An unneccessary war

An unneccessary war

From Timothy Perch, a high school student in Ohio.

“I was watching the re-run of Meet The Press yesterday on CNBC.  I heard some amazingly blunt quotes.  The second guest was retired General Wesley Clark.  He is the former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe who led the attack on Yugoslavia.  The transcript from the show can be found at Here are some highlights of the interview.

“We’re at a turning point in American history here. We’re about to embark on an operation that’s going to put us in a colonial position in the Middle East following Britain, following the Ottomans. It’s a huge change for the American people and for what this country stands for.”

“Early after 9/11, the administration made a decision to pursue offense, rather than defense, I support that decision, in principle. But it’s the balance that’s important. And when you’re contemplating a $100 billion resource expenditure against Iraq, but you can’t put another $5 billion into Homeland Security to protect the American people, you have to ask: Which strategy best protects America?”

“MR. RUSSERT: Is this a necessary war?

GEN. CLARK: Probably not. I would say this is an elective operation at this time. This is like elective surgery.”

“MR. RUSSERT:  Has the president drawn the sword where he can no longer back down?

GEN. CLARK: I think that’s right. I can’t quite imagine that he could create a scenario in which it would be OK to just implement an enhanced so-called containment regime with inspectors on the ground; not with all the troops there, not with the determination. Because what you’re really going against here is not the presence of the weapons; it’s the intent of Saddam Hussein and his regime to continue to develop these weapons.”

So we will go to war because of something someone might do in the future. Madness.

“I think we can all debate alternative strategies and theories and, yes, maybe containment was possible a year or so ago. Now it’s too late. Saddam Hussein has to understand his day is over[…] I think war is inevitable”

“MR. RUSSERT: What should the administration have done differently? What other strategy could they have embarked on a year ago where we’d have a different result today?

GEN. CLARK: Well, I think you have to go back really—let’s start with 9/11; 3,000 dead in this country underscore the deadly threat of al-Qaeda. Somehow, we got that tied in with Iraq. From the beginning, people were saying Iraq must have been behind it. Well, they weren’t behind it. 

Why not have focused exclusively on al-Qaeda, and said, “Here’s our target, set Iraq aside, strengthen containment. OK. We don’t want them dealing with terrorists. They’re a potential proliferant.” But then so is Iran. They actually have a more active terrorist network. They also have weapons of mass destruction, and then here’s North Korea that even has nuclear weapons, and they do sell.

So you have three potential major proliferants, and then you have al-Qaeda. Why not focus on al-Qaeda and then work that very intensively, work it diplomatically? Go into the United Nations and start with indicting Osama bin Laden as a war criminal. “

Doug concludes; I thought this interview was huge news material.  The former top US general who led the Kosovo war claiming we are going to take a colonial position in the middle East.  This is some serious stuff.  He says it isn’t even a neccessary war.  Wow!