Wesley Clark's Congressional testimony from September 2002 concerning the Iraq War resolution has been outed.
There's no requirement to have any doctrine here. I mean this is simply a longstanding right of the United States and other nations to take the actions they deem necessary in their self defense.
Every president has deployed forces as necessary to take action. He's done so without multilateral support if necessary. He's done so in advance of conflict if necessary. In my experience, I was the commander of the European forces in NATO. When we took action in Kosovo, we did not have United Nations approval to do this and we did so in a way that was designed to preempt Serb ethnic cleansing and regional destabilization there. There were some people who didn' t agree with that decision. The United Nations was not able to agree to support it with a resolution.
There's no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat... Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He's had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001... He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn't have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we.
And, I want to underscore that I think the United States should not categorize this action as preemptive. Preemptive and that doctrine has nothing whatsoever to do with this problem. As Richard Perle [Ed note: !] so eloquently pointed out, this is a problem that's longstanding. It's been a decade in the making. It needs to be dealt with and the clock is ticking on this.
I think there's no question that, even though we may not have the evidence as Richard [Perle] says, that there have been such contacts [between Iraq and al Qaeda]. It' s normal. It's natural. These are a lot of bad actors in the same region together. They are going to bump into each other. They are going to exchange information. They're going to feel each other out and see whether there are opportunities to cooperate. That's inevitable in this region, and I think it's clear that regardless of whether or not such evidence is produced of these connections that Saddam Hussein is a threat.
All we see from Clark is that he's been consistently against this war from the beginning, as he even said yesterday on Good Morning America:
"Well, has [Joe Lieberman] ever named the six different positions, Charlie? I meant that's just -- that's old-style politics. You can go back to my record. I've even been on your show - while I couldn't t when I was on CNN. But, I was consistently against this since the guys from the pentagon told me two weeks after 9/11 we were attacking Iraq. It didn't make any sense to me. And I have been very, very consistent on this. This was a war we didn't have to fight. It was an elective war. I have said it at almost every opportunity."
I don't think the leftie loons will be flocking to him now. If this gets good airtime, they will stick with Dean.