Saturday, October 04, 2003


Here’s something of a metablog, in that Misanthropicity is commenting on a Talking Points Memo reaction on the Web site of The New York Sun that was brought up by commentary on Radio Free Mike.

Talking Points Memo quotes Gen. Wesley K. Clark, who is likely to be our next president, as saying that in dealing with Iraq, the Clinton administration, “in an odd replay of the Carter administration, found itself chained to the Iraqi policy -- promoted by the Project for a New American Century -- much the same way that in the Carter administration some of the same people formed the Committee on the Present Danger which cut out from the Carter administration the ability to move forward on SALT II.”

The Sun (which, and I mean this in genuine surprise, not as an ad hominem attack, has a remarkably ugly Web presence) quotes neo-conservatives as saying that Clark’s comments are “bizarre” and, in the words of project chief William Kristol, “really a little bit crackpot.”

“I don’t think Clinton was really following the PNAC script,” Kristol said. “We called for regime change. Last I looked, Saddam was still there when Clinton left.”

And from another project director, Randy Scheunemann: “The Clinton administration was on the verge of cutting a deal with Saddam. If they would have followed the Iraq policy of PNAC, they would have empowered the Iraqi opposition instead of going around denigrating it.”

The neo-cons use this to paint Clark as a crackpot. But if this is the best they can do, and the Sun as well, their cause must truly be bankrupt. Even the reply by Talking Points Memo’s Joshua Micah Marshall gives them too much credit.

Clark said Clinton was “chained” to the project’s policy. But the neo-cons respond as though Clark said Clinton endorsed its policy. It’s a cheap trick. They only get away with it because they’re preaching to the choir -- which says nothing good about the neo-cons or the Sun.

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