Friday, August 15, 2003

Candidate Clark?

Clark seems to be taking aim at the presidency. BTW, compare this transcript to any Bush transcript that is not derived from a script. ANY transcript.

Excerpted from the recent Newseek interview:

Let’s go back to Iraq. You’ve also been openly critical about the Bush administration’s handling of operations there. How would you have done things differently?

In the first place, I think you have to go back to the logic of why we went. The administration’s case was, to put it mildly, weak. A.) The Iraqi threat to the U.S. wasn’t significant; B.) there were other ways to work the issue, and C.) the threat wasn’t imminent—at least, in so far as any evidence anyone has been able to present has established.

I thought it was a problem to be dealt with in parallel with the war on terror, with its own pace and timing and to be worked on through the United Nations and other nations, rather than as the centerpiece in the war on terror. We’re there now and the principal connection with terrorism we’ve found is that terrorists are coming in to attack us.

Would you have given the United Nations more of a role in the rebuilding efforts as well?

I would have gone to the U.N. long ago. I would never have undertaken this operation without a full postconflict plan in place that was approved, resourced, agreed to and signed up and committed to by all members of the U.N. Security Council. We did this in Kosovo. We know how to do this.

Many see you as a strong candidate in part because of your military record. But you don’t have a lot of political experience. How would you overcome that if you were to run?

It would depend on how you define political experience. My political experience is in dealing with governments. I dealt with 19 governments in NATO and 20-odd governments that were part of NATO’s Partnership for Peace. I worked with ambassadors and ministers of foreign affairs and ministers of defense and, in some cases, heads of state, in Latin America and Europe and parts of Africa. I dealt extensively with the U.S. Congress, as well as, in some cases, local authorities here and in Europe. You could say that it is a true fact that I have not stood for elective office, but I have held high positions of authority and dealt extensively at the political and diplomatic levels with major issues.

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