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Balkan Failure is Clark's (Building anti-American anger) (May 1999)
Chicago-Sun Times ^ | May 6, 1999 | Robert Novak

Posted on 01/25/2004 4:54:47 PM PST by XHogPilot

Balkan failure is Clark's

Who is responsible for an air offensive that is building anti-American anger across Europe without breaking the Serbian regime's will? The blame rests heavily on Gen. Wesley Clark, the NATO supreme commander.

After 40 days, U.S.-dominated NATO air strikes no longer even pretend to aim solely at military targets. Pentagon sources admit that the attacks on the city center of Belgrade are intended to so demoralize ordinary citizens that they force President Slobodan Milosevic to yield. That has not yet happened, but diplomats believe the grave damage done to American prestige in Central and Eastern Europe will outlive this vicious little war.

"The problem is Wes Clark making--at least approving--the bombing decisions," said one such diplomat, who then asked rhetorically: "How could they let a man with such a lack of judgment be [supreme allied commander of Europe]?" Through dealings with Yugoslavia that date back to 1994, Clark's propensity for mistakes has kept him in trouble while he continued moving up the chain of command thanks to a patron in the Oval Office.

In the last month's American newspaper clippings, Clark emerges as the only heroic figure of a non-heroic war. Indeed, his resume is stirring: first in his class at West Point, Rhodes scholar, frequently wounded and highly decorated Vietnam combat veteran, White House fellow. He became a full general about as fast as possible in peacetime.

But members of Congress who visited Clark at his Brussels headquarters in the early days of the attack on Yugoslavia were startled by his off-the-record comments. If the Russians are going to sail war ships into the combat zone, we should bomb them. If Milosevic is getting oil from the Hungarian pipeline, we should bomb it.

NATO's actual air strategy did not go that far, but increasingly, it has reflected Clark's belligerence. Even the general's defenders in the national security establishment cannot understand the targeting of empty government buildings in Belgrade, including Milosevic's official residence. Civilian damage and casualties in Kosovo and elsewhere in Serbia are too widespread to be accidental.

Sources inside the U.S. high command say this week's disabling of Belgrade electrical power facilities was intended to destroy civilian morale. The Pentagon has announced NATO "area bombing" with "dumb" bombs carried by B-52s--clearly an anti-population tactic. In a highly limited war, Clark is using the methods of total war.

One American diplomat with experience in the Balkans, who asked that he not be quoted by name, told me that ground forces are needed and he is appalled by the bombing of civilian targets. "It has no military significance, and it is pointless--utterly pointless," he added. "But it has a terrible impact on us. This bombing in the heart of the Balkans is costing us."

That cost is viewed by State Department professionals as the product of Clark's deaf ear when it comes to diplomacy. His classic gaffe came in 1994 when he went off to meet Ratko Mladic, the brutal Bosnian Serb commander now sought as a war criminal, at his redoubt in Banja Luka. Mladic concluded their meeting by saying how much he admired Clark's three-star general cap. Impulsively, the American general exchanged hats with the notorious commander, who has been accused of ethnic cleansing, and even accepted Mladic's service revolver with an engraved message.

That escapade cost Victor Jackovich his job as U.S. ambassador to Bosnia. He was sacked partly for not exercising sufficient restraint on the mercurial Clark and for not preventing him from gallivanting off to Banja Luka. The sequel came at Belgrade a year later during the diplomacy leading to the Dayton peace conference. Milosevic, smiling broadly, humiliated Clark by returning his hat to him. That helps explain the general's intense personal animosity for the Yugoslav president.

Clark is the perfect model of a 1990s political four-star general. Clark's rapid promotions after Dayton--winning his fourth star to head the Panama-based Southern Command and then the jewel of his European post--were both opposed by the Pentagon brass. But Clark's fellow Arkansan in the White House named him anyway. The president and the general are collaborators in a failed strategy whose consequences cast a long shadow even if soon terminated by negotiation.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: New Hampshire
KEYWORDS: 2004; balkan; balkand; clark; kosovo; miserablefailure; nato; nh; novak; wesleyclark
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To: PhiKapMom
Clark is a smarmy little cretin!
61 posted on 01/26/2004 7:20:12 AM PST by blackie
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones; Destro; Honorary Serb; MarMema; FormerLib; The_Reader_David; spetznaz
We won the 1999 war against Serbia and we achieved its aim--sending its genocidal nazi President to prison in the Hague and freeing the people of Kosova from the threat of the kind of GENOCIDE they committed against the Muslims of Bosnia at Srebrenica.

Yes, that bad genocide that only produce 2,500 bodies in all "mass graves" and funny thing, half of them Serb and Roma...and since your friends the loveling Albanians take over, more then 5,000 peoples murdered or missing and new insurgency in Makedonia and stirrings of Greece. Yes and NATO only kill some 3,000 civilians too...oh but most Christians so your islamic handlers happy.

