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Wesley Clark: General Issues By: Lowell Ponte
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, August 25, 2003


                                     PONTEFICATIONS

"THE GUY MUST HAVE A BEDROOM AT CNN,” my wife would joke.  It seemed true, because at every hour of the day or night during the Iraq War, retired General Wesley K. Clark could be seen on the Cable News Network as a “military expert” criticizing the Bush Administration.

A quick victory in Iraq “was not going to happen,” he told viewers on March 25, shortly  before the quickest blitzkrieg victory of its size in military history occurred.  But his words doubtless brought comfort to the fans of a network slanted so far to the Left that the most asked question about its name is whether the “C” in CNN stands for Clinton, Castro or Communist News Network.

Expected to announce this week whether he will seek the Democratic Party’s 2004 Presidential nomination (most likely to position himself for its Vice Presidential slot), Clark disgusted the veteran host of CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Report.”

Dobbs banished Clark from his show because, as Mark Mazzetti and Paul Bedard of U.S. News & World Report reported, “the former NATO boss seemed to push his own political agenda rather than provide the straight military skinny.”

CNN nowadays is owned by AOL-Time-Warner, an entity that has already manufactured at least one President.  An obscure Southerner whose wealth and land were handed down from slave-owning ancestors, Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter was boosted to national stature by not one or two but FOUR cover stories in Time Magazine. 

By beaming General Clark’s face into America’s psyche 24 hours a day like a never-ending Clark infomercial, this media conglomerate’s CNN arm clearly aimed to make the 58-year-old boy raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, its next liberal puppet in the White House.

With Clark’s announcement days away, CNN has toned down its propaganda effort. (Or perhaps CNN has been reminded that when General Clark commanded NATO forces during the Kosovo conflict, he reportedly targeted the CNN bureau in Belgrade.)

“It’s interesting that a man who is not even a registered Democrat is being drafted by voters of a Democratic Party which already has nine candidates, including five sitting Senators and a former governor,” a Republican Party official told the London Telegraph. “What does that say about the desperation of the Democrats, even at this early stage?”

What it means, General Clark told the Telegraph, is that Democrats “have an enormous hunger for leadership. I think the Draft Clark movement is evidence that this hunger is still out there, despite the number of candidates in the race.”  The purportedly-independent “Draft Clark” campaign has already raised $550,000 for its non-candidate.

What this political party – generally perceived as weak on national security issues and patriotism in the midst of our War on Terrorism – desperately needs is a fig leaf to conceal its shortcomings.

The Democratic Party has not seriously courted a General for its ticket since 1952, when World War II Supreme Allied Commander Dwight David Eisenhower chose instead to seek the White House as a Republican.  (General Colin Powell was already a Republican and had denied any Oval Office aspirations by the time Democrats hinted that he might be considered for a place on their national ticket.)

But would the inclusion of General Clark be enough to create a winning Democratic ticket in 2004?  No, not if the American people learn who and what Wesley Clark really is.

Clark is a very peculiar man with facets to his personality, behavior and history that will seem creepy and frightening to people of both the Right and the Left.  To know him is not to love him.

So here’s an introduction to what you need to know about General Wesley K. Clark.

Born December 23, 1944, he spent most of his childhood in Little Rock, raised by his mother Veneta and stepfather Victor Clark. Only during his twenties, he says, did Wesley discover that the father who died suddenly of a heart attack at age 51 when he was five was Jewish – and that his own middle name Kanne was that of his father Benjamin Jacob Kanne.

[Another Democratic Presidential hopeful, Roman Catholic Sen. John Forbes Kerry of Massachusetts, recently told voters that his ancestry was not Irish, as voters had been misled to believe, but was Jewish. Including Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D.-Conn.), Democrats thus could field three ancestrally “Jewish” candidates for President.]

(Wesley’s grandfather’s name had been Jacob Nemerovsky when he fled from Russian pogroms in the 1890s to Switzerland, where he obtained a false passport with the family name Kanne with which he immigrated to the United States.)

General Wesley Clark speaks fluent Russian and could become the first American President to do so.  Why he has not boasted of this in campaigning for Leftist Democratic support is a mystery.

His father Benjamin was an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Chicago, a Fourth Ward candidate for office, and a local Democratic activist.  After his death, Wesley’s mother and her son – like Hillary Clinton – moved from Illinois to Arkansas.

Wesley was raised a Southern Baptist, not a Jew, after that move. But after graduating first in his class from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1966 and studies in England, Wesley commanded a mechanized infantry company in Vietnam, was wounded four times but was awarded one Purple Heart, and won the Silver Star and two Bronze Stars.  While in Vietnam he converted to Roman Catholicism.

Like Bill Clinton, Wesley was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. While Clinton spent his time in sexual dalliances (and one alleged rape) and leading anti-American demonstrations in Europe and visiting the Kremlin in the dead of winter by special invitation, Clark was more studious. In August 1968 he emerged with a Master’s Degree in philosophy, politics and economics. 

The Rhodes Scholarships had been set up by British imperialist Cecil Rhodes to educate the brightest American youngsters in England, a once-secret codicil in his will made clear, so that they would go home and help bring America back under the political sway of the British Empire.

