}

Wesley Clark hearts New York “Money People”

You know, if you haven’t bought real estate in a far away land, you might wish to consider it.

Wesley Clark is a prominent Democratic politician who ran for President in 2004 before eventually bowing out of the race. He may soon decide to run again in the 2008 elections. Let’s hope he does not. Recently he was interviewed about the US and the possibility of its engaging in a war with Iran. Not mincing his words, this former general told the reporter that he was extremely worried the US would be pushed into the war by New York money people.

Guess who he means?

That’s right, folks, General Clark would feel very much at home in a tussle outside a Polish cathedral after an Archibishop’s resignation.

Where did Clark get these ideas? From many sources, but particularly this article by Arnaud de Borchgrave, a long time reporter and editor for Moonie owned Washington Times and UPI. Mr. de Borchgrave tells his readers that Netanyahu – that would be Bibi, former PM of Israel and current head of the depleted Likud party – publicly objected to the Baker-Hamilton Report’s suggestions about Iran and has stated that:

Israel “must immediately launch an intense, international, public relations front first and foremost on the U.S. The goal being to encourage President Bush to live up to specific pledges he would not allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons. We must make clear to the government, the Congress and the American public that a nuclear Iran is a threat to the U.S. and the entire world, not only Israel.”

De Borchgrave then implicates, “neo-Cons,” Senator Lieberman speaking on a Wolf Blitzer program (in case you’re not keeping up, no less an authority than David Duke reminded us a couple of weeks ago upon his return from the Iranian Holocaust denial conference that Blitzer is a Zionist agent) and a retired Israeli general, Oded Tira, in seeking and encouraging the US to take a tough and presumably aggressive line with Iran.

In other words, the war-mongering Jews are going to take the peace-lovin’, naive and easily manipulated gentile Americans to war with Iran. Left unsaid of course, is the indirect accusation that the mess of a war in Iraq is also the Jews’ fault but anybody reading de Borchgrave’s article cannot escape the obvious link. How does the opinion piece conclude? With a dire warning:

As for target Iran, Tira voiced widespread belief in Israel that the Jewish state must coordinate strikes with the U.S. — “and prepare for the Iranian response.” Fearless forecast: It will be formidable.

So to conclude: a retired IDF general who nobody has ever heard of and who got no higher than to lead the IDF’s Artillery forces, a former PM who hasn’t been in power for 7 years and leads a party outside of the 80 person (out of a possible 120 with 10 of those being Arab MKs) current Israeli government coalition, a US senator who is currently on the outs with his former party, and a Jewish news anchor form the basis of the new conspiracy.

Not blessed with powers of observation that might allow for nuance, Wesley Clark apparently read the article by de Borchgrave and told the Huffington Post that:

How can you talk about bombing a country when you won’t even talk to them?” said Clark. “It’s outrageous. We’re the United States of America; we don’t do that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the military option is off the table — but diplomacy is not what Jim Baker says it is. It’s not, What will it take for you boys to support us on Iraq? It’s sitting down for a couple of days and talking about our families and our hopes, and building relationships.”

When we asked him what made him so sure the Bush administration was headed in this direction, he replied: “You just have to read what’s in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers.”

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the, um, money quote.

Of course, he’s merely repeating what many on the Left are already saying about Jews and Israel, there’s little new here. It is relatively disturbing to read this disgusting tripe from a potential Presidential candidate, however. Let’s hope than none of those “money people” give any money to his campaign.

By the way, Clark cannot possibly be an antisemite. After all, last Presidential elections, he rediscovered his Jewish roots.

Update: I just read this piece by Rosner at Ha’aretz. There are a couple of similarities to my piece including, in particular, the unbelievable similarity in the concluding paragraph. I guess Dovbear’s situation is making me extra cautious: I wrote this independently and without using Rosner’s piece. In fact, I was aware of Clark’s comments, having seen them on other blogs (and in the Forward), around the time our site was down and couldn’t write anything before now.

19 Comments

  1. The Town Crier

    1/10/2007 at 9:56 am

    Follow up,
    forward.com/bl...

  2. Jai

    1/10/2007 at 11:34 am

    What a shanda this article is. To bad-mouth a member of our extended family with lies and half-truths.

    Clark is a great friend to Israel. He was one of the few of either party to come to Israel’s defense when she bombed the Islamic Jihad training camp in Syria in Oct 03, even tho doing so was not popular with Democratic primary voters. And again, when she attacked Lebanon in 2006, Clark was one of the first to defend her right to do so, altho he would later be critical of how incompetently the follow-up was conducted.

