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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 comflict, 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.
Fortunately, the British officer who had actual on-the-ground control of the NATO troops explicitly refused to attack the Russians, thus avoiding a catastrophic military confrontation with a politically unstable nuclear weapons state (holding the second largest arsenal in the world).
Clark is getting his poltical advice from Bill Clinton, his commander-in-chief when Wesley attacked Kosovo. That, alone, should be a major clue to Clark’s politics. Though the U.S. suffered no casualties in the Kosovo "war", hundreds of civilians were killed, most of them in obvious circumstances (on strategic bridges and highway stretches, in the Chinese embassy and in office buildings that were being bombed). Worse, Clinton authorized Wes to "try out" depleted uranium in the Kosovo conflict – and so together they have left a 4,500,000,000-year-long legacy that will surely produce an epidemic of health effects on many Croats and Serbs and others for generations to come.
All this – and I haven’t even touched on the wrong-headed injustice of the U.S.’ joining the Balkan war anyway. It surely couldn’t have been because the human rights record of the Croats was more "humane."
In those days, the Pentagon encouraged and assisted al-Qaeda to move its operatives into the Kosovo region to become part of the "Kosovo Liberation Army," a collection of ethnic cleanser-murderers, brigands and drug traffickers who were, then and now, important guarantors of the continued flow of Aghanistan’s #1 cash crop – heroin – into the West.
It was Wesley Clark who touted the doggedness of those KLA "freedom fighters" – but then before September 2001, al-Qaeda operatives, despite the organization’s suspected role in the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa, were still a source of useful CIA assets.
I suggest you review the writings cited below and consider whether a reconstituted Wesley Clark, with his ho-hum stereotypical New Democrat viewpoints, is really the great savior of our damaged political dialogue that you’ve held him up to be.
Michael, I’ve admired you for years, from "TV Nation" to "Bowling," but you’re way off base about Wes Clark.
TERRY LODGE is an attorney in Toledo, Ohio. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org