Monday, March 05, 2007

Clark's interview on Democracy Now!

This is a short review of some of what Clark said on Democracy Now! program this past Friday.

There are some areas where Clark is right – like in repealing the Military Commissions Act, in shutting down Guantanamo Bay. And, while I don’t think the bush/cheney administration is planning on bombing Iran, it does not hurt to have a petition calling for no war on that country, which I signed.

However, I do think the threats and posturing towards Iran by bush/cheney is part of a larger plan – to get the entire region fighting each other, and thereby make them weaker. Making them weaker means it will be easier to control the resources of the region (and you know what that is) and insure American corporations have that oil for their own expansionism. In prior wars, armies invaded and conquered other countries to attain land for food production for their home population. Today, wars are being fought to attain control over energy resources, for the benefit of some of the home population. This is why we have 170 bases around the world – not that we are in need of them for our safety and defense.

On to Clark’s interview earlier this week and what I see is wrong with his position to continue the war on Iraq.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think Congress should stop funding the war?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: I think Congress should take a strong stand to get the strategy changed. I don't think that if you cut off funding for the war, it’s in the -- right now that's not in the United States' interest. What is in the United States’ interest is to change the strategy in the war. You cannot succeed by simply stopping the funding and saying, “You've got six months to get the Americans out.” That's not going to end the misery in Iraq. It's not going to restore the lives that have been lost. And it's not going to give us the power in the region to prevent later threats.

First off, NOTHING is going to restore the lives that have been “lost” as he said. That is because these lives are not “lost” they are ENDED. They are DEAD. And to say that we should stay in Iraq because leaving will not end the misery is a fallacious argument. The occupation of Iraq is the source of a great deal of the misery. Dismantling a functioning government and letting chaos rule is what lead to this misery. And associating Iraq with “future threats” leads justification to prior COMPLETELY FALSE claims that Iraq was a threat to the US in 2003 when we invaded.

He mentions that cutting the funding is “not in the United States interest” without any mention of what might be in the best interests of Iraq. Does not even figure into his consideration. It is like they don’t exist! So, he thinks the funding, and therefore the illegal and immoral occupation of this country that never attacked or threatened the USA, should continue. And the killing and dying should continue. Recently, the US forces were shelling civilian areas in Baghdad. Yet Clark believes that because it is the American military there in Iraq, the Iraqi people must somehow be benefiting – and never mind the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And since “we don’t do body counts” then there is no reason to notice all the dead Iraqis, which number somewhere between 400,000 to a million. And the killing is not slowing down, it is increasing.

Well, he does think the Congress should take a strong stand to change the strategy. No mention of how they might make bush/cheney follow such a strategy – they sure did not listen to the Iraq Study Group, did they? But, assuming that Congress could force the bush/cheney administration could change the strategy, he’s what he proposes:

CLARK: What we do have to do is have a strategy that uses all the elements of America's power: diplomatic, economic, legal and military. I would send a high-level diplomatic team into the region right now. I’d have no-holds-barred and no-preconditioned discussion with Iran and Syria. And I would let it be known that I’ve got in my bag all the tricks, including putting another 50,000 troops in Iraq and pulling all 150,000 troops out. And we're going to reach an agreement on a statement of principles that brings stability and peace and order to the region. So let's just sit down and start doing it. Now, that could be done with the right administrative leadership. It just hasn't been done.

And it won’t be done either, but let’s pretend it will. What’s wrong with this picture? Clark wants to discuss things with Iran and Syria to bring stability and peace and order to the region. No mention of Iraq. No mention of Saudi Arabia – where most of the foreign resistance has come from. No mention of all the other countries in the region that are impacting on this situation, and no mention of the area-wide hatred for the way the Israeli-Palestinian issues have been handled by the US.

