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Who is General Wesley Clark?

During an appearance on C-SPAN?s Washington Journal program to discuss the U.S. war on Yugoslavia, veteran New York Times correspondent David Binder was asked who in the Clinton Administration was pushing American involvement in the civil war in Kosovo. He named Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Ambassador to the U.N.-designee Richard Holbrooke, and a few others. Asked who in the Pentagon opposed it, he replied, “Virtually the entire Pentagon except for Wesley Clark.” Who is General Wesley Clark? His official title is Supreme Allied Commander for NATO in Europe. He has been on several television programs defending the Clinton policy. But why was he so eager to endorse that policy? None of the biographies we?ve seen in the media have mentioned, in the words of commentator David Hackworth, that he happens to be “Clinton?s Arkansas buddy.”

The BBC offered one bio of Clark that came close to the truth. It declared, “The American at the helm of the NATO attack is a contemporary of U.S. President Bill Clinton – they both grew up in Little Rock in Arkansas and went on to become Rhodes scholars at Oxford University.”

U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke provides confirmation of their relationship in his own book on the war in Bosnia. He describes Clark this way: “A West Pointer, a Rhodes scholar from Arkansas, and a Vietnam veteran, he had been one of the fastest rising officers in the United States Army – the youngest brigadier general at the time he got his first star. He had a personal relationship, although not close, with another Rhodes scholar from Arkansas who was now our commander in Chief.”

That phrase about the “personal relationship” with Clinton not being close is rather curious. Perhaps it was designed to protect Clark from charges that he?s really too close to Clinton. One can imagine that such a relationship with a military draft evader like Bill Clinton wouldn?t go down well in the Pentagon. In any case, Clark, who was a member of the negotiating team that supposedly ended the war in Bosnia, is featured throughout Holbrooke?s book. All of this matters because Clark played a key role in negotiating the agreement that supposedly ended the fighting in Bosnia, and the agreement was signed with Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic, who is now the bad guy.

There are still 32,000 foreign troops in Bosnia, including about 6,900 American soldiers. They are imposing what amounts to a dictatorship on the people, especially the Serbs. When the Serb part of Bosnia elected a politician that the Western powers didn?t like, he was simply fired by the international bureaucrat who manages this new nation-state. This bureaucrat has unilaterally designed the Bosnian currency and national flag and is now working on their national anthem. Gary Dempsey of the Cato Institute says this kind of heavy-handed pressure is increasingly being used to force Bosnian Serbs, Croats and Muslims to live under the fiction of one government. He calls the agreement an expensive and futile nation-building operation of unknown duration. Clinton and his friend, General Wesley Clark, deserve a major part of the blame for this.