Two essays on Wesley Clark

Two good essays in the New Republic on why Wesley Clark should be President, offsetting TNR’s bizarre official (publisher-driven) endorsement of Lieberman. J. Peter Scoblic, the managing editor, explains why Clark is the right leader for the country right now:

Clark may also be able to persuade the antiwar left of the merits of a true muscular multilateralism–not least through his proposal for a New American Patriotism, which aims to restore the pride that Democrats, disaffected by the Bush administration’s jingoism, feel toward the flag. In part, he plans to do this by encouraging the dissent on security issues that has been discouraged, implicitly and explicitly, by Republican leaders. On the stump, Clark of ten says, “There’s nothing more American–nothing more patriotic–than speaking out, questioning authority, and holding your leaders accountable.” Such declarations could ease the fears of an American public that, once bitten by the deception of the Iraq war, may be twice shy about future uses of military force. If the need arose, Americans would follow Wesley Clark into war. They should follow him to the White House first.

Robert Lane Green argues that Clark would make the United States more secure by making it less unpopular around the world:

Defenders of the Bush administration point out that it isn’t the president’s job to please the French or Brazilians, but first and foremost to protect the United States. This is true as far as it goes, but it ignores one crucial insight: We are safer when fewer people hate us. Most obviously, there’s the fact that fewer young Muslim men volunteer for suicide missions for the glory of killing a few Americans. But there’s far more to it than that. Had we made fewer Turks hate us, the 4th Infantry division could have helped end the Iraq war even quicker and with less loss of life (American and Iraqi), rather than float uselessly in the Mediterranean. When Germany and France hate us less, their police kick down doors of suspected terrorists in Marseilles and Hamburg more enthusiastically. When Asians and other Europeans hate us less, they are more likely to donate to Iraq’s reconstruction. And on and on.

I have noticed that, on this topic and others, essays that support the position I have already taken are consistently more cogently argued, and better supported by the facts, than essays opposing that position. What more evidence could one want that I was right in the first place?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

One thought on “Two essays on Wesley Clark”

  1. 'Tis true

    In a Wes Clark-related post, Mark Kleiman makes this spot-on observation: "I have noticed that, on this topic and others, essays that support the position I have already taken are consistently more cogently argued, and better supported by the facts,…

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