There is little chance of Israel bombing Iran because sanctions and other measures put in place by the international community will be enough to contain the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions, former four-star general Wesley Clark tells Newsmax.
And in any case, President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is in such deep domestic trouble that his own people could be the ones who turf him out, Clark predicted.
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Clark — who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and is a firm supporter of President Barack Obama — also said Republicans are crying foul over the threat of military cuts under sequestration plans and defended the president’s comment that the murder of U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya was “a bump in the road.”
Clark spoke exclusively to Newsmax.TV in New York where he was attending the Clinton Global Initiative.
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He said he does not believe Israel will strike Iran. “Other measures will be brought to bear by the international community against Iran,” he said. “I mean tougher sanctions and other measures. Everything’s on the table.
“President Obama said he’s going to do everything that’s required. They will not get a nuclear weapon,” Clark predicted.
He also said imposing a no-fly zone over Syria in an attempt to wear down the Assad regime would also not be effective. Instead he said the response should be “to try to seal off the conflict from Iranian weapons and also to take care of the refugees and to provide humanitarian assistance and political development assistance for the Syrian opposition.”
Clark was NATO’s Supreme Commander Europe from 1997 to 2000 and led the allied forces in the Kosovo War in 1998 and 1999. After his retirement from the military he became active in Democratic politics. He won the party’s Oklahoma primary in 2004 but dropped out of the race soon after.
He told Newsmax the defense cuts of more than $50 billion, due in January under sequestration are “highly unlikely to kick in.”
“They were put there as a sort of unimaginable, awful consequence if there’s no agreement. They were designed to generate the agreement.
“In other words, they were to be so awful in contemplation that the Republicans and Democrats would have to agree, the Democrats because this cuts primarily the social side, the Republicans . . . on the military side.
“Now, the Republicans are out saying, ‘Well, the president did this,’ “ he added. “The President didn’t do this. The president set up an agreement for $4
All Americans celebrate the news that we have been waiting to hear for over nine and a half years: Osama Bin Laden is dead. The operation that resulted in his demise is a credit to the prowess and professionalism of the men and women in our military, and our intelligence and law enforcement agencies. All Americans — and the world — owe them a huge debt of gratitude.
Bin Laden’s death does not end the threat posed by al Qaeda and its affiliates, but it goes a long way toward delivering justice for the victims of the 9/11 attacks, and al Qaeda’s other acts of terrorism. Importantly, the operation appears to bear resemblance to earlier operations that captured the 9/11 plotters Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh. The details should remind us that some of the most effective counterterrorism techniques do not rely on tens of thousands of troops stationed indefinitely in distant lands.
It is now clear that unrelenting pressure has severely weakened al Qaeda. Its capacity to harm Americans has been degraded for years, and yet we continue to dedicate tens of billions of dollars to combating terrorism in all forms. Here’s hoping that this evening’s welcome news contributes to an evolution of U.S. counterterrorism strategy that avoids costly and counterproductive policies, and that, going forward, we will always balance our efforts to advance American security with the need to preserve our essential rights and liberties.
Conservativecurmudgeon concludes that the only reason George H. W. Bush ushered in the Persian Gulf War was for oil. What is remarkably enlightening about this conclusion is that this war could not have protected the oil in Southwest Asia. There really is no way that the United States can go to war over oil alone in countries it has no control over. Since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait because he had an old dispute over the boundary line with Kuwait over oil, he threatened many nations, including the United States. If Hussein takes Kuwait, he would then take Saudi Arabia, an easier occupation than Iran. Many other countries have interests in these Southwest Asian countries, and the potential use of chemical weapons created alarm. Bush inspired and formed allying countries to free Kuwait, and then Saudi Arabia. Even if Bush wanted to fight over oil, it would have taken many more American lives to do so. Oil was not the aim in hindsight, and Bush didn’t want to waste lives. The corollary aim was to save as many lives as possible and this is consistent with Republican politics as Republicans don’t really want war and don’t really want to send Americans into battle. In history, it’s the Democrats who send Americans into battle, worry about politics at home, and abandon victory for Americans in battle.
