999 when a US Airforce bomber fired on a railway bridge near the Serbian village of Grdenicka just as a passenger train was crossing the bridge. Following the initial strike of the train, the pilot returned to make a second sweep of the burning bridge and dropped a bomb on a carriage that had not been hit by the first assault.


At the time NATO described the bombing of the commuter train as a tragic accident. NATO's presentation of events, it now emerges, was based on doctored video recordings and misleading descriptions of what took place aboard the fighter plane.


One day after the strike, in an effort to demonstrate that the attack was a case of inadvertent “collateral damage”, General Wesley Clark, the Supreme Commander of NATO forces, called a press conference and showed two video films taken by cameras located in the noses of the remote control-guided bombs. According to Clark, the films made clear that the passenger train was approaching too fast for the pilot, who was concentrating on the difficult business of guiding the bombs, to react. The pilot had “less than a second” to abort the strike, Clark asserted. . . . (read more)



* Clark May Have Broken Law in Paid Speeches

Washington Post, October 8, 2003 (posted 10/14)

Retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark may have violated federal election laws by discussing his presidential campaign during recent paid appearances, according to campaign finance experts. Clark, a newcomer to presidential politics, touted his candidacy during paid appearances at DePauw University in Indiana and other campuses after he entered the presidential race on Sept. 17. Under the laws governing the financing of presidential campaigns, candidates cannot be paid by corporations, labor unions, individuals or even universities for campaign-related events. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) considers such paid political appearances akin to a financial contribution to a candidate. . . . (read more)



* Dem Rivals Attack 'Pro-Bush' Wesley (posted 9/27)

New York Post, September 26, 2003


A video released by Republicans, taped at a 2001 Arkansas GOP fund-raiser, shows Clark praising Bush, the first President Bush and Ronald Reagan for "great" or "tremendous" leadership and painting the Clinton administration as clueless. The video also hints that Clark voted for Bush in 2000, since he seems to side with Bush in the controversy over counting military ballots from Florida. Clark fumes that when U.S. troops vote, "we better count their ballots." . . . (read more)


* “Wesley & Me”: A Real-Life Docudrama (posted 9/27)

by Norman Solomon, Dissident Voice, September 25, 2003


Here’s the real-life plot: A famous documentary filmmaker puts out a letter to a retired four-star general urging him to run for president. The essay quickly zooms through cyberspace and causes a big stir. For Michael Moore, the reaction is gratifying. Three days later, he thanks readers “for the astounding response to the Wesley Clark letter” and “for your kind comments to me.” But some of the reactions are more apoplectic than kind. Quite a few progressive activists are stunned, even infuriated, perhaps most of all by four words in Moore’s open letter to Gen. Clark: “And you oppose war.”  . . . (read more)

* Campaign 2004: Clark's Charge (posted 9/22)
Newsweek, September 29, 2003 Issue

After Al Qaeda attacked America, retired Gen. Wes Clark thought the Bush administration would invite him to join its team. After all, he'd been NATO commander, he knew how to build military coalitions and the investment firm he now worked for had strong Bush ties. But when GOP friends inquired, they were told: forget it. WORD WAS THAT Karl Rove, the president's political mastermind, had blocked the idea. Clark was furious. Last January, at a conference in Switzerland, he happened to chat with two prominent Republicans, Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and Marc Holtzman, now president of the University of Denver. "I would have been a Republican," Clark told them, "if Karl Rove had returned my phone calls." Soon thereafter, in fact, Clark quit his day job and began seriously planning to enter the presidential race -- as a Democrat. Clark late last week insisted the remark was a "humorous tweak." The two others said it was anything but. "He went into detail about his grievances," Holtzman said. "Clark wasn't joking. We were really shocked." . . . (read more)




PoliticsUS.com (full text), September 18, 2003



Former NATO Commander Wesley Clark, who today announced his candidacy for President, joined the field of contenders competing for the Democratic nomination. But as recently as two years ago, he was addressing Republican dinners in his home state of Arkansas amid speculation about a possible future Clark run for office -- as a Republican.


Speaking on May 11, 2001, as the keynote speaker to the Pulaski County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner, Clark said that American involvement abroad helps prevent war and spreads the ideals of the United States, according to an AP dispatch the following day.


Two weeks later, a report in U.S. News and World Report said Arkansas Republican politicos were "pondering the future of Wesley Clark:" "Insiders say Clark, who is a consultant for Stephens Group in Little Rock, is preparing a political run as a Republican. Less clear: what office he'd campaign for. At a recent Republican fund-raiser, he heralded Ronald Reagan's Cold War actions and George Bush's foreign policy. He also talked glowingly of current President Bush's national security team. Absent from the praise list -- his former boss, ex-Commander in Chief Bill Clinton."


