Clark’s “New Course” On Iraq

Wesley Clark has a piece on his strategy for winning in Iraq in The Boston Globe. Surprisingly enough, most of it is very sensible advice. However, it’s hardly a new course, just a few minort tweaks to the course we’re on.

The only point I take issue with is his first point. Clark still stubbornly believes that those nations who have already refused to take part in Iraq can be cajoled into doing so. All it takes is a cursory reading of Le Monde or Die Zeit to see that our European “allies” are not neutral in this conflict – they’re rooting for the enemy. The editorial cartoons in French newspapers like Le Monde run editorial cartoons like this:


The caption reads "Bravo! The first pipeline from Baghdad to Texas! — To ship back the bodies of our Boys!"

This sort of attitude is common in the European Press – celebrating the deaths of Americans and making Iraq look like Vietname – except worse. While the rate of casualties in Iraq is not good, it’s not even remotely comparable to Vietnam in which an average of 40 US troops died per day.

It’s this sort of attitude that prevents the Europeans from being any kind of fair arbiter in Iraq. They have every political reason to see the United States fail, even if it means anarchy in Iraq. They see the United States as being a bigger threat to world peace than al-Qaeda. Asking a nation with such an opinion to be in charge of fixing Iraq would be a critical mistake that cannot be afforded.

In the end, some of Clark’s suggestions about better intelligence and different troop strengths are valid and should be followed up upon. However, his suggestion about allowing Paris or Berlin to have any degree of influence on Baghdad or Mosul is a recipe for disaster.

8 thoughts on “Clark’s “New Course” On Iraq

  1. Why is it surprising that Wes Clark has a good strategy for winning in Iraq? He has done this kind of thing before.

  2. I think the translation is actually “Bravo! The first pipeline from Iraq to Texas!–To bring the boys back home.” “Corps” is the French term for troops, as in “Esprit des Corps.” You may still find it distasteful, but at least give them credit for getting in a good pun concerning old war songs.

  3. no, Jay was actually right in his translation. “corps” means “corpse”.
    But there is another point where I think he’s not right: the origin of the cartoon.
    Could you please confirm that this is from Le Monde? According to me, this is more likely to be from “le canard enchainé” or something, the kind of leftwing newspaper (communist=2% of electorate) that is supposed to be funny, but is not.

    Jay, are you out of your mind? how can you write something like:”European Press celebrating the deaths of Americans “???

    you really are insane? You really want to create a rift, but there is none right now, or at least not as big as you say it is!!

    and then you add:”Asking a nation with such an opinion to be in charge of fixing Iraq would be a critical mistake that cannot be afforded.”

    this drawing is not from the Elysée, is it? I think this cartoon doesn’t represent france at all.

  4. Okay, that post shows Jay is awake and blogging…
    …so where’s his comment over the deaths of “coalition” partners’ troops (a Brit and a Pole) and a comment on YET ANOTHER helicopter shot down, with a depressing number of casualties reported?

    Yeah, it’s because the media is skewing the news from Iraq.

  5. And “corps” actually has multiple meanings in French. It’s used as a general word for “body,” as in “body of evidence” or “corpse.” Usually, however, corpse is translated as “cadavre” and pluralized as “cadavres” when speaking of uman dead. I’m pretty sure that phase as used is the idiomatic expression for “Bring the boys back home”.

  6. You know, this is remarkedly restrained, considering how so many media outlets in this country treated the deaths of 15,000 French citizens in August’s attack of global warming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.