Wesley Clark: Darling of the 'Wall Street Journal'?
Jim Grichar (aka Exx-Gman)
by Jim Grichar
that George W. Bush may be defeated in his reelection bid next year
because of the mess in Iraq created by his neocon advisers, the
Street Journal (this is a subscriber web site) published
an interesting commentary piece by Yale Professor of Humanities
Harold Bloom on October 14 in which Bloom promoted former Army general
Wesley Clark as the ideal man to be president of the United States.
The Journal, official mouthpiece of the neo-con Wall Street
group (identified years ago by Murray
Rothbard as the leaders of the neocons), normally does not often
publish such articles, although it sometimes tries to give the appearance
of being fair. But the publication of this piece may indicate not
only worry by the Journal’s neocon insiders (such as former
editorial page director Robert Bartley and current director Paul
Gigot) about Bush’s chance for reelection but also a desire to shape
the election outcome by promoting a Democrat who could actually
pass for being a neocon and most likely could be manipulated into
doing the bidding of the neocons.
Journal’s Neocons Are Worried, And Possibly Angry
Bush’s popularity having fallen because of his and his administration’s
lies about why the U.S. needed to go to war in Iraq, by the constant
loss of U.S. lives in that country due to Iraqi and other guerrilla
fighters, and by the increasing cost to U.S. taxpayers of completing
"nation building" in that country, the Journal’s
leading neocons may have concluded that promoting the candidacy
of someone who would have virtually the same policies as George
Bush, but who would not carry Bush’s heavy political baggage, is
a good tactic.
years, the Journal’s editorial page has promoted the neocon
line of tax cuts to promote revenue growth, big defense budgets
and continuous meddling in foreign affairs so as to shape an international
business climate favorable to large multinational corporations,
and only marginal reductions in the power and scope of the Leviathan
state. Even the Journal’s stand on Social Security and Medicare
reform leaves the federal government with a major role to play in
the war on Iraq and the nation building there, the Journal
editorial page has been a shameless promoter of the neocon agenda,
namely, using U.S. military power to extend American political and
economic influence around the globe. The Journal has often
published commentary pieces indicating that the U.S. is in a war
with Islam and that it needs to gain a foothold in the Middle East
to squelch radical Islam and promote a secularized Islam in order
to assure the expansion of its version of American democracy and
capitalism (really fascism) to every corner of the planet.
that Bush appears to be in significant political trouble, it seems
like a good time for the Journal’s neocons to implement a
Plan B, i.e., promoting an alternate candidate. Bush himself, through
a deliberate announcement by Condoleezza Rice to the New York
Times, even appeared to want to take the lead in running U.S.
policy in Iraq by subjecting Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their
neocon buddies to tighter control from the White House. With their
feathers ruffled as well as those of fellow neocons, both
Cheney and Rumsfeld have gone to the media complaining about how
they were correct and their critics wrong. Rumors of infighting
among Bush’s national security team have also surfaced in the press,
informally confirming what appears to be disarray in the Bush administration
foreign policy. And the implicit criticism of the neocons and their
goofy imperial agenda that was made when Bush started to take greater
control of the Iraqi mess probably angered the Journal’s
neocon senior editors. Bush taking or attempting to take
direct control of the Iraqi mess is a slap in the neocons’
faces. It may also indicate that the neocons are losing their control
over Bush so it may be time for them to get their hooks into someone
new who will carry out their agenda.
Clark another Dwight Eisenhower?
his commentary in the Wall Street Journal, Harold Bloom discussed
American imperialism and the imperial presidency as a fact of life
since Lincoln confronted the "... South’s rebellion...."
He suggested that America is only doing what needs to be done in
the face of a fundamentalist Islamic terrorist assault on the world.
Bloom even refers to Edmund Gibbon’s "The Decline and Fall
of the Roman Empire" and contends that the U.S. empire has
not yet begun to fall. In discussing the U.S. empire and the imperial
presidency, Bloom stated: " Our decimation of the Taliban,
and continued pursuit of bin Laden, are inevitable responses to
Islamic terrorism. But our wars with fundamentalist Islam will continue,
and will broaden; others will be attacked. We have no option except
imposing a Roman peace. The question I bring forward is: What is
the proper training for our imperial presidents?"
Bloom’s answer is that we need another Dwight Eisenhower, and his
name is Wesley Clark. Air-brushing Clark’s Clinton-sanctioned fiascos
in Bosnia and Kosovo as successes, Bloom refers to Clark as "...
a diplomatic unifier, an authentic hero, wise and compassionate."