Clark told CNN's Judy Woodruff earlier this month that he had decided to register as a Democrat. Left unsaid and unknown at this point is exactly when and why he decided to become a Democrat.



* How a Notorious Serb General Outfoxed Wesley Clark

Pacific News Service, Sep 23, 2003 (posted 10/14)


Only a Republican who fears Wesley Clark could love Banja Luka, a drab town in the northwest corner of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a bankrupt nation of wary Muslims, Serbs and Croats. In August 1994, during the height of the Bosnian civil war, Clark came to Banja Luka, met a Serb general and ended up looking like a perfect chump. The Serb, Ratko Mladic, suckered Clark into exchanging hats and posing for pictures. At the time, Clark was a three-star general and head of operations at the Pentagon. It seemed like a harmless lark at the time, two generals exchanging snappy covers and smiling for the camera. A few jokes, a few laughs, and then off to a lunch hosted by the Serb. But now Clark is running for president of the United States and Mladic, indicted for war crimes in 1995, is a fugitive with a $5 million U.S. price on his head, the Osama of the Balkans. . . . (read more)



* The Trouble with Wes (posted 9/23)

by Robert Novak, Townhall.com, September 22, 2003


The important Democrats eager to run retired Gen. Wesley Clark for president might exercise due diligence about a military career that was nearly terminated before he got his fourth star and then came to a premature end. The trouble with the general is pointed out by a bizarre incident in Bosnia nearly a decade ago. Clark was a three-star (lieutenant general) who directed strategic plans and policy for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington. On Aug. 26, 1994, in the northern Bosnian city of Banja Luka, he met and exchanged gifts with the notorious Bosnian Serb commander and indicted war criminal, Gen. Ratko Mladic. The meeting took place against the State Department's wishes and may have contributed to Clark's failure to be promoted until political pressure intervened. The shocking photo of Mladic and Clark wearing each other's military caps was distributed throughout Europe. . . (read more)



Photo: (August 27, 1994) Lt. General Wesley Clark meets and exchanges hats with Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic. Clark accepted as gifts from Mladic a hat, bottle of brandy and a pistol inscribed in Cyrrilic. A US official complained of Clark’s unauthorized visit: “It's like cavorting with Hermann Goering.”



* Tidbits on the General (posted 9/23)

Dave Barry, The Weekly Standard, September 29, 2003 issue (full text below)



Tomorrow's Opposition Research Today


Memo to all the Democratic party presidential candidates wharen't retired Gen. Wesley Clark:


On August 27, 1994, representing the Joint Chiefs of Staff during a fact-finding mission to Bosnia, Clark "ignored State Department warnings not to meet with Serb officials suspected of ordering deaths of civilians in a campaign known as ethnic cleansing" and paid a courtesy call on Serbian army commander Ratko Mladic. Mladic was already the subject of multiple U.S. war-crimes charges: "artillery attacks on civilians in Sarajevo" and the "razing of Muslim towns and villages," along with random acts of "mass murder." According to a contemporaneous Washington Post report: "On Friday [August 26, 1994] and again on Saturday, State Department officials said, they instructed [Clark] not to go, but he went anyway." The meeting "occurred as the Clinton administration is trying to isolate the Serbs in advance of possible military action against them."


But wait, there's more--there's a "visual," as they say in the 30-second attack-ad business. [see photo above]


"What State Department officials said they found especially disturbing was a photograph of Clark and Mladic wearing each other's caps. The picture appeared in several European newspapers, U.S. officials said. Clark accepted as gifts Mladic's hat, a bottle of brandy, and a pistol inscribed in Cyrillic, U.S. officials said. 'It's like cavorting with Hermann Goering,' one U.S. official complained."


Herewith, then, Wesley Clark, Democratic candidate for president of the United States, cavorting with "Hermann Goering"--the suspected war criminal Ratko Mladic, who to this day is a fugitive wanted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal and presumed to be hiding somewhere in Serbia.


Clark's Source Revealed


Who says nothing worthwhile comes out of Canada? In an article in last Thursday's Toronto Star, reporter Tim Harper uncovered the identity of the man who supposedly called Wesley Clark on Sept. 11, 2001, urging him to go on CNN and blame Saddam Hussein for the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.


Clark, you'll remember, told Tim Russert last June that the attempt to link Saddam and 9/11 "came from the White House, it came from people around the White House, it came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, 'You've got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism.'"


