October 01, 2003

19th Century Chess in DC

Talking Points Memo has an interview with Wesley Clark. Guess Clark sees the Bushco as a 19th Century flashback of sorts as well:

CLARK: But, in the odd kind of geopolitical chess board game this administration seemed to want to play, they seemed to assume that you could get your forces into Iraq, and, like a game of checkers, you could skip across the Middle East--plop, plop, plop--as though in some metaphysical sense, it was easier to come ashore up through the Euphrates and Tigris valleys into the heart of the Middle East and southwest Asia, and then cross into the mountains of Iraq--excuse me, of Iran--or pivot and go towards Syria. It was analytically, geometrically satisfying, even though those of us who understood the situation at the time said it made little sense. It was old-think. It was 19th century geostrategy--

TPM: So, the Great Game? A sort of a new version of the Great Game?

CLARK: It was the Great Game with modern equipment, and hypermodern risks. And, in reality, the problems with Osama bin Laden were not problems of states. They were problems of a supranational organization which alighted in states, used states, manipulated elements of states, but wasn't going to be contained and destroyed by attacking and replacing governments.

Posted by Abe at October 1, 2003 03:04 PM


i've been a Wes Clark fan for several months now, and this interview really illustrates why. Forget about policy for second (even though it appears as if Clark hits homeruns on all the important policy issues that matter), I would be happy just to have a president who could, you know, appear articulate and intelligent- and Wes Clark nails it.

I hear you, but I must say this quote put me off a bit:

"I worked in the South Bronx in 1966 for three or four weeks in the neighborhood youth corps as part of the Johnson administration's anti-poverty program. So I had seen urban poverty."

Not a totally damning statement, but it sounds an awful lot like he thinks those 3-4 weeks gave him some great insight. Shit they are better then no weeks for sure, but really...

yeah, that's definately not the quote I would pick to put on the back of the book, but...

when i look at alot of the complicated shit going on, both domestically and abroad- i WANT a brilliant ivy league grade golden boy sorting things out.He managed to actaully lead an international coaltion to *capture* the bad guy they were after AND he's a scholar that can teach economics? game on. :)

no doubt he's pretty impressive in some ways. I'm still taking a wait and see attitude on the candidates.

this is patched together from biographical entries on clark: graduated west point 1966 started rhodes scholar program August 1966.

So we can guess he graduated in May or June which means half his summer was spent in the South Bronx. Note also, he's 20 at this point (b 23 December 1945).

It's obvious from this action that he's a) aware of things going on around him as well as b) displaying an affinty for an ideal put forth by a democratic president. yes it's only about month but shit, what'd we all do the first month out of college?

Ryan, I'm all for the fact that he spent that time in the South Bronx. Its a good thing. The issue is the attitude though. That was almost 40 years ago, and it was a month. And he wields it like its some special experience that he should be commended for, like it gives him some great insight. It was 40 years ago...

The most damning charge against him so far is that he's arrogant and alienates people because of it. If he keeps up the attitude that a couple weeks in Bronx gives him special insight into urban poverty then he'll lose the support of some of the most ardent democratic voters around. Not a good thing. Still a minor point in an impressive interview. He'd have a good chance of getting my vote if I was a Democrat and the election tomorrow...

Frist, my point is he's got his head/actions outside of places like westpoint, in a similar way that lieberman had with king and mississippi. if he was working as a counseler in the littel rock boys club during the late 50's and early 60's...this is while in high school and during college.

Point taken and i agree he shouldn't use wield this around as his connection to urban black america...you're right about impressions and demenour: arragoance/fake sympathy are visiable to all. it’d be annoying like “see I did that, I filled my required time and energy on that ‘problem’, I can check that off my list of things to cover”... but clark's dropped it in one interview, so far.

apart from arragoance, what else bothers you about clark, as a non-democrat?

"apart from arragoance, what else bothers you about clark, as a non-democrat?"

I'd like to know more about how he's gotten the rep as being hated by many in the army. Beyond that I really am just concerned with how little info there is about him. There is very little to judge how he'd actually act as a president.