Claiming that Clark would not pursue a unilateralist foreign policy
approach like George Bush has done, he seems to believe that it
is possible to pursue what he stated above to be the U.S. foreign
policy mission and still get international support for it. Clark
has also talked about creating another new federal department a Department of International Assistance, one that would exist to
shovel out much more foreign aid.
concluded his article with the following statement: "As a lifelong
Democrat speaking to other Democrats, I urge his nomination. To
Republicans and independents, I put the question: Weigh Gen. Clark’s
qualifications against President Bush’s performance, and who seems
likelier to lead us effectively in the years of trouble ahead of
Bloom has slipped up and set forth the fallacy of the false alternative.
Bloom says Clark is needed to execute the neocon imperial policy
that George Bush has pursued but failed at. Bloom thinks that only
Clark can convince the Europeans and others that the neocon policy
is a good policy.
are three possible explanations for the apparent contradiction between
Bloom’s vision of how Clark would act and Clark’s beliefs: 1) Clark
really believes what he stated in one of his recent books that
the U.S. needs to work more closely with our allies and not run
a go-it-alone foreign policy, but has conned the neocons into believing
that he would indeed carry out their agenda; 2) Clark was lying
in his book about what he would really do, that is, pursue the neocon
imperial policy along the lines cited by Bloom; or, 3) Clark can
be captured intellectually and politically by the neocons and then
manipulated into carrying out the neocon agenda, much like Eisenhower
was manipulated by the military-industrial complex during the late
does not deal with Clark’s domestic policy beliefs (or lack thereof),
but does put out a line that the nation is being run by a plutocracy.
The most that Clark who once supported Bush enthusiastically has stated is that he wants to rescind some of the tax cuts for
families earning more than $200,000 per year (does Bloom think that
$200,000 per year is the threshold income for being qualified as
a plutocrat?) and use that money for defending the homeland (more
firefighters, customs agents, etc.); funneling money to state and
local governments to help with education, health care, and state
budget deficits; and providing tax incentives to businesses that
hire new employees. Clark also called for the establishment of another
civilian "volunteer" corps, akin to a civilian national
guard that the president could call up during emergencies.
one possible question mark as far as the neocons are concerned is
that a number of Clark’s supporters are hard-core Clintonites, such
as New York Congressman Charles Rangel.
Schwarzenegger, an Eisenhower, or a bit of both?
far, with the exception of calling for a rescission of tax cuts
for families earning more than $200,000 per year, Clark’s domestic
agenda sounds no different than Bush’s, which is that of a social
democrat. Maybe Clark is saving more detailed economic and domestic
proposals for the primaries next year, but he does sound like Dwight
Eisenhower in that he is saying little or nothing about what he
would really do on the domestic front and trying to run on his popularity
as a retired military man. And in that he also sounds like Arnold
Schwarzenegger, who won the California gubernatorial recall election
by saying as little as possible and running on his personal popularity.
can garner the votes of those who instinctively would support a
military man as being trustworthy in office. Maybe he will promise
to get the U.S. out of Iraq more quickly, just as Eisenhower did
in saying he would end the Korean war. But unlike the situation
Ike faced in Korea, Clark would have to either get the U.S. out
quickly, which would risk alienating the neocons, or con the public
into believing that he had some secret plan (like Richard Nixon’s
for getting the U.S. out of Vietnam) to quickly solve the Iraqi
brings me back to the neocons of the Wall Street Journal.
While they may not have Clark wrapped around their fingers, totally
willing to execute the neocon imperial policy at this time, they
certainly understand Clark’s desire to make enough compromises to
win a nomination and an election, a set of circumstances that make
him ripe for manipulation by the neocon Wall Street Journal.
And despite other talk, Clark appears to support the same type of
social democrat agenda as George Bush does. The Journal’s
neocons may also believe that a Republican-run House
and Senate would keep a president Clark in check, just as it appeared
to do when Bill Clinton was in office.
Clark were to get the Democratic nomination and win, that would
finish off the presidential aspirations of Hillary Clinton, still
loathed for good reasons by even the Wall Street
Journal neocon insiders. Now all the Journal folks have
to do is make sure that Clark does not pick Hillary as a running
Grichar (aka Exx-Gman) [send
him mail], formerly an economist with the federal government,
writes to "un-spin" the federal government's attempt to con the
teaches economics part-time at a community college and provides
economic consulting services to the private sector.
© 2003 LewRockwell.com