DATE: 9/19/2003 11:14:00 PM
Clark - Now that the General has announced, he's giving us a better idea of what he believes. Today he "clarified" (politicspeak for backtracked) on his comment that he would have probably voted to authorize the Iraq war. More interesting, though, were his comments to an audience in Iowa. During a speech at the University of Iowa, he said "I would have voted for the right kind of leverage to get a diplomatic solution, an international solution to the challenge of Saddam Hussein."
Setting aside the issue of exactly how one votes for leverage, this comment is an interesting one. What would an international solution have been for the 'challenge' of Saddam Hussein? What did the international community do to help end the oppressive regime and stop the brutal rule of Hussein? Well, there were sanctions, which were consistently broken by those in the international community. There were various and sundry Security Council resolutions, which were backed up by nothing more than Concerned Expressions on the part of diplomats. Kofi Annan once said "I can do business" with Saddam after negotiating an agreement that was quickly broken by the Iraqi dictator.
As Will Rogers once said, "Diplomacy is the art of saying 'nice doggy' until you can find a rock." Diplomacy should not be an excuse to tolerate evil, to sit idly by while dictators flaunt the international laws the UN claims to value. What General Clark ignores in his statement is that the international community he says we should have looked to for a solution was content to keep Hussein in power. I'm not saying the international community was okay with the torture chambers, mass graves and children's prisons, but they certainly did little to destroy the regime that made such atrocities a part of everyday life for the average Iraqi.