Wesley Clark’s career in the U.S. military was solid but not stellar. It included a variety of backwater assignments as well as one high point, White House Fellow 1975-76.

But an unexpected bolt from the blue suddenly ignited Clark’s life, turning mediocrity into a skyrocket ride that could yet land him in the Oval Office.  He was named Commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, III Corps, at sweltering Fort Hood southwest of Waco, Texas.

On a late winter day in 1993, Texas Governor Ann Richards suddenly called the base, later meeting with Clark’s Number Two to discuss an urgent matter.  Crazies at a Waco compound had killed Federal agents.  If newly-sworn-in President Bill Clinton signed a waiver setting aside the Posse Comitatus Act, which generally prohibits the military from using its arms against American citizens within our borders, could Fort Hood supply tanks and other equipment?

Clinton did. Wesley Clark’s command at Fort Hood “lent” 17 pieces of armor and 15 active service personnel under his command to the Waco Branch Davidian operation. It is absolute fact that the military equipment used by the government at Waco came from Fort Hood and Clark’s command. 

The only issue debated by experts is whether Clark was at Waco in person to help direct the assault against the church compound in a scene remarkably similar to the incineration of villagers in a church by the British in Mel Gibson’s movie “The Patriot.”

What happened at Waco was the death, mostly by fire, of at least 82 men, women and children, including two babies who died after being “fire aborted” from the dying bodies of their pregnant mothers.

Planning for this final assault involved a meeting between Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno and two military officers who developed the tactical plan used but who have never been identified. 

Some evidence and analysis suggests that Wesley Clark was one of these two who devised what happened at Waco. 

As Leftist journalists Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair noted, the ruthless tactics and attitude on display at Waco are strikingly similar to those Clark has used on other battlefields in his career.

Odd, isn’t it, that the Leftist establishment press has told you nothing about the connection between General Wesley Clark and Waco – or what happened to him immediately after the service he rendered the Clintons at Waco?

Immediately after Waco, Wesley Clark’s flat career began an incredible meteoric rise.

In April 1994 he was promoted to Director of Strategic Plans and Policy for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

In June 1996 Clark was named Commander in Chief of the U.S. Southern Command in Panama and put in charge of most U.S. forces in all of Latin America and the Caribbean. 

In June 1997 President Clinton appointed him Commander in Chief of the United States European Command and SACEUR, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, in command of the forces of NATO, a position Clark would hold until May 2000.

As SACEUR General Wesley Clark would collect a truckload of honors. He would also prosecute Clinton’s war siding with Muslim Kosovars against Serbian Christians in the Balkans.

This war was largely fought from high altitude aircraft to minimize American casualties, an approach that increased civilian casualties on the ground.  Clark soon acquired a reputation as someone who lied about such casualties, lies reported even by Time Magazine.

Democrats who support Howard Dean or Dennis Kucinich for their anti-war stance should know that when Russians landed and took over one provincial airport in the region, General Clark commanded British forces to attack the Russians.  British General Sir Mike Jackson reportedly refused, saying: “I’m not going to start the Third World War for you!”

Would peacenik Democrats really want General Wesley Clark, with a reputation for brutal and erratic behavior, one of those behind the events at Waco, to be only a heartbeat away from having his finger on the nuclear button?  If he were Vice President, how safe would a liberal President be from attacks by fanatic former combat veterans?  Can you take the risk of electing General Clark as your Vice President?

And then there is the underside of the Clark family with its faint whiff of disreputability. His son Wesley Clark, Jr., exaggerated his Hollywood credentials (he apparently worked briefly with Danny DeVito’s production company) to get a lucrative contract from the Bosnian government to make an epic film about the siege of Sarajevo.

Much money was funneled into Wesley, Jr.’s, bank account for that film, but little of quality was produced. The situation apparently never quite crossed the line into clear illegality – like former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s son admitting that he drove the getaway car in a burglary. But the Bosnian government at the very least got badly shortchanged by Clark’s misrepresentation.  Like father, like son?

“Known by those who’ve served with him as the ‘Ultimate Perfumed Prince,’” writes veteran military combat soldier and journalist Col. David Hackworth about Gen. Wesley Clark, “he’s far more comfortable in a drawing room discussing political theories than hunkering down in the trenches where bullets fly and soldiers die.”

Clark’s nickname among soldiers under his command reportedly was “the Supreme Being.”  And that was when Clark was only a general or even lower-ranking officer.  What would he expect us to call him if he became Commander-in-Chief? 

If he announces his formal candidacy this week, we should all begin reading Wesley Clark’s 2001 book Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat.  America should get ready for many more Wacos, many more lies, and megatons of megalomania – all of this fully endorsed and praised by Bill and Hillary Clinton, the power patrons who made General Wesley Clark what he is today. 

Perhaps even CNN soon will start calling itself the Clark News Network.

Mr. Ponte co-hosts a national radio talk show Monday through Friday 6-8 PM Eastern Time (3-5 PM Pacific Time) on the Genesis Communications Network. Internet Audio worldwide is at GCNlive .com. The show's live call-in number is 1-800-259-9231. A professional speaker, he is a former Roving Editor for Reader's Digest.


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