Wesley Clark: The Guy Who Almost Started World War III
by Stella Jatras
August 23, 2003

General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and Friend of Bill's (FOB) is considering a run for President of these United States. In an AP report of 29 June, former-President William Jefferson Clinton stated that Wesley Clark would make a fine president, if he ran. After all, what are friends for? There is also a grassroots campaign effort to "draft Wesley Clark" for president which states, "We believe America needs a new president. One who can be a voice for common sense and moderation in these dangerous, uncertain times. One with the unquestionable leadership and foreign policy credentials necessary to win in 2004. We believe that General Wesley Clark might just be – the one. That is why we are trying to convince him to seek the Democratic nomination for president."

Let us look at what kind of a president Wesley Clark would make according to CounterPunch of November 12, 1999, "The poster child for everything that is wrong with the GO (general officer) corps," exclaims one colonel, who has had occasion to observe Clark in action, citing, among other examples, his command of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood from 1992 to 1994.

"At the beginning of the Kosovo conflict, CounterPunch delved into the military career of General Wesley Clark and discovered that his meteoric rise through the ranks derived from the successful manipulation of appearances: faking the results of combat exercises, greasing to superiors and other practices common to the general officer corps. We correctly predicted that the unspinnable realities of a real war would cause him to become unhinged. Given that Clark attempted to bomb the CNN bureau in Belgrade and ordered the British General Michael Jackson to engage Russian troops in combat at the end of the war, we feel events amply vindicated our forecast.

"With the end of hostilities it has become clear even to Clark that most people, apart from some fanatical members of the war party in the White House and State Department, consider the general, as one Pentagon official puts it, 'a horse's ass.' Defense Secretary William Cohen is known to loathe him, and has seen to it that the Hammer of the Serbs will be relieved of the Nato command two months early."

This is the guy who received the Kosovo Campaign Medal after having been granted a waiver, although according to an article in Stars and Stripes (European addition), no one seems to know who granted the waiver in time for the general to get the first medal awarded. Even though he led the international alliance in its 78-day blitz against Yugoslavia, the waiver was necessary because General Clark's service did not meet the criteria for the award which required service in the actual theater of operation. It appears that Clark made no effort to secure similar waivers for the thousands of service personnel who supported the effort from bases outside the combat zone.

On 17 July 2001, General Wesley Clark was confronted in an often heated exchange by his critics at Border's book store where the general was promoting his book, Waging Modern War. Although one of the axioms of Clark's book is that, "A Political Problem Cannot be Solved by Military Force," what he practiced and advocated in Kosovo was just the opposite. When confronted with questions about the misuse of air power and grossly exaggerating the results as exposed in a Newsweek article titled Kosovo Cover-Up of 15 May 2000, targeting civilian targets as stated by Sen. Joe Lieberman, and consorting with KLA terrorists such as Hashim Thaci and Agim Ceku, General Clark's replies were always the same: the questioner was wrong, Sen. Lieberman was wrong, and Newsweek was wrong. "I went to the presentation very much opposed to everything Clark stood for, but it wasn't until I heard him speak and answer questions that I realized how dangerous a man like this is," writes Col. George Jatras, USAF (Ret).

'THE GUY WHO ALMOST STARTED WORLD WAR III'

In Waging Modern War, General Clark wrote about his fury upon learning that Russian peacekeepers had entered the airport at Pristina, Kosovo, before British or American forces. In the article "The guy who almost started World War III," (Aug. 3, 1999), The Guardian (U.K.) wrote, "No sooner are we told by Britain's top generals that the Russians played a crucial role in ending the West's war against Yugoslavia than we learn that if NATO's supreme commander, the American General Wesley Clark, had had his way, British paratroopers would have stormed Pristina airport, threatening to unleash the most frightening crisis with Moscow since the end of the Cold War."

"I'm not going to start the third world war for you," General Sir Mike Jackson, commander of the international KFOR peacekeeping force, is reported to have told Gen. Clark when he refused to accept an order to send assault troops to prevent Russian troops from taking over the airfield of Kosovo's provincial capital. The Times of London reported on 23 May 2001 in an article titled, "Kosovo clash of allied generals," that "General Sir Michael Jackson [was] told that he would have to resign if he refused to obey an order by the American commander of Nato's forces during the Kosovo war to stop the Russians from seizing control of Pristina airport in June 1999."