And when looking at the statement above about the strategy needed – and his prior comment about “giving us power in the region to prevent future threats” I have the suspicion that he is fully on board with bush/cheney’s plan for American expansionism – that is, control of the oil resources in the region. It’s like they all got together up there in DC and decide that we are such special people that we are actually own all that oil underneath their sand! The only “threat” from the region, with the exception of terrorism, is the “threat” of them not selling us their oil at the price we like or maybe, not sell it at all. But the fact is we have no rights or claims to that oil. NONE! It is not ours! And as far as the terrorism threat goes – well, that got started by the US setting up bases in Saudi Arabia, which really pissed off our former ‘friends’ known as al Qaeda. Of course, our stand on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was another excuse for terrorism.

Discussing what would happen if the US pulls out:

CLARK: But when you leave, the Saudis have got to find someone to fight the Shias. Who are they going to find? Al-Qaeda, because the groups of Sunnis who would be extremists and willing to fight would probably be the groups connected to al-Qaeda. So one of the weird inconsistencies in this is that were we to get out early, we’d be intensifying the threat against us of a super powerful Sunni extremist group, which was now legitimated by overt Saudi funding in an effort to hang onto a toehold inside Iraq and block Iranian expansionism.

This is exactly what bush/cheney is doing right now – funding and arming extremist Sunni groups in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. (Oh, and they are arming and funding Fatwa too.) The US taxpayer is, once again, funding and arming groups that hate us. And that fits into bush/cheney’s overall goals: mass fighting and chaos and violence across the Middle Eastern countries. The general idea is “let’s you and him fight” all across the region – this serves two purposes: 1) weaken those countries, just like they weaken Iraq before invading and occupying it and 2) cook up a reason for US troops to stay there – and thereby maintain control over the expansionist goal of controlling the oil.

And Clark is wrong to think that pulling out will intensify the threat of a Sunni extremist group – it is actually the opposite. After all, if the occupation of a Islamic country (Palestine) by an ally (Israel) pissed them off, what would an occupation of an Islamic country (Iraq) by OURSELVES accomplish? That’s right – they will hate us even more. With every bomb we drop that kills an innocent Muslim, that hatred grows. With every home search, with every detention of a Muslim man that broke no laws, with every checkpoint shooting – they hate us more and wish to strike us even more.

It is our occupation of Iraq that is increasing terrorism world wide in the past few years. And the al Qaeda terrorists state this time and time again, but we don't need them to tell us.

Clark is right that there is more and more threat of a conflict between Saudi Arabia (and other Arab states) and Iran. But bush/cheney and their policies are only making this worse, and that is not an accidental outcome. They are doing it on purpose, just like they launched the “roadmap to peace” to promote more friction in the country of Palestine. And they are doing it for American expansionism which what we really need to worry about - not Iranian expansionism. And there are two responses to expansionism - capitulate or flight. Guess which one the people of Iraq are choosing?

Finally:

CLARK: (regarding an invasion of Haiti in 1994) And so, Shali came back, and so I said to him, I said, “Well, sir, we've been talking amongst ourselves, and we're happy to work all weekend to get all this done, but this is just a drill, right, on Haiti?”

He looked at me, and he said, “Wes,” he said, “this is no drill.” He said, “I’m not authorized to tell you this. But,” he said “the decision has been made, and the United States will invade Haiti. The date is the 20th” -- I think it was this date -- “of the 20th of September. And the planning must be done, and it must be done now. And if any of you have reservations about this, this is the time to leave.” So I looked at Jack, and I looked at Walt. They looked at me. I mean, we kind of shrugged our shoulders and said, “OK, if you want to invade Haiti, I mean, it's not illegal. It's not the country we'd most like to invade. The opposition there consists of five armored vehicles. But sure, I mean, if the President says to do it, yeah, we're not going resign over it.” And so, we didn't resign. Nobody resigned.

I find his casual acceptance of an order to invade another country that was not a threat to the USA, much less attacked our country, to be appalling.

We do not have 170 military bases around the world for the benefit of the world’s people or for our own safety and defense. We have them to control other countries and resources. We have them to promote expansionism that the bush/cheney and the PNAC paper spells out so well. This concept of American “expansionsim” must be stopped.

1 comment:

johnx said...

Clack mentioned he felt bad that he bombed a little girl and the grandfather wanted to kill him.

Clark "felt bad about it".

Not bad enough to change his murderous ways.