Clark eventually admitted that he never received a call from the White House. Instead, he talked to "a man from a--of a Middle East think tank in Canada, the man who's the brother of a very close friend of mine in Belgium." Clark's explanation threw THE SCRAPBOOK for a loop, because we couldn't locate a "Middle East think tank in Canada." But according to Harper, the man who called Clark was Thomas Hecht, who heads the one-man Montreal office for the Israel-based Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies.


So THE SCRAPBOOK was wrong to refer to the caller as Clark's "imaginary friend." Which is not to say Clark doesn't have an overactive imagination. The retired NATO commander melodramatically said he received the call on 9/11. Hecht says the call was "either Sept. 12 or Sept. 13." Clark said the call was evidence of a conspiracy to link Hussein to 9/11. Hecht says he called to invite the general to give a speech, and in the course of the conversation mentioned possible links between Saddam and international terrorist groups. Hecht, for his part, doesn't understand how his phone call became a central part of Clark's sordid tale of intrigue and corruption at the highest levels of government. "I don't know why I would be confused with the White House," Hecht said. "I don't even have white paint on my house."


* Clark Says He Would Have Voted for War  (posted 9/21)

The New York Times, September 19, 2003


Gen. Wesley K. Clark said today that he would have supported the Congressional resolution that authorized the United States to invade Iraq, even as he presented himself as one of the sharpest critics of the war effort in the Democratic presidential race. General Clark also said in an interview that he would probably oppose President Bush's request for $87 billion to finance the recovery effort in Iraq, though he said he could see circumstances in which he might support sending even more money into the country. . . . (read more)



* Democratic candidate seeks to clarify comments on Iraq resolution

San Francisco Chronicle Online, September 20, 3003 (posted 9/21)


Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark backtracked from a day-old statement that he probably would have voted for the congressional resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq, saying Friday he "would never have voted for this war." The retired Army general, an opponent of the conflict, surprised supporters when he indicated in an interview with reporters Thursday that he likely would have supported the resolution. On Friday, Clark sought to clarify his comments in an interview with The Associated Press. . . . (read more)



* Wesley Clark: The New Anti-War Candidate? Record Shows Clark Cheered Iraq War as "Right Call"

A media advisory from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, September 16, 2003

The possibility that former NATO supreme commander Wesley Clark might enter the race for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination has been the subject of furious speculation in the media. But while recent coverage of Clark often claims that he opposed the war with Iraq, the various opinions he has expressed on the issue suggest the media's "anti-war" label is inaccurate…. (read more)



* Anti-War Candidate? What Must Be Done to Complete a Great Victory

by Wesley Clark in the Times of London, April 10, 2003


Can anything be more moving than the joyous throngs swarming the streets of Baghdad? Memories of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the defeat of Milosevic in Belgrade flood back. Statues and images of Saddam are smashed and defiled. Liberation is at hand. Liberation — the powerful balm that justifies painful sacrifice, erases lingering doubt and reinforces bold actions. Already the scent of victory is in the air. Yet a bit more work and some careful reckoning need to be done before we take our triumph… (read more)



* Wesley Clark for President? Another Con Job from the Neo-Cons

by Wayne Madsen in CounterPunch, September 18, 2003


Let it never be said the neo-conservatives are not persistent. That's why they must be rounded up by the FBI and charged with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statutes. But let's save that issue for another time. The latest trick of the neo-cons is running retired General Wesley Clark for President as a Democrat. But not just any Democrat -- a "New Democrat." The same bunch that are pushing Joe Lieberman's candidacy are obviously hedging on their bets and want to have Clark in the race as a potential vice presidential candidate (to ensure their continued influence in a future Democratic administration of Howard Dean, John Kerry, or Dick Gephardt) or as a "go-to" candidate in the event that Lieberman stumbles badly in the first few Democratic primaries next year…. (read more)



* Robert Fisk and others on Wesley Clark & Iraq: “What is Happening Is An Absolute Slaughter Every Night of Iraqi People”

