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  • America Votes

    Election news from across the Knight Ridder network and the Web

    Saturday, February 07, 2004

    Clark: No pressure to stop bombing 

    On Saturday, while campaigning in Roanoke, Virginia, retired Gen. Wesley Clark spent part of the morning responding to a Washington Post article.

    The article alleges that some Clinton administration officials wanted to end the Kosovo war because the presidential campaign of then-Vice President Al Gore was about to start.

    "There were those in the White House who said, 'Hey, look, you gotta finish the bombing before the Fourth of July weekend. That's the start of the next presidential campaign season, so stop it. It doesn't matter what you do, just turn it off. You don't have to win this thing, let it lie,'" Clark said in a January 2000 interview with NATO's official historian, four months before leaving the post of supreme allied commander Europe, according to the Washington Post.

    Clark distanced himself from the article Saturday, saying "there was never any politics involved in pressuring me to end the war prematurely or anything else," and urging reporters to read "Waging Modern War," his book on the Kosovo war.

    "Those papers were a stream of consciousness dictation to the SHAPE historian as I tried to assemble all my memories and think about what had actually happened," said Clark, who said that he doesn't recall any disagreements with the White House. "There was never any political pressure. I never had any political pressure to do anything other than succeed. And that's not political pressure, that's called leadership."

    - Dana Hull, San Jose Mercury News

    posted by Jim Van Nostrand at 9:31 AM



    This blog is compiled and edited by:

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