For the Islāmic fundamentalists, one never knows what side they join according to the Southwestern Asian political situation. It would be great, indeed, for them to wish Saddam Hussein had invaded Saudi Arabia. Although Iran was steeping in change toward an Islāmic government, Iran wasn’t quite ready to attempt an overthrow of the King in Saudi Arabia. So, why not join the Hussein bandwagon? All Islāmic fundamentalists consider Saudi Arabia the collateral damage, because of the cities of Mecca and Medina, where Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh the Prophet of God founded Islam. It will always be in the Islāmic fundamentalists interest to offend first an illusory target to capture what looks like collateral damage – Saudi Arabia, the main target. What Bush did was stop that whole process. Since the Democrats have come into power, there really is no foreign policy with regard to Southwest Asia that makes sense in terms of seeing the true aims of Islāmic fundamentalists.
It looks like 2/11/11 will go down in history with 11/9/89, not 6/4/89. 6/4/89 is when the Chinese military obeyed orders to massacre protesters in Tiananmen Square; 11/9/89 is when East German leaders announced the opening of the Berlin Wall and declined to order border guards to shoot the Berliners who began dismantling the barrier that had stood for 28 years.
On 2/11/11, last Friday, as the Egyptian military remained unwilling to fire on the crowds jamming Tahrir Square, Hosni Mubarak resigned after nearly 30 years as president. When people take to the streets in great numbers, authoritarian and dictatorial regimes can only survive if the police or military are willing to shoot.
They didn’t shoot in Cairo. Instead, cable news showed them shaking hands with the protesters. Military leaders issued statements saying they would address the grievances of the protesters and suggesting that they would transition to democratic elections.
Most Americans cannot help but rejoice to see a distasteful authoritarian regime toppled. The spectacle of masses of people rejoicing at the prospect of freedom and democracy can’t help but be heartening.
But on reflection most of us would probably prefer to have seen a victory of people power in Tehran or Pyongyang than in Cairo. Mubarak’s Egypt was an ally of the United States, at least somewhat helpful in our own efforts in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East, and a nation at peace, albeit a cold peace, with Israel.
In contrast, the mullah regime in Iran is developing nuclear weapons to threaten Israel and other American allies within missile range. King Jong Il’s criminal regime has nuclear weapons and has committed at least two acts of war in recent months against democratic South Korea.
The people of Iran did take to the streets in opposition to the mullahs’ election-rigging in June 2009. But Barack Obama and his administration gave a cold shoulder to this green movement, and there was no regime change.
The danger now is that 2/11/11 will have an outcome like that of 2/11/79, the day of the fall of the Shah of Iran. The eventual result of that people power revolution was the victory of the ruthless mullahs and the installation of an anti-democratic, anti-American regime still in power 32 years later.
Barack Obama has declared that all opposition groups should have representation in the next Egyptian government, which essentially ensures that the Muslim Brotherhood will be part of that government. The Brotherhood is the largest opposition group in Egypt, so it will probably end up in the driver’s seat in any new regime, and steer Egypt toward becoming an Islamic state inveterately hostile to the United States.
So why isn’t Obama working to limit the Brotherhood’s scope and influence? Maybe because he doesn’t really have a problem with the Brotherhood, despite its hostility to America. He made sure to invite Brotherhood leaders to attend his notorious speech to the Islamic world in Cairo, Egypt, in June 4, 2009. Starting in the earliest days of his administration, he showed an intense desire to establish friendly ties with Brotherhood-linked organizations—despite the Brotherhood’s stated goal of “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.”
Obama first reached out to the Brotherhood when he chose the leader of a Muslim Brotherhood-linked group that had been named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case to give a prayer during his inauguration ceremonies. Ingrid Mattson, then-president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), offered this prayer at the National Cathedral on Obama’s Inauguration Day—despite the fact that the ISNA has admitted its ties to the Brotherhood. The previous summer, federal prosecutors rejected a request from the ISNA to remove its unindicted co-conspirator status.