Democracy Now!, September 18, 2003


ROBERT FISK: I have to say first of all about General Clark, that I was on the ground in Serbia in Kosovo when he ran the war there. He didn't seem to be very antiwar at the time. I had as one of my tasks to go out over and over again to look at the civilian casualties of that have war. At one point NATO bombed the hospital in which Yugoslav soldiers, against the rules of war, were hiding along with the patients and almost all the patients were killed. This was the war, remember, where the first attack was made on a radio station, the Serb Radio and Television building. Since then we've had attacks twice on the Al Jazeera television station. First of all in Afghanistan in 2001, then killing their chief correspondent, and again in Baghdad, this year. This was a general who I remember bombed series of bridges, in one of which an aircraft bombed the train and after, he'd seen the train and had come to a stop, the pilot bombed the bridge again. I saw one occasion when a plane came in, bombed a bridge over a river in Serbia proper, as we like to call it, and after about 12 minutes when rescuers arrived, a bridge too narrow even for tanks, bombed the rescuers. I remember General Clark telling us that more than 100 Yugoslav tanks had been destroyed in the weeks of that war. And when the war came to an end, we discovered number of Yugoslav tanks destroyed were 11. 100 indeed. So this was not a man, frankly whom, if I were an American, would vote for, but not being an American, I don't have to. . . . (read more)


* Confrontation over Pristina airport (From 2000, about how Clark almost ignited a war between the US and Russia during the Kosovo War), BBC, March 9, 2000


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…. (read more)



* Was Gen. Clark Also "Unprepared" for the Postwar?

by Zoltan Grossman, Common Dreams, September 10, 2003


In his apparent quest for the Democratic Presidential nomination, General Wesley Clark rightly criticizes President Bush for waging a "pre-emptive" invasion of Iraq, and in particular for being "unprepared" for the post-invasion occupation of the country. Some Democrats are being drawn to the former NATO Supreme Commander as an authoritative voice against the Iraq debacle, and a "pragmatic" alternative to the disastrous Bush Presidency. Yet these Democrats apparently have short memories. It was only four years ago that General Clark waged a war against Yugoslavia that had similarly shaky motives and spiraling postwar consequences. Clark has whitewashed the 1999 Kosovo intervention as a "humanitarian" campaign to rescue Kosovar Albanians from Serbian "ethnic cleansing," even though it actually helped fuel the forced explusions. The General credits NATO bombing of Serbian cities for bringing about the fall of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, even though Serbian democrats loudly objected that it undermined and delayed their ultimate victory. Clark claims that the postwar NATO occupation brought "peace" to Kosovo, but he was clearly unprepared for the violent "ethnic cleansing" that took place on his watch, largely facilitated by his decisions, under the noses of his troops. (read more)


* Wesley Clark's 'High Noon' Moment

by Katrina Vanden Heuvel, The Nation, September 12, 2003


Democrats believe that Clark, as a former military officer, could make the party more viable on foreign affairs than it's been since a general named George Marshall was containing Communism under the command of a president named Harry Truman. (That's the conventional wisdom, though the staggering cost of the badly bungled Iraqi occupation has diminished the Republican advantage on defense no matter who runs against Bush.) While media commentary on Clark's prospective candidacy has been almost entirely favorable--even adulatory--it's worth looking back at a forgotten chapter in his military biography that occurred when Clark was Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and Commander In Chief for the US European Command. Call it Clark's "High Noon" showdown. It's an incident that deserves scrutiny because Clark's claim to be an experienced leader in national security matters is tied, in significant part, to his record in the Balkans…. (read more)



* Meet the Real Gen. Clark: A Vain, Pompous Brown-noser

by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, CounterPunch, June 1999


Anyone seeking to understand the bloody fiasco of the Serbian war need hardly look further than the person of the beribboned Supreme Allied Commander, General Wesley K. Clark. Politicians and journalists are generally according him a respectful hearing as he discourses on the "schedule" for the destruction of Serbia, tellingly embracing phrases favored by military bureaucrats such as "systematic" and "methodical". The reaction from former army subordinates is very different. "The poster child for everything that is wrong with the GO (general officer) corps," exclaims one colonel, who has had occasion to observe Clark in action, citing, among other examples, his command of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood from 1992 to 1994. While Clark's official Pentagon biography proclaims his triumph in "transitioning the Division into a rapidly deployable force" this officer describes the "1st Horse Division" as "easily the worst division I have ever seen in 25 years of doing this stuff." …. (read more)


* The Fire Last Time: Wesley Clark and Waco

by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, CounterPunch, June 1999


On February 28, 1993 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms launched its disastrous and lethal raid on the Branch Dividian compound outside Waco, Texas. Even before the raid, members of the US Armed Forces, many of them in civilian dress, were around the compound. In the wake of the Feb 28 debacle Texas governor Anne Richards asked to consult with knowledgeable military personnel. Her request went to the US Army base at Fort Hood, where the commanding officer of the US Army's III corps referred her to the Cavalry Division of the III Corps, whose commander at the time was Wesley Clark. Subsequent congressional enquiry records that Richards met with Wesley Clark's number two, the assistant division commander, who advised her on military equipment that might be used in a subsequent raid. Clark's man, at Richard's request, also met with the head of the Texas National Guard. . . . Ultimately tanks from Fort Hood were used in the final catastrophic assault on the Branch Davidian compound on April 19. Certainly the Waco onslaught bears characteristics typical of Gen. Wesley Clark: the eagerness to take out the leader (viz., the Clark-ordered bombing of Milosevich's private residence); the utter disregard for the lives of innocent men, women and children; the arrogant miscalculations about the effects of force; disregard for law, whether of the Posse Comitatus Act governing military actions within the United States or, abroad, the purview of the Nuremberg laws on war crimes and attacks on civilians…. (read more)


