Wednesday, September 17, 2003

From blog correspondent Lee Penn
Gen. Wesley Clark to run for President
Lee Penn: It would be good to have an anti-war, non-imperialist, America-first
candidate for President. But Clark has his own history as an imperialist. He
was NATO's commander in the unjust, aggressive war against Serbia in 1999 ... and
according to the following BBC report, nearly arranged a dangerous confrontation
with the Russians at the time.

BBC News | EUROPE | Confrontation over Priština airport

Money quote:

"General Wesley Clark, Nato's supreme commander, immediately ordered 500
British and French paratroopers to be put on standby to occupy the airport.

''I called the [Nato] Secretary General [Javier Solana] and told him what the
circumstances were,'' General Clark tells the BBC programme Moral Combat:
Nato at War.

''He talked about what the risks were and what might happen if the Russian's
got there first, and he said: 'Of course you have to get to the airport'.

''I said: 'Do you consider I have the authority to do so?' He said: 'Of
course you do, you have transfer of authority'.'' But General Clark's plan was
blocked by General Sir Mike Jackson, K-For's British commander. "I'm not going
to start the Third World War for you," he reportedly told General Clark during
one heated exchange.

A senior Russian officer, General Leonid Ivashev, tells the BBC how the
Russians had plans to fly in thousands of troops. ''Let's just say that we had
several airbases ready. We had battalions of paratroopers ready to leave within
two hours,'' he said. Amid fears that Russian aircraft were heading for
Pristina, General Clark planned to order British tanks and armoured cars to
block the runways to prevent any transport planes from landing. General Clark said
he believed it was ''an appropriate course of action''. But the plan was again
vetoed by Britain."

So during the Kosovo War, we had two brushes with holocaust: the CIA "error"
that led us to bomb the Chinese Embassy, and this plan of Wesley Clark's to
have a duel with Russia over deployment of Russian peacekeepers. (I remember
this same BBC report from the spring of 2000; it long ante-dates the current
presidential race.)

In other words - if we get safely to the 2004 election, and Clark wins the
Democratic nomination, and Bush wins the Republican nomination, we'll have a
choice: Bush, whose minions are rattling their sabers worldwide .... or Clark,
on whose watch we nearly had confrontations with Russia and with China.

Sleep well, America.

Torquemada and moral relativism about torture
Basically, even the orthodox can get it wrong.

Lee Penn: Earlier today (yesterday), I sent out an interview with an Atlantic Monthly writer who offered necessity of war as the reason why the US should be free to use "coercive interrogation" on the enemy.

The appeal to necessity as a reason for torture has a long pedigree.

Tomás de Torquemada

This is from an online 1913-vintage edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Money quote:

"Whether Torquemada's ways of ferreting out and punishing heretics were justifiable is a matter that has to be decided not only by comparison with the penal standard of the fifteenth century, but also, and chiefly, by an inquiry into their necessity for the preservation of Christian Spain. The contemporary Spanish chronicler, Sebastian de Olmedo (Chronicon magistrorum generalium Ordinis Prædicatorum, fol. 80-81) calls Torquemada "the hammer of heretics, the light of Spain, the saviour of his country, the honour of his order"."

The end justifies the means .... Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, and Hitler would all agree...

There is a historical reason for some of the post-Enlightenment opposition to the Church ... those apologies that the Pope made in the spring of 2000 were done for good reason. (Counterpoint: Joseph Sobran in an article linked on my original site's Intro page.)

The call to repentance is for all. [End.]

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