Thursday, September 04, 2003
(CNSNews.com) - America is responsible for war-ravaged Iraq and should pay for its reconstruction instead of asking for help from the United Nations, according to one of the nation's most vocal anti-war activists and former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark.
Clark, whose off-the-cuff comments in January comparing Jesus Christ to a terrorist created a media firestorm, was in Washington, D.C., Wednesday as director of International Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER). Among other things, Clark alleged that the Bush administration has lied about its "criminal war."
Clark's biography includes a stint as U.S. attorney general during the 1960s, Vietnam era administration of President Lyndon Johnson. Wednesday, he announced that his group and a coalition of like-minded organizations would march in Washington Oct. 25 to protest the Iraq war, or what he called "George W. Bush's Vietnam."
"Now we say to the United Nations, 'Hey, you've got to share in this burden,'" Clark told reporters. "Well we created it. George Bush created it and we have to pay for it. Anyone who thinks that the United Nations has the skills or capacity to create security in Iraq hasn't been around... the U.N. can't possibly handle the situation in Iraq and the U.S. knows it perfectly well."
Citing charges from the Nuremburg trials at the end of World War II, Clark said the war in Iraq was a "crime against peace" and called for Bush's impeachment. The U.S. government, according to Clark, cannot be trusted.
"While this government is in power it will continue its ways. It really believes it has the right to change regimes," Clark said, condemning Bush for asking Liberian President Charles Taylor, "elected in an internationally observed election," to step down. "What's going to happen in North Korea if we don't get some sense in the White House and in the Pentagon? Can we really trust them?"
However critics found Clark's rhetoric unconvincing.
"Clark has been using and aiding mass murderers and other American enemies for the last 30 years. He should give it a rest," David Horowitz, syndicated columnist and president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture told CNSNews.com . "What Ramsey Clark should be doing for peace is asking his buddy, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, to behave."
Referring to Clark as a "terror-hugging radical" and "Communist hack," Horowitz pointed to Clark's ties to Marxist groups in a May 1 column.
"The current 'peace' organizations like International ANSWER... are fronts for the Workers World Party -- a Marxist-Leninist vanguard that identifies with North Korea --and the Revolutionary Communist Party, a Maoist sect," Horowitz wrote.
Clark stuck to the topic of Iraq during his comments at the National Press Club, emphasized that having the U.N. or other nations assist in rebuilding Iraq would only create further turmoil.
"We're the ones that spend trillions of dollars on arms, we're the ones that have millions of soldiers in arms and we can't do it," Clark continued. "What kind of chaos do you want to create? How many Polish and Hungarian and Japanese -- God help us if the Japanese get involved -- and Germans do you want killed there? We have to pay."
Clark urged the Bush administration to set aside 10 percent of the military budget "not for Haliburton (Texas oil company) and not for friends of the White House," but as a fund to rebuild Iraq.
"U.S. companies should be barred from participating in reconstruction in Iraq because you can't profit from a crime," Clark added.
But Jack Spencer, a senior national security analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said he suspects Clark, ANSWER and its coalition of leftist groups have ulterior motives.
"If they're comparing Iraq to Vietnam, that says all you need to know about this group," Spencer told CNSNews.com . "They're far more concerned with politicizing events rather than advancing American or Iraqi interests. They're more anti-Bush than pro-Iraq."
Spencer said the Vietnam analogy was propaganda that has few, if any, roots in reality.
"They need to take another look at history. This is far from Vietnam. Everything about it is different, so that would completely undermine any credibility they are after as far as I'm concerned," Spencer said. "They're saying this is a quagmire. This is one of those loaded terms that people like to use to criticize, when in fact this is not a quagmire. This is an ongoing operation."
A quagmire cannot be established in the 126 days since the end of major military operations in Iraq, "each of which gets better than the one before," Spencer asserted.
"There's a lot of good news coming out of Iraq. People tend to focus on the bad news but that's okay," Spencer said. "The fact is that an evil regime was removed and Iraq is on its way to becoming a more stable, successful country."
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