    I suppose you like having the current chicken-hawk in charge, who doesn’t know jack about what real security needs are, and who rode to office on the backs of the Pat Robertsons who’d just as soon see us all dead.

    As for me, I’d rather have a fighter on my side than all the pretty words and pandering in the world.

    When Clark said NY money people, he meant… NY money people. The rich Republicans (Jew and non-Jew, but mostly the latter) who are Bebe’s buddies, as wekk as the guys on Wall Street whom Clark knows personally (since he works there) and who are more interested in defense industry profits and oil supply than keeping Israel alive and well.

    Have you seen Forbes list of the richest NYers? Keith Murdoch, Donald Trump, David Rockefeller, Austin Hearst, Charles Dolan, Tom Golisano, Mario Gabelli, Michael Jaharis, Kenneth Langone, J. Flowers… not a Jew among them. So YOU need to lose the stereotype, not Clark.

    I also want to call you on the charge that Clark somehow “rediscovered his Jewish roots” for the last election. I know Clark’s Jewish family in Chicago. He has maintained a relationship with them for 40 years, they love him, and they were in on the ground floor of his 04 campaign. They’ll be there for him in 08 too, as will many of the rest of us, inside NY and out.

  3. POLJ

    1/10/2007 at 11:40 am

    Oh come on people! When ever Jewish issues are discussed by politicos why is it instantaneously anti-Semitism? We have enough of that on its own.

    Also have you not been paying any attention? As a recovering AIPAC person, (I my name is Pissed Off Liberal Jew and I am a recovering AIPAC person, …hi polj) I know that AIPAC has been pushing military intervention with Iran for at least two years.

    When in college I worked with AIPAC because I believed in giving them a chance…I was stupid, but at least I learned something. The organized and not-so-organized-organized Jewish world is not unified in its ideas of foreign policy. There are the AIPAC folks that pretend not to be the backbone of the Jewish Republicans, there is the NDJC, there is Brit Tzedek, there is OU, there is Union of Progressive Zionist, there is ZOA…you get the point.

    So why are we up in arms about someone besides us saying that? The money people in New York comment…not so smart, but also not all Jews. Soros is a huge donor and he isn’t Jewish. And here is the list of folks (not all Cohen’s and Goldberg’s giving to Clinton…this is just those who’s names start with “A”
    query.nictusa.... Time to get over this. We are aloud to talk about the money and the wars that others want us to fight, why can’t the rest of the United States?

  4. Jewish Mother

    1/10/2007 at 12:54 pm

    Soros is too Jewish. Wikipedia him or something.

  5. themiddle

    1/10/2007 at 1:42 pm

    Jai,

    You just have to read what’s in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers.”

    Would you be kind enough to parse that paragraph for me. You see, I’m having trouble understanding why New York money people are being mentioned in the same sentence as the description of a division in the Jewish community and just after a sentence telling us to read what’s in the Israeli media if we want to know what the Bush Administration will do.

    I’m also intensely curious to learn whether the Rockefellers (who aren’t Jewish to those who don’t know), Dolan, Golisano, Murdoch et al read the Israeli papers and then try to influence Bush policy or rather whether they do it based upon other reasons. You see, if it’s the former, perhaps you have a case, but if it’s the latter, I’m afraid you’re making my argument for me and agreeing the Clark is mistaken since he’s clearly attributing influence on US policy, via the money people, to Israel.

    When you do explain all of this to me, please remember that I am not and never have been a supporter of Bush or of Pat Robertson. That way you won’t confuse the issue with, uh, politics.

    As for Clark rediscovering his roots, I stand corrected. It appears he merely advertised the fact publicly last Presidential election, but did learn about his father’s Jewish roots when he was a student. It appears his mother and stepfather hid this information from him and raised him Southern Baptist.

    I’m not sure that helps with his qualifications for President. You see, GENERAL NON-CHICKEN-HAWK Clark is not a politician and never has been. He’s used to giving orders or being a diplomat, but not to the give and take of Washington. It took Clinton, who is a brilliant politician, a couple of years and the loss of the House to figure out how to play the game and there is no indication that Clark will fare any better. Quite the opposite. I much prefer to have somebody with experience in policy making and particularly in DC from the get-go. I think Gore and H. Clinton, for example, bring that experience to the table and will not waste two years of costly mistakes figuring things out. Clark would probably make a fine Secretary of Defense and if he ran for office somewhere and got some political experience, maybe a competitive contender for higher office one day. First, however, he should really re-consider his views regarding the Jewish community and its influence on US foreign policy because his current views as stated in the sentence I highlight, are extremely problematic to say the least.

