Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 20, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

SAUDI BASHING....Maybe this is non-news, but it's the first time I've seen it. Wesley Clark spent some time yesterday clarifying his position on the Iraq war which is what got the headlines but then said this after calling the war a "distraction":

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and to a lesser extent, Egypt, those are the central fronts in the war on terror.

Maybe this isn't a big deal, just the normal kind of rabble rousing that goes away after the election sort of the post-9/11 equivalent of the ritual China bashing that we used to get before every election. On the other hand, considering that all three of these countries are nominal allies, it seems a little provocative, doesn't it? I could imagine Michael Ledeen saying something pretty similar.

I guess the question is, what was his next sentence right after that? Unfortunately, Reuters doesn't tell us.

UPDATE: Oops, I wrote in haste. I certainly didn't mean to imply that Clark thinks we ought to invade these countries. Nothing in his history or his character suggests that. Still, it is provocative, and when he says something like this it inevitably makes me wonder what actions he's proposing. That's all.

UPDATE THE SECOND: Tung Yin, a law professor at the University of Iowa, attended Clark's speech and sat at the same table as Clark at a luncheon beforehand. He had a chance to talk pretty extensively with Clark during lunch and has a detailed report at his blog. Overall he came away impressed.

Kevin Drum 9:37 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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