Zack: Hey CJ, instead of just regurgitating the GOP smears against Clark, why don't you try doing a little bit of independent research?
I assume that the Guardian then is a GOP smear paper against Clark?*
Now if you anyone wants an excellent read by the Guardian about how a General should behave they did a fine report on Tommy Franks. Back to Clark, that isn’t counting the numerous other Liberal sources that lashed out at Clark about his conduct. I seem to recall you often purporting The Guardian to be a very reputable source of information when it supports your arguments. Or are you now saying the Guardian might be prone to say exaggeration and false reporting of issues?
How about we look at what Counterpunch that bastion of nasty Republican conservatism says about Clark?
A Vain, Pompous, Brown-noser: Meet the Real Gen. Clark
"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.
While Clark's official Pentagon biography proclaims his triumph in "transitioning the Division into a rapidly deployable force" this officer describes the "1st Horse Division" as "easily the worst division I have ever seen in 25 years of doing this stuff."
Such strong reactions are common. A major in the 3rd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado when Clark was in command there in the early 1980s described him as a man who "regards each and every one of his subordinates as a potential threat to his career".
Clark's demeanor to those above is, of course, very different, a mode of behavior that has earned him rich dividends over the years. Thus, early in 1994, he was a candidate for promotion from two to three star general. Only one hurdle remained - a war game exercise known as the Battle Command Training Program in which Clark would have to maneuver his division against an opposing force. The commander of the opposing force, or "OPFOR" was known for the military skill with which he routinely demolished opponents.
But Clark's patrons on high were determined that no such humiliation should be visited on their favorite. Prior to the exercise therefore, strict orders came down that the battle should go Clark's way. Accordingly the OPFOR reduced in strength by half, thus enabling Clark, despite deploying tactics of signal ineptitude, to triumph. His third star came down a few weeks later.
I assume Clark for all his brilliance at his disposal can’t stand up to a Cav Regiment when he has an entire division. So instead he gets to play games against a battalion sized OPFOR. It might explain why in Kosovo we had such a hard time actually killing any enemy armor; you know those 100 or so tanks Clark claimed we killed when we had somewhere between 20 and 30 kills. Clark probably didn't know what hostile tanks were since he always arranged to win excercises.
Not only were his men using unconventional tactics, they were also humiliating Blue Force generals who might nurture resentment against the NTC commander and thus discommode his career at some future date. To the disgust of the junior OPFOR officers Clark therefore frequently fought to lose, sending his men on suicidal attacks in order that the Blue Forces should go home happy and owing debts of gratitude to their obliging foe.
Zack: You completely mischaracterized what happened at the Pristina airport based on one inflammatory quote from General Jackson, while not even mentioning the actual errors Clark made in the course of the campaign. Taking aggressive action to try and keep the Russians from undermining NATO's mission by carving up Kosovo into zones of control is pretty far from "trying to start WW3."
What is General Jackson’s position in the British chain of command right now? Somehow I think he would be the Chief of the General Staff if the British regarded his choice to disobey Clark as inflammatory. Instead we have Clark with his rear landing in the street after being kicked out of his command. You know that sounds like an excellent reward for his role in orchestrating the “successful” war.
In addition I have to ask. The Russians were allies in Kosovo right? Is it ever wise to take aggressive action against an ally in an uncontrolled situation that could easily turn into a shooting conflict? Especially when that ally happens to be the next most powerful country in the world. How were those British troops supposed to stop the Russians if they pressed the issue or if the Russians beat them to the airport? The reality of the situation is Clark lost his temper and screwed up bug time with General Jackson saving us from one very potentially nasty situation.
Zack: And your flippant comparison of Wesley Clark (someone who served his country with honor for three decades) to Stalin, one of history's worst mass murderers, is frankly a cheap shot and unworthy of you.
You mean by treating junior officers like potential rivals and trash? By not respecting the enlisted ranks who served under him? By endangering the national security of this nation by first compromising the OPFOR’s capability to win for political kissing up and then by weakening the OPFOR so he can win. What I see rather than a man seeking to serve his country with honor is someone seeking to do everything possible to serve his own purposes. I don’t see any assertion by myself of Clark being linked to Staling. My statement amounted to the fact that just because someone appears to get the job done doesn’t mean they are a capable leader.
Zack: Oh, and if you're still wondering where you suggested that Clark is some sort of monster, I'd point toward your "Strangelove" crack.
That was more in reference to Clark’s propensity toward blundering toward World War III. Next time I’ll play nicer and catch his bungling side by referring to him as General “Failsafe” Clark.
Edited by CJ AEGIS, 25 October 2003 - 10:02 AM.
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
-Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
- Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE