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January 08, 2007

Wes Clark Challenges Bush on Iraq

Clark calls diplomacy the "smart surge" in a very timely opinion piece in the WAPO this morning.  Oh, what we would give to have the grown-ups, like Clark, in charge of foreign policy again!   Here's the nub of what Clark says about Bush's plan for a "surge":   

What the surge would do is put more American troops in harm's way, further undercut the morale of U.S. forces and risk further alienating elements of the Iraqi populace. American casualties would probably rise, at least temporarily, as more troops appeared on the streets -- as happened in the summer when a brigade from Alaska was extended and sent into Baghdad. And even if the increased troop presence initially frustrated the militias, it wouldn't be long before they found ways to work around the neighborhood searches and other obstacles, if they chose to continue the conflict.

Clark rightly blames Bush and his administration for feeding the regional instability and says the war will only spread unless we focus on diplomacy:

Well before the 2003 invasion, the Bush administration was sending signals that its intentions weren't limited to Iraq; "regime change" in Syria and Iran was often discussed in Washington. Small wonder then that both countries have worked continuously to feed the fighting in Iraq.

Dealing with meddling neighbors is an essential element of resolving the conflict in Iraq. But this requires more than border posts and threatening statements. The administration needs a new strategy for the region, before Iran gains nuclear capabilities. While the military option must remain on the table, America should take the lead with direct diplomacy to resolve the interrelated problems of Iran's push for regional hegemony and nuclear power, the struggle for control of Lebanon, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Isolating our adversaries hasn't worked.

Clark published a similar editorial in the UK newspaper, The Independent, yesterday.  Just as Pelosi, Reid, Waxman, Leahy and other Democratic leaders are signaling their willingness to take Bush on through Congressional actions, Clark is signaling his willingness to take Bush on around foreign policy and to do so publicly.  Yeah!

Hat tip to Tom Rinaldo, diarist at DailyKos

Posted by Lynn Allen on January 8, 2007 at 10:36 AM in National and International Politics, Policy | Permalink

Comments

I'm having a political parable published to undo all of Bush's support while proving that Clark is the best man to replace him.

You can access the file from my geocities page at clarkvsbush.com

It's set in the context of a teacher discussing with his adult students all the evidence that the Bush administration is as corrupt as they are incompetent. I took the liberty of writing in comedians and our favorite political commentators to play the students, so it's very funny despite how infuriating it is....and every day since I wrote the first draft Bush keeps making it more relevant than the day before. I've had Bush suppporters change their minds about him and had a WWII vet say, "You made me feel guilty for not paying attention to Clark in 04!"

And as "The Fighting Dem" just wrote to me today about it: "You have cleverly used the Liberal entertainers to drive home and teach the horrendous lesson that the policies of the Bush Administration have not only failed us time and time again, but have caused damage to the U.S. that will be hard to repair. I think that this is an absolute tribute to Wes, and that you are indeed, a TRUE fan of Wes Clark.
Thank you for sending this to me. I thoroughly enjoyed it."

Someone from Daily Kos wrote to me that she felt like she had PTSD from reading it. And I could go on about some of the accolades I've received for it; like the soldier I met online who told me a little while ago that he's halfway through it and wants to shake my hand. He said he's going to tell everyone he knows--including his military buddies--to read it immediately.

Posted by: Jay Foster | Jan 8, 2007 12:25:28 PM

WES NEEDS TO BE IN THE SOUTH CAROLINA DEBATE IN APRIL!

Posted by: DANIEL | Jan 8, 2007 7:07:58 PM

What most amazes me about the talk of a surge is what most amazed about the talk of an invasion in the first place: the mainstream media is acting as though this makes all the sense in the world.

There are a variety of reasons that Bush's policy is doomed to failure. Probably the simplest is that he has continually proven himself unwilling to admit that things have gone wrong and not even one of his string of failures has seemed to provoke him to question his worldview in the least. Surge? The man needs a surge of blood to his brain.

Posted by: Ron Davison | Jan 8, 2007 11:02:42 PM

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