    POLJ, Soros is definitely Jewish although he prefers not to dwell too much on that fact. He also happens to be a key supporter of…Wesley Clark. You’re also missing the point about the “money people” comment. It’s not that Jews contribute handsomely to politicians, they do. The problem is that GENERAL NON-CHICKEN-HAWK Clark is insinuating that the quid pro quo is that US foreign policy is dictated by these Jews to the detriment of true US interests.

    Hmmm…where have I heard that before?

  6. POLJ

    1/10/2007 at 2:38 pm

    If the “Jews” were dictating FP then we would have a VERY different view of FP. My main point is that Jews aren’t all on the same page.

    I feel pretty dumb about the Soror’s thing come to thing of it…but still. The money people aren’t all Jews. Come on! Lets get past this thing. The reason the NY Money people are named in the same sentence is because the NY Money people care about these things. It makes them money.

    If this was a war in China or a fight against Brazilian sugar producers, and NY Money people were called out it would be a question of Campaign Finance Reform and not anti-Semitism. Think bigger picture.

    Sorry for my mistake about a member of the tribe. Sorros, let me buy you a knish and we can talk about your peoplehood. My treat!

  7. themiddle

    1/10/2007 at 2:58 pm

    I’m thinking of the bigger picture. Of course there are plenty of money people who aren’t Jewish, that is precisely my point. We agree! Where we disagree is in the meaning we attribute to Clark’s statement. Why is he bringing up money people who influence Bush policy toward war in the same sentence as he discusses the Jewish community and the sentence following the comments about Israeli papers?

    It really isn’t that complicated. It’s also not as if he’s the first to say this. I refer you to Carter’s open insinuations in his TV appearances plugging his new book. Or better yet, just go to Daily Kos or a similar site. I mean, this is merely an extension of the flurry of accusations we see on the Left – these days even the moderate Left – against Jewish, Zionist neo-Cons taking the US to war in Iraq because of their own pro-Israel ideals, thus harming the US. For Clark, this is just laying the groundwork to lay the blame for any US war or attack on Iran on Israel and its supporters. For many on the Left, however, the argument is that US foreign policy is dictated by Israel to the detriment and against the interests of the US, with the key proponents of these self-defeating actions being Jewish…financiers and people of influence.

    Hmmmm…where have I heard that before?

  8. Jai

    1/10/2007 at 3:14 pm

    You know, there’s really no parsing to it. He said that Israeli papers say we Jews are divided. Well duh. Aren’t we always? Then he says NY money people are pressuring politicians, It’s not clear which politicians, but I think he means US politicians, possibley because I read the UPI interview with Netanyahu and that’s what Bebe says!

    You really have to stretch it, and want to assume the worst, to think Clark meant Jewish money when he said NY money. First off, as we’ve proved, NY money is NOT mostly Jewish. Second, Clark knows that. He works on Wall Street, the CEO of a prominent firm. Finally, Clark has ZERO history of anti-Jew or anti-Israel statements, and actually has a strong record of just the opposite.

    It is completely absurd to say General Clark “is insinuating that the quid pro quo is that US foreign policy is dictated by these Jews to the detriment of true US interests.” “These Jews”? What Jews?! There’s no there there.

    I doubt it will satisfy you, but here’s an excerpt of a letter Clark wrote to Abe Foxman, provided to Forward Magazine on-line.
    forward.com/bl...
    (I’m not sure whether I can do html, so I’ll give you the link both ways.)

    One thing Clark says is:
    “There is no place in these critical policy debates for Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that blame the Jewish community for the war in Iraq and for action against Iran.”
    I suggest you read the whole thing. If you want to know what he really thinks, and not hearsay via the Huffington Post.

    Finally, let me apologize for assuming you were a right-winger and/or neo-con. But boy howdy, you sure do write that way. Even the capitalized non-chicken-hawk — never heard of a Dem who was offended by calling Bush that. I guess you think it’s a good thing? At least Gore is no chicken-hawk either. Hillary Clinton is, of course. Surprise, she voted for the war, and Gore would not have.

    I do think YOU don’t know much about the military, or you would know that a 4-star general knows a lot about how DC works. More than a state governor. Also, military command is not all that different from any high-level executive job. There are good reasons that generalship has always been a historically legitimate route to the White House, even before there was a White House.

  9. Jai

    1/10/2007 at 3:23 pm

    Hmm… first I have an innocuous comment about Soros’ support for Clark deleted, and now I see I’m on moderation? I dont’ get it, but I guess I’m done here.

