Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Wesley Clark at SAIS
No snark here. I just went down to Johns Hopkins SAIS in DC to listen to Wesley Clark deliver a speech and do some Q&A. Assembled were 50 or so journalists, grad students, Foreign Policy professionals and interested citizens.
The guy is impressive. Compared to each of the mainstream presidential candidates, Clark is clear, forceful, and full of real ideas formed by real experience. Unfortunately, he has yet to throw his hat into the race.
His theme ("Legitimacy- First Task for American Security") is not terribly original, and different versions of it have been bandied about by people like Obama and Hillary. But his clinical, point-by-point dissection of the way this White House has mangled America's image, and his contention that image (not the military) is the true source of American power, is better formulated than any of the frontline Dems.
His eyebrow-raising three-point plan:
1. Change America's image abroad (no more torture, blacksite, extrajudicial kidnapping, unjustified wars, a return to diplomacy)
2. Change the debate at home (I forgot this part, but it was boring anyway).
3. ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THOSE WHO GOT US INTO THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Point three is the juiciest. Clarks wants to open investigations into the decision-making process behind the Iraq war policy, Abu Ghraib, domestic wiretapping, black sites, and the whole, disgusting Bush foreign policy enterprise, and hold the feet of those responsible to the fire.
Amen, brother. I'm not easily impressed by political rhetoric, but General Clark actually had some goosebumps going. Run Wesley Run.