Syria

Kosovo War Architect Wesley Clark Says the Better Analogy Might Be Iraq in 1993. Which Is Terrifying.

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Never forget! |||

Remember when Wesley Clark was going to be our next Democratic president? That was back when the donkey party felt like it needed to trot out tuff guys, and Clark qualified due to his leading role in the Kosovo War, a conflict that many are pointing to now as the go-to historical precedent for whatever President Barack Obama does next in Syria.

Clark, an interventionist who supports hitting Syria, says not so fast:

A better precedent is President Bill Clinton's strike against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's intelligence center in Baghdad with cruise missiles in 1993, in punishment for Saddam's alleged plot to assassinate then-former President George H. W. Bush.

The missiles struck, without any significant collateral damage. The plot against a president was avenged.

Did the measured strike work as deterrence? Well, there certainly were no more assassination plots, at least not to our knowledge. On the other hand, Saddam remained defiant. A year later he deployed divisions to Iraq's southern border into the same sort of attack positions they had occupied prior to the invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

In response, the U.S. prepared to deploy additional forces into the region, and the United Nations tightened the imposed no-fly zone south of Baghdad. U.S. military preparations focused ever more intently on an invasion of Iraq. The Republican Congress passed, with Democratic support, a resolution advocating "regime change." You can't always control the script after you decide to launch a limited, measured attack.

So, a symbolic gesture of violence produces more hostility from the target, feeding into a series of events that leads to congressional authorization of regime change, and eventually the most disastrous U.S. war since Vietnam. And this is an argument for lobbing bombs into Syria?

Oh what a man I was. |||

Clark's closing argument manages to be both half-hearted and open-ended:

At a time when U.S. security interests are much broader than the Middle East, and we face numerous economic and political challenges at home, it is tempting to think of action against Syria's regime as a significant distraction. But President Obama has rightly red-lined the use of chemical weapons. The horrible pictures of hundreds dead and dying is a warning to all of us that some weapons are simply too inhuman to be used. Responding to Syrian use is not without risk. But as many of us learned during the 1990s, in the words of President Clinton, "Where we can make a difference, we must act."

Back in 2004, I included Clark in a round-up of what the Democrat architects of Kosovo were saying about the Republican project of Iraq, a piece with the prescient though sadly predictable title of "Temporary Doves."

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  1. Sounds like a solid plan to me dude.

    http://www.BeAnon.tk

    1. Yeah, you would like Clark, you miserable anonybot…

  2. Amazing how quickly people forget this:

    “Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people.

    And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them.”

    President Bill Clinton – December 16, 1998

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENAV_UoIfgc

    1. You should have put Clinton’s name at the top of that quote so that I could read it in the proper voice.

    2. but but but, Booosh!!!11eleventy!!

    3. For the left history began on January 20, 2001.

  3. So, a symbolic gesture of violence produces more hostility from the target, feeding into a series of events that leads to congressional authorization of regime change, and eventually the most disastrous U.S. war since Vietnam. And this is an argument for lobbing bombs into Syria?

    It’s about doing something. That’s the government’s job, to do something.

    1. It’s what we ALL do together.
      Group Hug!

    2. Just what I would expect from this administration : “Fire, Ready, Aim!”

  4. Republicans back during the Kosovo days were “temporary doves” too. By this point, if people are really still blind to the opportunism and hypocrisy of the two major parties on issues of such import as war, I don’t know what will jolt them out of their trance.

    1. Not John McCain. He’s ready to attack anyone, anytime, for any reason (or no reason at all).

    2. I miss Dick Armey.

  5. The horrible pictures of hundreds dead and dying is a warning to all of us that some weapons are simply too inhuman to be used.

    Because the dead are too gruesome without holes in them?

    1. some weapons are simply too inhuman to be used.

      I’m sure this was said about the crossbow.

      Probably the *spear*, too.

      1. Thog use rock in fist fight. Thog not fight fair. Toss Thog in volcano for great justice!

        1. Thog elegant in Thog’s simplicity.

        2. I know it is a horrible homophobic trope, but I read that in a lispy cave man voice. And laughed.

          So I owe apologies to the gay community, the speech impediment community and a few others I’m sure.

