Why do people want General Wes Clark to be president?
After I read the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal today, I'm not confused. They support him based on a complete misunderstanding of him and the role he played in, amoung other things, Kosovo.
The author of the piece in the Journal claims Clark was the heroic liberator of Kosovo and that peace descended on that troubled part of the world when NATO moved in. Wrong! Sure, Kosovo was freed from the Serbian-dominated government of Yugoslavia, but Clark nearly caused a needless confrontation with the Russians (after they outsmarted him by rolling rapidly down from Bosnia and taking over the airport) that British General Michael Jackson put a stop to. I think Jackson's words were to the effect that he was not going to "start World War III" for Clark.
Clark was surprised again when the Kosovar Albanians (KA's) flooded back into their homes following the cessation of hostilities. Surprised again by their anger toward the Kosovar Serbs (KS's) who remained behind. Surprised by the killings and reprisals wrought by the KA's.
The peace imposed in Kosovo is largely there because of a segregation of the KA's and KS's into geographic zones where they are kept apart by a surprisingly large number of NATO troops (including US troops who were supposed to be home by Christmas of 1999 or was it 2000?). As has happened in recent months, when given the chance, revenge killings will occur.
How can Clark be critical of the length of time it has taken to get Iraq on track when we still have forces in the Balkans...under his watch. What was his plan to have these troops withdraw and let the nation-builders take over?
Unbelievable. That's the gist of former JCS Chair Hugh Shelton's assessment of General Clark. I would think he was in a pretty good position to know.
So, to the WSJ guest columnist I can only suggest that he do some more research before singing these praises.