Wesley Clark seems as if he is the perfect candidate for President.
He is, after all, the perfect politician. He is unable to make
a decisive decision on the meaningful issues of our times. When
questioned about the war in Iraq, he equivocated and indicated
he would have voted for the resolution authorizing war, but
he would have urged that the war be delayed. To the editors
and writers at the Washington Post, he couldn't remember if
he voted for Ronald Reagan. When it came to his supposed greatest
achievement, the execution of the most recent Balkans war, he
was once friends with Serbian leaders accused of ethnic cleansing,
then later bombed their homes and hospitals.
The American public should question what credentials
the former General has besides having friends in high places.
In fact, his promotion to four star general was only the result
of the intervention of a President Clinton appointee, Defense
Secretary William J. Perry.
As far as the war in the Balkans, he was once
part of the delegation that gave us the 1995 Dayton Accords
that "ended" the war in Bosnia. For those who don't
remember, Clark was very friendly with Serbian General Mladic
and even exchanged gifts with him. General Mladic has since
been indicted for atrocities that occurred prior to General
Clark meeting with him.
One of the provisions of the Dayton Accords is that foreign
fighters must leave the Balkans. This included the "mujahadeen"
fighters who volunteered to fight for their Muslim brothers.
Bin Laden was reported to have training camps in the Balkans
and visited on three occasions between 1994 and 1996. He also
held a Bosnian passport. As a result of the radical network
that he developed in the Balkans, it should surprise no one
that one of the first acts of terrorism prevented after 9-11
was the attempt to bomb the United States embassy in Sarajevo.
Of course, Clark may argue that compromising
himself at the time was necessary to achieve "peace"
in the Balkans. But, what did the Dayton Accords really accomplish?
Just four years later, the United States was forced to once
again undertake military action under the direction of General
Clark in Kosovo. The military commitment has not ended and the
United States continues to spend billions of dollars and send
thousands of soldiers into the Balkans.
The policies of General Clark also resulted
in alienating our allies and Russia. When people accuse the
United States of having an arrogant foreign policy they should
remember that it started on Wesley Clark's watch. One well recounted
story concerns how General Clark, in a fit of rage, wanted British
General Mike Jackson to deploy troops to stop the Russians from
seizing an air field in Pristina in 1999. General Jackson told
Clark that he wasn't “going to start World War III”
for him. Never mind that Clark had assured the Russians they
would have a peacekeeping role in Kosovo.
In Kosovo today, ethic cleansing continues.
Today, it is hundred of thousands of Orthodox Christians and
Roma who are being forced from their ancestral homes. As of
last week, over 100 Orthodox churches and monasteries, which
withstood the onslaught of both the Ottoman Empire and the Nazis,
have been heavily damaged or destroyed. Emboldened, the so called
Kosovo Liberation Army ("KLA"), has begun to destabilize
Macedonia. Maybe General Clark should explain why the KLA, listed
as a terrorist organization by the United States State Department
until the late 1990s, is now our ally.
One of the benefits of General Clark's candidacy
is that we will finally scrutinize the interventionist policies
of former President Clinton. We can examine the destruction
and instability those policies have wrought upon the Balkans.
Under General Clark’s leadership, ethnic cleansing was
allowed to continue and terrorists established a foot hold in
Europe. As a result, the United States is less secure. Is this
the resume we want our next President to have?
Mark Brnovich is a lawyer and writer. His views do not represent those of any organization.
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