          1. THE CAVE MAN COMMUNITY!!!!!

            /Early Hominid

            1. *Cave Person Community, you filthy bigot.

      2. It was also said about nuclear bombs.

    2. Having your body torn to shreds by a drone missile is much more humane.

      1. Or having your face blown off by artillery. Or having your guts ripped up by a 7.62x39mm round. Or…

        1. Or being purposefully starved, which happened again in the Horn of Africa region in the last year or so, but we never heard about it from the Live Aid people or anyone else.

    3. How do these specific chemical weapons work? Do vomit your insides onto the floor or do sort drift of into death?

        1. Is that a video describing the effects of nerve gas or actually showing the effects of nerve gas? Either way I’m not clicking it.

          1. The latter. You can handle it.

          2. You twitch to death, basically, Some guy. Eventually, you stop breathing. By eventually, I mean about a minute or so, assuming a large concentration of nerve agent. Along the way, there’s bronchoconstriction. My understanding is that it’s extremely unpleasant. The Federation of American Scientists page on the general effects of nerve agents is here.

            1. Oh, I’ve read all about the effects of nerve gas. I just don’t want to see those effects. Considering the extreme pain of recovery and the fact that non-lethal doses can cause permanent neurological damage the ones who die in a few minutes might actually be the lucky ones.

              1. As I mentioned the other day, I had a great-uncle who was gassed in WWI. I never met him but he lived another 60 or so years in agony and by all family accounts sounds like he would have been better off dead. Basically he could breathe enough to live and even that was excruciating for him.

              2. Back when I went through NBC school (Nuclear, Bio, Chem) in the Marines I knew that if I ever got hit with a Chem agent – without the antedote handy – I was going to blow my brains out before I lived through what was coming next.

              3. The video shows the effects of Sarin on tethered goats, rabbits, and pigeons within a variety of fortified positions. The mist comes in (composed of dirt and powder from the 155mm gas shells used; GB is colorless), they twitch, they die. It’s unpleasant to watch, as some of the goats took awhile (4 minutes or less) to die.

  6. in the words of President Clinton, “Where we can make a difference, we must act.”

    “Where we act, we make a difference.”
    “Our acts are musty, but they are different.” (For M.L.)
    “What difference, at this point, do our acts make?”

    1. (For M.L.)?

      1. Hint: What rhymes with Sonica Tewinsky?

        1. Okay, thanks.

          1. Probably her, too.

        2. Lonica Mooinsky?

  7. Wesley Clark is chiming in? Be scared, very scared.

    1. This. This clown damned near got us shooting at the Russians during the Kosovo War. I’ve linked to it before, but the singer James Blunt used to be a captain in the British Army. According to this article, he was the senior officer at the head of a column approaching the Pristina airfield. Unfortunately, the airfield was already occupied by a Russian airmobile company. Clark gave the order over the radio to attack the airfield anyway. Blunt refused, and eventually General Mike Jackson, CinC British Forces Kosovo overruled Clark’s order. Story here.

      1. Wow, great story GG, and a gutsy move to risk a court-martial. James Blunt is officially forgiven for “You’re beautiful”

        1. You just had actually write the name of the song didn’t you?

          1. I was tempted to go all Lynchian and call it “Flappy”

        2. I just wonder, if the story’s true, what in the hell Clark was thinking? What did he think the Russians would do after a company of their troops got lit up by NATO forces? Leaving aside the issue of whether the U.S. should even have been there to begin with, was stopping one round of recreational killing in the Balkans worth going to war with Russia over? Unbelievable that this guy was considered for the Presidency after this.

      2. Americans need to be reminded of the “integrity and character issues” that Gen. Shelton saw in Gen. Clark.

  8. “”””In response, the U.S. prepared to deploy additional forces into the region, and the United Nations tightened the imposed no-fly zone south of Baghdad. “”‘

    Actually the no fly zones were imposed by the USA, Britain and France, the UN never authorized them. The USA, Britain and France cited UN resolution 688 but that resolution did not authorized no fly zones.