  10. POLJ

    1/10/2007 at 3:27 pm

    For many on the Left, however, the argument is that US foreign policy is dictated by Israel to the detriment and against the interests of the US, with the key proponents of these self-defeating actions being Jewish…financiers and people of influence.

    Hmmmm…where have I heard that before?

    I would say everywhere. I agree with that but the most important thing for us to do (us being “middle” of the road types and lefties) is to speak up. We can’t expect to simply let the right wing whacks let the left draw these conclusions.

    While it is not correct these conclusions are not with out corroboration in our own house.

  11. themiddle

    1/10/2007 at 3:37 pm

    Jai, nobody here gets deleted in these discussions, and all of us sometimes find ourselves in moderation because our filters work on certain keywords. You might wish to ask before jumping the gun and running away from challenging questions.

  12. themiddle

    1/10/2007 at 5:20 pm

    I do think YOU don’t know much about the military, or you would know that a 4-star general knows a lot about how DC works. More than a state governor. Also, military command is not all that different from any high-level executive job. There are good reasons that generalship has always been a historically legitimate route to the White House, even before there was a White House.

    Wishful thinking. What I think you don’t know is blah blah blah blah. Wrong. I know very well what the generals in DC do and don’t do. Guess what? It’s very different than having to find a balance between the House, the Administration, the lobbying groups, a whole bunch of different personalities without a defining hierarchy and a defining job. If generals have become Presidents, generally it has not followed their acumen at playing the DC game, but rather their heroic or great leadership in wartime that has given them the halo of being capable guides and protectors of the nation. While Clark is an impressive man in every sense, Eisenhower he is not.

    Anyway, stop guessing things about me and I won’t guess that you’re a die-hard Clark supporter or shill. I’ll assume you’re an intelligent person who knows his stuff and why don’t you give me the same courtesy.

    You know, there’s really no parsing to it. He said that Israeli papers say we Jews are divided. Well duh. Aren’t we always? Then he says NY money people are pressuring politicians, It’s not clear which politicians, but I think he means US politicians, possibley because I read the UPI interview with Netanyahu and that’s what Bebe says!

    Yes, I quoted what Bibi said. I also point out why it’s irrelevant what Bibi said, reread my post. That’s nice and all, but it’s simply what Bibi says, does that mean that Clark has to believe it? Isn’t it possible that Bibi has ulterior motives? He’s a politician who raises funds in the US, you know? Is it possible that Clark isn’t nuanced enough in his comprehension of this that he takes Bibi’s words at face value even as Bibi is out of power and a little forgotten?

    You really have to stretch it, and want to assume the worst, to think Clark meant Jewish money when he said NY money. First off, as we’ve proved, NY money is NOT mostly Jewish. Second, Clark knows that. He works on Wall Street, the CEO of a prominent firm. Finally, Clark has ZERO history of anti-Jew or anti-Israel statements, and actually has a strong record of just the opposite.

    Why am I stretching when he refers to money people in the very same sentence as he refers to the division of the Jewish community. His meaning is clear: there are some Jews who support and some who oppose attacking Iran or Iraq but the influence is strong (and pernicious, since he’s indicating that he’s appalled) and is coming from the money people in this divided Jewish community. I don’t see how you can possibly read this differently.

    It is completely absurd to say General Clark “is insinuating that the quid pro quo is that US foreign policy is dictated by these Jews to the detriment of true US interests.” “These Jews”? What Jews?! There’s no there there.

    The Jews of the divided Jewish community. And if you want to know what they’re thinking and how they’re going to try to influence US policy, you simply need to read the Israeli (Jewish, of course) papers. These are his words, not mine.

    I doubt it will satisfy you, but here’s an excerpt of a letter Clark wrote to Abe Foxman, provided to Forward Magazine on-line.
    forward.com/bl…
    (I’m not sure whether I can do html, so I’ll give you the link both ways.)

    I read that letter and it’s nice and I hope he means it. Would you mind if I also call it “damage control?” The problem is that I really don’t know what he believes now about how Jews influence US policy.

    One thing Clark says is:
    “There is no place in these critical policy debates for Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that blame the Jewish community for the war in Iraq and for action against Iran.”
    I suggest you read the whole thing. If you want to know what he really thinks, and not hearsay via the Huffington Post.

    He can sue the Huffington Post if they misrepresented what he said. If you’ll notice, however, he does not mention them disparagingly in the letter to the ADL or in any press release thus far. I would guess the quote is accurate. However, he is absolutely right that there’s no place for conspiracy theories or antisemitism in these discussions.

