Monday, September 22

The Sliming Begins

The attack campaign against Gen. Wesley Clark began practically minutes after his announcement of candidacy. It's no secret that this is Karl Rove's M.O. - to find as many enemies Clark may have and sic them on the right wing propaganda machine.

As Joe Conason pointed out in Big Lies, the machine's heirarchy is to give the story to Drudge, Newsmax, the Freepers and the other bottom-feeders who then feed it to Fox, the Washington Times and NY Post who report it on their "legit" media. Then said bottom-feeders bang the drum loud enough that the other ("liberal") networks and newspapers are "ignoring" the story until they cave in and it becomes "news." See Drudge right now for his headline, "GENERAL CLARK WORE BOSNIAN WAR CRIMINAL'S MILITARY CAP!" for the latest spawn of this machine.

And since the White House has access to all of Clark's military records, we'll get accounts like this from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Jack Kelly - a former Marine who served in the Reagan administration:

Gen. Clark was CINCEUR when the Kosovo war began, and bears much of the responsibility for President Clinton's decision to try to bomb Serb dictator Slobodan Milosevic out of Kosovo. Gen. Clark argued that after a few days of bombing, Mr. Milosevic would fold his tent and slink away. When the Serbs didn't budge after months of bombing, Gen. Clark lost Mr. Clinton's favor.

As the war dragged on, Gen. Clark advocated the use of ground troops. This put him at loggerheads with Gen. Henry Shelton, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and with Gen. Eric Shinseki, chief of staff of the Army, who thought this was a terrible idea. These generals faulted Gen. Clark for getting America into an unnecessary war, and for having done a poor job of preparing for it.

"NATO did not expect a long war," wrote former Clinton national security aide Ivo Daalder. "Worse, it did not even prepare for the possibility."

The conduct of the war drew unprecedented criticism from Gen. Clark's predecessor, Gen. George Joulwan, and a quiet rebellion by subordinate commanders.