  9. Does anyone else get the feeling that the Dems are basically thinking:

    “10 years ago the GOP got to start the war it wanted. For a decade now we’ve had to live with the consequences of that decision. Its our turn to get the war that we want.”

    On the other hand I can see Obama thinking this:

    “I’ve done pretty good with the executive overreach these past 5 years, but even my supporters are starting to get uppity. Maybe I should toss them a bone on this one by going to Congress. Then the GOP obstructionists will shoot it down. I’ll get to blame them in the short term for not letting me defend my own honor, and I’ll get to take credit at the midterms for not starting another war…”

    1. Maybe, but I see that ended with more unilateral executive action.

    2. Actually I think that Obama is thinking “I opened my big mouth and drew a red line but I failed to get Congress or the Public on board and now my bluff has been called and so I will probably lob a few missiles to show that I have credibility even though it won’t change anything in Syria but hopefully if I keep the attack short the public won’t get mad at me.”

      1. True. If it only lasts a few days most people will have forgotten about it by the midterms. And Obama will feel like he has saved face, which is the most important thing.

      2. What do you think he’s thinking Putin’s thinking?

        1. I have no doubt that whatever O’Bozo is thinking Putin is thinking is so far from the truth that “parody” would not even cover it.

            1. And considering who Putin is up against I expect he won’t have to put in any more effort than he would mushing a ball of clay. He’s probably figured the 14 different ways it could go and thought out an optimal chain of responses to each.

    3. It used to be the Democratic Party was upset any time “those Negroes got uppity” with them. Now it’s a half-black man upset the Democratic Party’s getting uppity with him. Kind of funny when you think about it.

      1. “A half-black man for a half-assed Democratic Party!”

  10. Amazing how Kosovo always makes the Donkey party feel so comfortable and noble, especially considering what an obscene crime that fiasco was.

    1. Actually obscene crime syndicate would describe the ‘civilian leadership’ of Kosovo.

    2. Seriously, blowing relations with Russia in support of Islamic terrorists against sovereign Yugoslav federal troops, and for what? Maybe the media didn’t cover the ethnic cleansing that happened to the Serb population in the aftermath, but it did indeed happen, and pretty much on the same scale that Milosevic had been accused of before.

  11. Assad is about to lose a few airbases and communication center or two, as “blowback” for probable use of chemical weapons. And Guliani assures us that there will be no “blowback” to the U.S. because blowback doesn’t exist except in the fevered minds of a few wacko-bird extremist isolationist libertarian teabaggers.

  12. What an ignorant fuckstick.

    Wesley Clark is a poor substitute for Friday Funnies. THINK about that…

    1. I find him bitterly funny – considering I had the distinct displeasure of being in Bosnia when he and his posse came riding in in 1997.

      1. John, curious to know what gets people like Clark promoted. Is it the same bullshit that gets idiots ahead in the private sector?

        1. Yes. DOD is just a giant corporation. You get ahead by having political acumen and knowing how to tell your bosses what they want to hear. Competence helps. And there are a lot of competent people who do well. But to get to the very top like Clark did, you have to be political boot licker. Those who aren’t, never get past colonel no matter how good they are.

        2. He was a plate licker, apple polisher extraordinaire. He had the right education, background and if a politician croaked, he hopped around like a toad. On paper he looked really good – but he ended up effing up when he got promoted too high (Peter Principle?). Imagine what it took to get fired by Bill Clinton (ie. Janet Reno never did).

  13. Damn it, where’s my Friday morning cartoon!

    1. “where’s my Friday morning cartoon!”

      It is Wesley Clark – it just NEEDZ MOAR LABELZ!

      1. Oh, I get it. Well, guess I can get on with my day.

  14. We are going to spend the next few years randomly bombing Syria while the civil war drags on into a stalemate. But liberals will tell us how that is so much more humane and legal than just invading the country and ending the thing. As bad as war is, dabbling in it and not doing it to win or settle anything is even worse.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. The Greeks understood that if there must be war then it should be decisive and immediate. Sun Tzu also was aware that dragging war out is the worst possible choice.

