Clash of civilizations -- Wesley Clark's view of the preparations

The Village Voice has a story by Sydney H. Schanberg about a new book, Winning Modern Wars, written by General Wesley Clark. Evidently the neocons in the Bush administration took him into their confidence about plans for the emerging Pax Americana
in all its arrogant ugliness.

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Schanberg writes:

"Wesley Clark, the retired four-star general who is one of 10 candidates for the
Democratic nomination for president, has written a new book that is just arriving on bookstore shelves. Called Winning Modern Wars, it’s mostly about the Iraq
war and terrorism—and it is laced with powerful new information that he held
back from the public when he was a CNN military commentator during the Bush administration’s preparations for the war.

For example, he says he learned from military sources at the Pentagon in
November 2001, just two months after the September 11 terrorist attacks on
New York and Washington, that serious planning for the war on Iraq had already
begun and that, in addition to Iraq, the administration had drawn up a list of six other nations to be targeted over a period of five years.

Here’s what he writes on page 130:
"As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior
military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going
against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part
of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries,
beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan." Clark
adds, "I left the Pentagon that afternoon deeply concerned."

He never disclosed anything like this information in any of his CNN commentaries
or in the opinion columns he wrote for print media at the time. If Americans had
known such things, and if the information is accurate, would they have supported
the White House’s march to war? Would Congress have passed the war resolution
the White House asked for?

On the next page of the book, 131, Clark writes: "And what about the real sources
of terrorists—U.S. allies in the region like Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia? Wasn’t
it the repressive policies of the first, and the corruption and poverty of the second,
that were generating many of the angry young men who became terrorists? And
what of the radical ideology and direct funding spewing from Saudi Arabia? Wasn’t
that what was holding the radical Islamic movement together? . . . It seemed that
we were being taken into a strategy more likely to make us the enemy—encouraging
what could look like a ‘clash of civilizations’—not a good strategy for Winning the war
on terror."