Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Wesley Clark: The New Anti-War Candidate?

--Hearing Clark talking to CNN's Paula Zahn (7/16/03), it would be understandable to think he was an opponent of the war. "From the beginning, I have had my doubts about this mission, Paula," he said. "And I have shared them previously on CNN." But a review of his statements before, during and after the war reveals that Clark has taken a range of positions-- from expressing doubts about diplomatic and military strategies early on, to celebrating the U.S. "victory" in a column declaring that George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair "should be proud of their resolve in the face of so much doubt" (London Times, 4/10/03)--

Clark is susceptible to the charge of being willing to follow his commander's lead, and of being pleased with success while it lasted. I would not expect much else. Strictly speaking, Dean is not anti-war either. Moreover no candidate willing to base a campaign along those lines stands a chance. The democratic nominee is going to have to run as someone who was lied to and betrayed, not as someone who says "I told you so." The American people, no matter how badly educated and irresponsible, can not be taught, but only led; and their leader has to be no more angry then they are. The democrats can win only if they play it right.

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