Shilling for Islam, the Ronly and Fusion soul mates.

62 posted on 01/26/2004 7:45:29 AM PST by RussianConservative (Xristos: the Light of the World)
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To: optimistically_conservative
Hmmm, let us try again:

"When I ordered our armed forces into combat, we had three clear goals: to enable the Kosovar people, to ethnically exterminate all Christians and Jews from area, to run drugs and slaves to prime markets in Europe and America. To allow islamic foothold and insurgency in Makedonia and to later in Greece. To show Islamics we fellow travellers. To put Russia's Yeltsin firmly in pocket with wallet. To make me master of planet....

63 posted on 01/26/2004 7:50:01 AM PST by RussianConservative (Xristos: the Light of the World)
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To: PhiKapMom
That was war where 60 year old train was said to move so fast that fighter pilot not have time to delock missile from train...and it does when film go x3 faster.
64 posted on 01/26/2004 7:51:33 AM PST by RussianConservative (Xristos: the Light of the World)
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To: PhiKapMom
Actually Vietcong not exist after Tet Offensive...then it is N. Vietnamese regular.
65 posted on 01/26/2004 7:52:40 AM PST by RussianConservative (Xristos: the Light of the World)
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To: Landru
You are so right! I know a lot of military that got out during those years. All you had to do was watch the Defense Budget Hearings before Senate Armed Services to know that Clinton had bought and paid for a lot of Generals that did stay. One exception was General Michael Ryan, USAF Chief of Staff. He didn't toe the Clinton line that the Air Force had enough money and Cohen or Shelton were unable to get him to stop telling the Senators the truth about lack of resources in the Air Force and why. Of course the why included Clinton's overseas trips that he never paid the Air Force for like that junket to Africa with all those people and all those C-17's to carry all the cargo.
66 posted on 01/26/2004 8:50:35 AM PST by PhiKapMom (AOII Mom -- Support Bush-Cheney '04)
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To: RussianConservative
At the time I never heard of political correctness but after seeing what you just wrote, I think it started then when they changed the name Viet Cong to N. Vietnamese regular. Wonder why it changed and who changed the name?
67 posted on 01/26/2004 8:52:12 AM PST by PhiKapMom (AOII Mom -- Support Bush-Cheney '04)
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To: XHogPilot
Ah yes.
Clark's *cough* "brilliant" bombing of civilians.
68 posted on 01/26/2004 9:55:13 AM PST by Darksheare (Surrender, then start your engines.)
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To: PhiKapMom
No, no , Vietcong seperate political organization then N. Vietnemes Communists...they fight for more or less same goal. Hoe Chimen force Vietcong into Tet Offensive because he know that while psychological victory, Vietcong become destroyed...he want this because he knew he will win war and did not want other political party existing.
69 posted on 01/26/2004 11:14:11 AM PST by RussianConservative (Xristos: the Light of the World)
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To: RussianConservative
Thanks for that info. I don't remember reading that anywhere.
70 posted on 01/26/2004 1:55:11 PM PST by PhiKapMom (AOII Mom -- Support Bush-Cheney '04)
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To: RussianConservative
There you go again, reading between the lines.
71 posted on 01/26/2004 1:57:26 PM PST by optimistically_conservative (Currently doctor shopping for my FR addiction)
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To: RussianConservative
RBJ is just coming down from his Sept. 11th celebration.
72 posted on 01/26/2004 6:31:01 PM PST by FormerLib (We'll fight the good fight until the very end!)
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To: PhiKapMom
Thanks for the ping...
a caller to the Hugh Hewitt Show told a good anecdote that could apply to Weasely Clark.
(the caller claimed to have served at the level of general in the military).
Here is my parapharse:

General A: How did General Confusion ever get to be a general? He's such a
moron and a loose cannon!
General B: OH! I KNOW how Confusion got to be a general all right!
The real question is how did Confusion get to be a lieutenant!?
73 posted on 01/26/2004 6:32:56 PM PST by VOA
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LOL!!!! I love it!
74 posted on 01/26/2004 6:44:15 PM PST by PhiKapMom (AOII Mom -- Support Bush-Cheney '04)
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To: XHogPilot
I didn't like him anyway. He wasn't right in the head.

Great work; Thanks!
75 posted on 01/26/2004 9:30:39 PM PST by moroz (Genesis 49:16-18)
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To: XHogPilot
Bumping for a later read. Thanks
76 posted on 01/26/2004 10:19:03 PM PST by Lady In Blue (Bush,Cheney,Rumsfeld,Rice-The A Team in '04)
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