    Finally, let me apologize for assuming you were a right-winger and/or neo-con. But boy howdy, you sure do write that way. Even the capitalized non-chicken-hawk — never heard of a Dem who was offended by calling Bush that. I guess you think it’s a good thing? At least Gore is no chicken-hawk either. Hillary Clinton is, of course. Surprise, she voted for the war, and Gore would not have.

    I have no preference for Gore over Hillary, although to be honest I prefer them to Giuliani and McCain. I reside near the center politically. I used the Chicken-hawk title disparagingly because you seemed so intent on branding me as a supporter of a chicken hawk. Who cares who is who? There are men of war who would be good managers of war as politicians and there are those who would be bad. There are no guarantees. The same goes for lifelong civilians – some are extraordinarily good leaders in wartime. Ben Gurion, for example.

    Ultimately, I am very troubled by what Clark said, what Carter has been saying, what I keep reading on Lefty and Democratic blogs. The general sense is that it’s now okay to speak about Israel and Jewish Americans in very negative terms that often place the blame for some of America’s key plagues at our feet. Considering the historic support of the Jewish community for the Dems, it’s appalling to watch this unfold.

  13. ramon marcos

    1/11/2007 at 12:40 am

    Jai – please take Middle’s comment to heart. We’ve all fallen in the same filter/moderation limbo. In fact on another post (re: that darn Kelsey) I made a fairly snide comment in response to a CK (aka El Jefe De Enfedado) comment that’s being held up in moderation. Or got lost. In any case it’s due to certain spam filters that are keeping your favorite Viagra spams out. Paciencia por favor…

    TM – I’m reluctantly feeling your same troubles about said Carter and Clark. Something’s abrew but I don’t think it’s fatal. For some odd reason I think the recent self-proclaimed Barak resurgence reflects this. I’m just not sure how. I’m just hoping in the end it’s a good thing.

    I’m also hoping for peace on earth. 🙂

  14. LirotTov

    1/11/2007 at 9:11 pm

    I guess I see the Clark remarks as less disturbing and web-slander and Carter’s book* as more so.

    *caveat: I have only seen a couple excerpts. But if indeed the former president is using characterizations of Jews from the Christian scriptures (which had to be edited to the liking of Roman officials along the way) as some kind of basis, he should be reminded that doing so would make as much sense as… as basing comments about African Americans on themes in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. (That’s the charitable example… The Shame i mean Birth of a Nation would be the ultra-inflammatory one; neither is a perfect analog…)

  15. stephen h. weiner

    1/11/2007 at 10:34 pm

    Jai: outside of New York City what does the bulk of America think of when it hears “New York Money People” in a paragraph also mentioning Israel: answer: Jews. Wesley Clark was well aware of that when he made the statement.

    As for his supposed Jewish family connections, it is sure getting easier to make antisemitic comments. It used to be okay if one who made an antisemitic comment actually is Jewish, (like an African American using the N word) Now claiming some Jewish ancestor makes it okay, no harm meant. With all the intermarriage in America, it can be open season on Jews real soon.

    By the way, I think George W. Bush is just fine.

  16. VJ

    1/13/2007 at 5:46 am

    Stephen If you think Bush is just fine, you’ve not been paying attention much, right? He’s going to attack Iran next, with a broken Army, and stretched too thin for the jobs it has. Bush will go down in history as the only American Prez to Lose 2 wars. All because he wanted to pursue a vendetta against Saddam. He could not even execute the man properly, and actually made a tyrant look good on the gallows. His incompetent, corrupt & feckless administration has managed to screw up every policy he’s ever acted on or considered. Everywhere. You can’t name one that’s been a success.

    What Gen. Clark was speaking to was our very real preparations for War with Iran & Syria. It scares him witless. It should scare you too and everyone else here who wants Israel to survive & thrive in a more peaceful ME. The rest of this is above is BS semantics. There are Very real preparations for WAR with Iran going on now. Mobilizations, weapons systems being put in place etc. That’s just NUTS with the way our military is currently deployed. It’s like with a horrendous defeat staring him in the face, Bush decided that was not enough. He wants a world war, a Real Crusade. This time, he promises, we’ll win, right? Cheers, ‘VJ’

  17. JewishClarkie08

    1/19/2007 at 5:42 pm

    Wesley Clark is not anti-semetic. Ridiculous comment. It’s irresponsible for jews even if they are republicans to say that. for political gain. Those damn repukes.

    Clark 08′! Run Wes Run!

  18. themiddle

    1/19/2007 at 6:55 pm

    Who’s a Republican here?

  19. aka_loshok

    3/30/2007 at 6:12 pm

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