Friday, February 02, 2007

Wes Clark tells it like it is, and pays

Matthew Yglesias's insight into Wes Clark's recent foray into the delicate realm of criticizing Israel, Smears for Fears is a worthy read:
"Everything Clark said, in short, is true. What's more, everybody knows it's true. The worst that can truthfully be said about Clark is that he expressed himself in a slightly odd way. This, it seems clear, he did because it's a sensitive issue and he worried that if he spoke plainly he'd be accused of trafficking in anti-Semitism. So he spoke unclearly and, for his trouble, got … accused of trafficking in anti-Semitism."
What Clark said, according Ariana Huffington, about America attacking Iran, was:
"You just have to read what's in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers."
This is not anti-semitic. Why is any criticism of Israel (which has many nukes, in direct violation of many UN resolutions) considered anti-semitism? How are we ever going to get anywhere in the middle east unless Israel stops killing 10 for every one, stops building walls to support its apartheid, and goes so far as to call Jimmy Carter and Wes Clark anti-semites for trying to find solutions to huge problems that are caused, in part at least, by Israel.

Clark had a wonderful response for the likes of Jonah Goldberg and Michael Barone who are so afraid of a Clark presidency that they attack him over nothing. Clark sent this letter to Abraham H. Foxman of the Anti Defamation League:
Dear Mr. Foxman:

I really enjoyed our conversation yesterday and look forward to our continuing relationship.

As we discussed, I believe that the United States today finds itself in a pivotal position as we seek to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

We need to get our strategy right. Challenging the threat posed by Iran’s quest for regional hegemony and nuclear capabilities requires a multi-faceted strategy. There is still time for direct dialogue, and the United States should take the lead. There are no guarantees that such a dialogue would be successful; and the option to use force should not be taken off the table. It has been my experience that diplomacy has always been America’s most effective tool and that force should be used only as a last resort.

My position on Iran should not be misinterpreted, defined out of context or used to create conspiracy theories about one group’s influence on U.S. foreign policy. There is no place in these critical policy debates for Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that blame the Jewish community for the war in Iraq and for action against Iran.

A nuclear-armed Iran would pose a grave risk to the United States and our allies, including Israel.

I will not tolerate anti-Semitic conspiracy webs to permeate the honest debate Americans must have about how best to confront Iran.

I look forward to working with you and others in the American Jewish community to ensure that Iran does not become a nuclear threat to the United States, Israel, and our allies.

Wesley K. Clark
One thing's for sure. George Bush could never write a letter like that.

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