If General Clark had had his way, we might have gone to war with Russia, or at least resurrected vestiges of the Cold War and we certainly would have had hundreds if not thousands of casualties in an ill-conceived ground war

In his article titled, "A Long, Tough Job," which appeared in the Washington Post on 14 September, Clark writes, "And the American public will have to grasp and appreciate a new approach to warfare. Our objective should be neither revenge nor retaliation, though we will achieve both. Rather, we must systematically target and destroy the complex, interlocking network of international terrorism. The aim should be to attack not buildings and facilities but the people who have masterminded, coordinated, supported and executed these and other terrorist attacks.

"Our methods should rely first on domestic and international law, and the support and active participation of our friends and allies around the globe. Evidence must be collected, networks uncovered and a faceless threat given shape and identity."

"Rely on international law"? Clinton and his gangsters broke every international law on the books regarding Yugoslavia. "Evidence must be collected?" Evidence of what? The Serbs certainly did not have weapons of mass destruction; nor did they attack us first; nor were they ever a threat to us. His words ring hollow.

You can read "Wes" Clark's letter to the National Albanian American Council of 1 November 2002, in which he says, "Let's stay in touch." For an American general who was supposed to be impartial in a civil war, it is no secret that Clark is the Albanian lobby's fair-haired boy. And why not? He delivered Kosovo to them.

General Clark brags about the fact that not one solder was killed under his command. Even though the Serbs had every opportunity to kill American soldiers, I contend that the Serbs did not want Americans to die at their hands. This was illustrated when Sgt. Christopher Stone of Smiths Creek, Michigan, upon his release, left a note to his prison guards thanking them for treating him with "dignity and respect." The Pentagon declined to release a copy of Stone's note, but a copy was made available to The Associated Press (5 May 1999). The note ended with "Thank you, you are very kind" and "God help you."

Col. David Hackworth, in his 1999 commentary Defending America, wrote of Clark: Known by those who've served with him as the Ultimate Perfumed Prince, he's far more comfortable in a drawing room discussing political theories than hunkering down in the trenches where bullets fly and soldiers die.

Col. Jatras writes that "General Clark is the kind of general we saw too often during the Vietnam War and hoped never to see again in a position of responsibility for the lives of our GIs and the security of our nation. That it happened once again we can thank that other Rhodes scholar from Arkansas."

In this writer's judgement, what this guy is positioning himself for is the VP slot with Hillary running for President. It would be a marriage made in Hell...a Hell for all of us.

Knowing all the above, why would anyone want as president or VP a guy who was willing to start World War III for the sake of his own ego and self-importance?

comments on this article?

As a career military officer's wife, Stella Jatras has traveled widely and has lived in many foreign countries where she not only learned about other cultures but also became very knowledgeable regarding world affairs and world politics. Stella Jatras lived in Moscow for two years (where her husband, George, was the Senior Air Attaché), and while there, worked in the Political Section of the US Embassy. Stella has also lived in Germany, Greece and Saudi Arabia. Her travels took her to over twenty countries.

Previous article by Stella Jatras on Antiwar.com

Wesley Clark: The Guy Who Almost Started World War III
8/23/03

Behind Enemy Lines: Fact or Fiction?
5/14/02

The Crimes of the KLA: Who Will Pay?
3/14/02

The Case of the Invisible Trial, or, 'Where's the Beef?'
3/7/02

'Voices of Moral Obtuseness' or 'Voices of Immoral Bigotry'?
9/29/01

The Media's War Against the Serbs
1/15/01

If It's Good Enough for Serbia's Goose, Why Not for Croatia's Gander?
12/7/00

Srebrenica" Code Word to Silence Critics of US Policy in the Balkans
7/31/00

From Camp Swampy to Camp Bondsteell
4/6/00

Open Letter to General Michael Short
11/3/99

Back to Antiwar.com Home Page | Contact Us