* Don't Be Fooled Again: Gen. Wesley Clark, War Criminal

by Mitch Cohen, CounterPunch, September 17, 2003


Gen. Wesley Clark is a major war criminal. Please don't be fooled by the current well-orchestrated push to nominate Clark as Democratic Party nominee for president, at trap which Michael Moore has apparently fallen into as well as a number of other well-meaning peace people. Gen. Wesley Clark was in charge of refugee camps in the 1980s and 1990s where Haitian refugees who were fleeing first Baby Doc Duvalier (and later the new regime installed by the US following the overthrowal of the elected Aristide government in the early 1990s), were packed, under appalling conditions condemned by the Center for Constitutional Rights, among many others. In the 1980s, many Haitian male refugees incarcerated at Krome (in Miami), and Fort Allen (in Puerto Rico) reported a strange condition called gyneacomastia, a situation in which they developed full female breasts…. (read more)



* An Open Letter to Michael Moore: You Are Way Off Base About Wesley Clark

by Terry Lodge, CounterPunch, September 17, 2003


I've long appreciated your work, your politics and your writings. And precisely because of that, I'm surprised by and disappointed in your solicitation of Wesley Clark's candidacy for the Democrat nomination for President. Wesley Clark is a war criminal. He commanded the U.S. forces and the whole NATO mission in the Kosovo war, which from the allies' perspective, was a stunning bombing campaign. Toward the end of the conflict, he very nearly touched off a major global confrontation when he ordered NATO forces to attack an airfield where a Russian force had landed with the intention of injecting themselves on the side of the Serbs to halt the butchery. Had Clark's order been followed, it would have touched off the most dangerous Russian-U.S military confrontation since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962…. (read more)



* Citizen Clark? Or, Why Electing a Mass Murderer Is a Really Bad Idea

by Nebojsa Malic, AntiWar.com, September 18, 2003


Wesley Clark, former US Army general and Supreme NATO Commander in Europe, announced Wednesday that he will run for President of the United States in 2004 as a Democrat, joining nine other Democratic candidates vying for the opportunity to challenge George W. Bush. Incongruously, Clark supporters and mainstream media seem to purport that he is running on an "antiwar" ticket. Only a few, including the Christian Science Monitor, believe that Clark could outflank Bush in his belligerence. It's as if everyone has forgotten Wesley Clark was the Bomber of Belgrade, the highest-ranking military official in a cabal that systematically violated international law, the NATO Charter (and with it the US Constitution, Article 6, Section 2) and committed the greatest crime under the Nuremburg principles: that against peace. Even Michael Moore, the gut-punch filmmaker who challenged the NATO attack (after a fashion) in his Oscar-winning feature "Bowling for Columbine," recently gushed over Clark. What has possessed all these people to believe that the answer to George W. Bush's policy of Global Balkanization lies in a man whose hands are drenched in Balkans blood? …. (read more)


* The Perfumed Prince and Other Political Tales
by John Chuckman, Dissident Voice, September 6, 2003

The Perfumed Prince declared himself a Democrat. Many Americans may not recognize the nickname bestowed upon Wesley Clarke by British colleagues as he strutted around Serbia with his set of platinum-plated general's stars carefully repositioned each day to a freshly-starched and ironed camouflage cap, wafting a thick vapor trail of cologne. His lack of judgment demonstrated in Serbia - including an order to clear out Russian forces that British general, Sir Michael Jackson, had to ignore for fear of starting World War III - should be enough to utterly disqualify him as a candidate for President. But this is America, land of opportunity. The former general scents, through the mists of his musky cologne, an opportunity for service. Hell, we're at war, and any real general is better than a former male cheerleader from Andover who cross-dresses as a combat pilot. Dreams of being the hero on a white horse beckon. A fatal attraction in the American people to used-up generals is how the country managed to elect some of its worst presidents - Grant, Jackson, and Garfield, for example… (read more)

* Other Resources: The Progressive Review’s Wesley Clark Archive




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