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"The Strongest Pledge One Nation Can Make"

Wesley Clark, NATO's former Supreme Allied Commander Europe, told Newsweek:

NATO is an organization in which nations pledge themselves together with the strongest pledge one nation can make to another, which is that an attack on one represents an attack on all. That's still the most powerful relationship between states. Among all other international organizations, there are none stronger than the relationships of NATO.

His comment on US-Russian relations is interesting as well:

I heard from Condi Rice in 2000 that the Clinton administration had somehow destroyed relations with Russia and that the new team would make things better. Now we're [talking about "resetting"] relations again.


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Pat Patterson on :

This is a very odd article considering the interviewee was lucky not to be courtmartialed for ordering a British general to attack a Russian contingent and continually called for a armored invasion of Serbia via Romania after being "asked" by the Clinton Administration to keep his comments to himself. Much like an interview conducted after the Civil War with Gen McClellan discussing the failures of Gen Grant in not waiting until he had a huge numerical superiority before moving into Virginia. Or how the Johnson Administration handled the Reconstruction. Newsweek must have a very short institutional memory.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

Are you referring to General Mike Jackson, who reportedly told Clark: "I'm not going to start the Third World War for you." It seems Hugh Shelton gave Clark ambigious orders and realized that. I don't think Clark was ever in danger of being courtmartialed. Anyway, what does Newsweek have to do with that?

Pat Patterson on :

The fact that Gen Clark refers to an ebb in Russian/American relations and doesn't mention that he had a more than large hand in that setback. The Russians had been promised, unwisely, that they would have an independent command in the north and would not report to the NATO chain of command which through ignorance or spite Gen Clark refused to acknowledge. And the fact that his two immediate superiors thought him unfit to be president, including Gen Shelton. Plus the confusion arose in that Gen Clark consulted with Javier Solana and not Gen Shelton. It also should be noted that the French also refused to obey Gen Clark's orders as illegitimate.

David on :

General Wesley Clark on torture: "Torture is illegal, ineffective, and morally wrong. The United States has signed numerous treaties condemning torture and abjuring its practice. Those treaties are the law of the land. And, yes, waterboarding is torture: in the past, we convicted and punished foreign nationals for torture by waterboarding. There are no legal loopholes permitting torture in "exceptional cases." After all, those were the same excuses used by the torturers we once condemned." No wonder Pat intensely dislikes him.

Pat Patterson on :

"No wonder Pat intensely dislikes him?" Reading tea leaves or goats livers again must suffice for Gen Clark simply being wrong as waterboarding as described in the three documented cases, though obviously disagreeable does not meet the basic requirement of causing of the one treaty the US signed as "extreme pain". Also that Clark is wrong when he claims that this and the other imaginary agreements are binding on the US because the 6th Amendment supercedes any treaty that is contradictory to those rights. And we can surmise from the approval the current Speaker of the House gave that it must have been effective. The full text of his comment refers to the Revolutionary War of which he seems so unaware that Washington's edicts concerning the Hessians was an attempt, and a failed one at that, to keep the Continentals and the militias from killing or torturing the mercenaries upon capture or soon after. And if waterboarding in any form is torture then why didn't Clark eliminate its use from his own TO because it was used regularly on Army personnel, and other servicemen not under his command, as part of their SERE training? I actually might have a bit more sympathy to this view if I didn't suspect that even if there weren't any charges those opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wouldn't be just as diligent in finding some other "immoral" conduct that would allow that warm glow of self-righteousness to continue. There is a long and glorious tradition in the US of opposition to war being founded on the most ludicrous of charges. Such as using telescopic gunsights during the Civil War, or pump-action shotguns by the Marines in the First World War or napalm in the Second. Some simply cannot abide by war by popular vote because they know deep down that if only the citizens were omniscent and moral then they would never have voted for the war unless they had been lied to or tricked by immoral leadership.

John in Michigan, USA on :

"the 6th Amendment supercedes any treaty that is contradictory to those rights" Pat, if I understand you correctly, those words represent your position, not Clark's position? That statement about the 6th isn't the current law of the land. The [url=]US Constitution, Article VI, Paragraph 2[/url], states: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding." This is known as the [url=]Supremacy Clause[/url]. The Wikipedia article has a reasonably good explanation. See in particular the discussion of the proposed Bricker Amendment to the Constitution (that was not adopted). I think it is fair to say, Pat's position reflects the Natural Law movement in American politics. Natural law is part of American heritage, but many in the Natural Law movement want natural law to be applied more rigorously than it currently is.

Pat Patterson on :

No, not Clark's and thank you as your explanation is much easier to understand then the one I have been flogging for months. The problem that I see is that Article 6 and the 6th Amendment are on a contradictory path and as of yet there has been no definitive SCOTUS decision to clear the confusion. I sense that the original Article was referring to the laws and treaties between nations, such as trade agreements, articles of war, purchase of land and the supremacy of the federal government in these areas. But I also don't think that the writers ever suspected that the Article would be used to redefine the relation between citizens and the federal government. In other words the idea that any treaties signed, especially those that have not been ratified, are binding on the citizens simply because of Article 6.

Marie Claude on :

When will Nato be paralysed ? "Almagor Demands War-Crimes Probe of NATO"

Pat Patterson on :

You should have done a bit more work on that idea as Almagor, an Israeli victims group, is using the Spanish courts to pressure the Spanish magistrates to drop any case against Israel for the Lebanaese invasion, Israeli attacks into Gaza and the West Bank as well as the assasination of a Hamas leader in Syria a few years ago. Prominently mentioned in the suit is Javier Solana, politicians of both parties and the Spanish equivalent of the JCS. Almagor is by no stretch of the imagination interested in any actual trial of Spanish officials during the NATO bombing of Serbia but rather for the Spanish to drop the pretension of being impartial.

Marie Claude on :

But thanks for having done it LMAO

Joe Noory on :

Will I be able to sue the Syrian government in a court of law for their brutality in my family's village? Of course not - this business is a political instrument without real legal basis that cheapens the meaning of the lives of victims and attempts to abuse any victor in a conflict to construct an air of relativism. I predict one thing about those how promote that form of relativism that in effect erodes rights and human decency - they themselves are not worth protecting when their well beingt is in danger. As to David's rather flexible use of logic, would not Bill Clinton be the man to prosecute if some imaginary authority finds the prosecution of NATO's actions in the former Yugoslavia illegal? If you have to headfake that one, than you too are employing one framework of logic to those you prefer politically, and another one for those you don't. That is a form of degradation of the notion of law that has made the 3rd world what it is - a dangerous and arbitrary environment for common people.

John in Michigan, USA on :

Not to mention, prosecuting Bill Clinton for his use of extraordinary rendition. I suspect that the worse abuses committed by Americans pale in comparison to the shit done to prisons we handed over to, for example, the Saudis.

Don S on :

Hama Rules, or something very much like it, Joe? Doesn't surprise me. What once surprised me (but does no longer) is the usual rules observed by (most) Europeans and many US 'liberals': If the US can be implicated, it is endlessly publicized - and lives forever. Something like Hama is only news in passing, and is forgotten the next day. To hell with them all.

John in Michigan, USA on :

There is a related discussion of the importance of a strong pledge at "[url=]Saving Europe from the Idealists[/url]"

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