      Seems most everyone gets it, except for our bellicose “liberal” rulers. In the best interests of humanity, they’d rather drag the inhumanity out endlessly.

      1. *immediately decisive*

      2. Short wars never settle anything and just lead to bigger wars later.

  15. 1. Calling Clark the architect of anything is insulting to architects. He basically fumbled his way through the Kosovo crisis and was retired early by Clinton because of his incompetance. Being an architect implise a sense of design and purpose… Clark displayed none of these.
    2. As to how Clark and others like him rise to their position in the uniformed services, I suggest reading Once an Eagle and Thomas Ricks’ The Generals. Suffice to say, that Clark has often been called Courtney Massengale by his peers.

    1. Yeah. He was the NATO commander. The Air Force fought the war such as it was. They were the ones who came up with the plan.

      It should also be noted that the plan consisted of bombing to make the Servian civilian population so miserable that they rebelled against Milosovic. And the war was based on a lie; there never was any genocide in Kosovo. That war was illegal, fought in an immoral manner, and resulted in us totally alienating the Russians to stop a genocide that wasn’t happening. It was in short, a total disaster. But it doesn’t get remembered that way because there were not any American casualties.

      1. Clinton blew a great chance at a greater world peace over his Kosovo lie faster than Lewinsky could blow one of his cigars. In the end it didn’t do anymore to help him escape his scandals than Syria will do for Obama.

        We need to stay out of Syria, and everyone else’s damn business!

      2. We did manage to blow up every Serbian tank… 5 times over.

        1. And we blew up a hell of a lot more civilians than anything else, too.

    2. Fuck up, move up is how we used to describe it.

  16. …plot to assassinate then-former President George H. W. Bush.

    Then-former? Is Bush Sr. no longer a former a president? Was he re-elected?

  17. I have personally known Wesley Clark (ex Pentagon and ex NATO) since he lived next door to my parents house in Germany together with his ugly ex wife in 1975. Clark is a criminal psychopath that belongs on the electric chair. It is disgusting to see this piece of shit sit around in the US media claiming to be an expert on all sorts of subjects.

    Clark lost his NATO job in Europe early because he was very incompetent and among other things has committed a long list of crimes. Such as multiple kidnappings and very heinous torture in 3 different countries in Europe.

    This lying criminal piece of shit belongs on the electric chair for the very long list of crimes that I and a lot of other people have witnessed him commit in Europe. If the media in the US were functioning they would seriously investigate his crimes instead of having the piece of shit sit around on TV and claiming to be such an expert on all sorts of subjects.

    If the US had a functioning justice or media system they would finally investigate the long list of crimes that Clark has committed instead of crawling into the ass of that foul criminal animal.Clark is easily the filthiest and most criminal person that I have met in my entire life. He has a giant ego, he is very criminal and has no coinscience.

    English blog no. 2
    http://murderbywesclark.blogspot.com/

    English blog no. 3
    http://wesclark-liar-torturer-…..ogspot.nl/

  18. I have personally known Wesley Clark since he lived next door to my parents house in Germany together with his ugly ex wife in 1975. Clark is a criminal psychopath that belongs on the electric chair. It is disgusting to see this piece of shit sit around in the US media claiming to be an expert on all sorts of subjects.

    Clark lost his NATO job in Europe early because he was very incompetent and among other things has committed a long list of crimes. Such as multiple kidnappings and very heinous torture in 3 different countries in Europe.

    This lying criminal piece of shit belongs on the electric chair for the very long list of crimes that I and a lot of other people have witnessed him commit in Europe.

    If the justice department or the media in the US were functioning they would seriously investigate his crimes instead of having the piece of shit sit around on TV and claiming to be such an expert on all sorts of subjects.

    Clark is easily the most vile, disgusting and most criminal person that I have ever met in my entire life.

    English blog no. 2
    http://murderbywesclark.blogspot.com/

    English blog no. 3
    http://wesclark-liar-torturer-…..ogspot.nl/

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