Wesley Clark entered the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination as an anti-war general; the one person who had the credentials to say he knew what he was talking about, but still get away with opposing our unilateral action in Iraq and not look like an idiot. This was to be the Democrats savior, enabling them to re-capture the White House and end the war without looking weak.
And then there was this: Clark Says U.S. Must Resist Early Iraq Exit. Our hero is now counseling that "Early exit means retreat or defeat. There can be neither... Failure in Iraq will not only be a tragedy for Iraq, it will be a disaster for America and the world... It will give the terrorists of al Qaeda a new base of operations."
What happened to our anti-Hawk? Has he gone over to the other side? Has it all been a huge deception? Is he giving up on getting the progressive-pragmatist vote? Is he just plain crazy? He just completely blew his cover and given up on the nomination. There's only one problem with all this analysis. He's right.
I do not believe for one second the whopper that George W.'s been telling about Saddam having been a supporter of bin Laden. But... now that Saddam is out, if we pull out without first getting Iraq on the road to recovery and democracy, there will be a power vacuum. And nature abhors a vacuum. Who do we (the peaceniks) think will fill that vacuum? Radical right-wing groups - that's who. And they're not going to be an improvement for anybody.
Clark is talking about re-building a true international coalition for the future of Iraq, not the sham "Coalition of the Willing" that W's been offering. "First we must end the American monopoly on the occupation and reconstruction. Then we must develop the right force mix to fight and win guerrilla war," according to Clark. "Finally, we must give Iraqis a rising stake in our success."
This is not a change of policy that can be accomplished from Republican "leadership." And it's not likely to come from either a "pull out at any cost" liberal or a "follow-the-president" typical Democratic milquetoast. As much as this article initially turned me against Clark, on further thought I realize he's not only right, but he's the only one who can do it.
It's been a long day, I'm tired, and I'm typing this as I'm drinking a Bourbon and Coke. Ask me again when I'm awake and fully sober. But, I think I'm beginning to really like this Wesley Clark dude. The truth is not always easy to accept, but it's the truth never-the-less, and the man's got a point.
Will that win the election? My cynicism level is such that I'd say he just lost it. It's too hawk-ish to get the vote of the left, and too dove-ish to get the vote of the right. But I've never been one to vote with the crowd.
On another [lighter] topic: On the first day of any Introduction to Journalism class they teach you that "Dog Bites Man" is not news, but "Man Bites Dog" is. Well, how about this: "Dog Shoots Man? It has a nice 21st century twist to it.