Grand Illusions About Wesley Clark

by WILLIAM BLUM

In case anyone is still embracing any illusions that General Wesley Clark is likely the hero who can bring closer to fruition our belief and hope that Another World Is Possible, here are a few more items about this charming man.

At the start of the 78-day NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999, which he oversaw as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Clark declared: "We are going to systematically and progressively attack, disrupt, degrade, devastate and ultimately destroy these forces and their facilities and support unless President Milosevic complies with the demands of the international community." (Los Angeles Times, 26 March 1999)

Clark was among 68 leaders charged with war crimes by a group of international-law professionals from Canada, the United Kingdom, Greece, and the American Association of Jurists. The group filed its well-documented complaints with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands, charging leaders of NATO countries and officials of NATO itself with crimes similar to those for which the Tribunal had issued indictments shortly before against Serbian leaders. Amongst the charges filed were: "grave violations of international humanitarian law", including "wilful killing, wilfully causing great suffering and serious injury to body and health, employment of poisonous weapons and other weapons to cause unnecessary suffering, wanton destruction of cities, towns and villages, unlawful attacks on civilian objects, devastation not necessitated by military objectives, attacks on undefended buildings and dwellings, destruction and wilful damage done to institutions dedicated to religion, charity and education, the arts and sciences."

At one point in the bombing campaign it was reported that "[Clark] would rise out of his seat and slap the table. ‘I’ve got to get the maximum violence out of this campaign — now!’" (Washington Post, 21 September 1999)

And last year found our hero in New Hampshire, endorsing Democrat Katrina Swett for Congress, as reported by the local paper. "Clark, who supports a congressional resolution that would give President Bush authority to use military force against Iraq, said if Swett were in Congress this week, he would advise her to vote for the resolution, but only after vigorous debate." (The Union Leader, Manchester, NH, 10 October 2002)

WILLIAM BLUM is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, Rogue State: a guide to the World’s Only Super Power. and West-Bloc Dissident: a Cold War Political Memoir. He can be reached at: BBlum6@aol.com

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