Tags: Editor's Pick | Clark | Israel | bomb | Iran

Wesley Clark to Newsmax: Israel Will Not Bomb Iran

By    |   Wednesday, 26 September 2012 02:23 PM

There is little chance of Israel bombing Iran because sanctions and other measures put in place by the international community will be enough to contain the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions, former four-star general Wesley Clark tells Newsmax.

And in any case, President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is in such deep domestic trouble that his own people could be the ones who turf him out, Clark predicted.

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Clark — who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and is a firm supporter of President Barack Obama — also said Republicans are crying foul over the threat of military cuts under sequestration plans and defended the president’s comment that the murder of U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya was “a bump in the road.”

Clark spoke exclusively to Newsmax.TV in New York where he was attending the Clinton Global Initiative.

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He said he does not believe Israel will strike Iran. “Other measures will be brought to bear by the international community against Iran,” he said. “I mean tougher sanctions and other measures. Everything’s on the table.

“President Obama said he’s going to do everything that’s required. They will not get a nuclear weapon,” Clark predicted.

He also said imposing a no-fly zone over Syria in an attempt to wear down the Assad regime would also not be effective. Instead he said the response should be “to try to seal off the conflict from Iranian weapons and also to take care of the refugees and to provide humanitarian assistance and political development assistance for the Syrian opposition.”

Clark was NATO’s Supreme Commander Europe from 1997 to 2000 and led the allied forces in the Kosovo War in 1998 and 1999. After his retirement from the military he became active in Democratic politics. He won the party’s Oklahoma primary in 2004 but dropped out of the race soon after.

He told Newsmax the defense cuts of more than $50 billion, due in January under sequestration are “highly unlikely to kick in.”

“They were put there as a sort of unimaginable, awful consequence if there’s no agreement. They were designed to generate the agreement.

“In other words, they were to be so awful in contemplation that the Republicans and Democrats would have to agree, the Democrats because this cuts primarily the social side, the Republicans . . . on the military side.

“Now, the Republicans are out saying, ‘Well, the president did this,’ “ he added. “The President didn’t do this. The president set up an agreement for $4 trillion in deficit reduction, which the Republicans couldn’t follow through and this was the consequence and they agreed to the sequestration so they could hold a gun to their own head.

“So, let’s remember how this all started. They wanted this to pressure themselves so they could make the awful decision that the wealthy might have to pay a few more dollars in taxes. I don’t think that’s an awful decision.

“Something like 70 percent of the American people, or more, believe that the wealthiest people in this country should pay more in income taxes. So that’s not a very controversial decision but it’s a very hard decision, apparently, for some in one political party to make.”

Clark said he is sure the two sides will come to an agreement to avoid sequestration. “More importantly, we need a strategy that will get America growing again economically because if we could grow at three or four percent a year, a lot of this worry about how much debt we have 30 years from now would go away.”

Clark said Obama is right not to let the killing of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans interrupt his plans to help democratic regimes in the Middle East.

“The people of Libya are overwhelmingly pro-America. The people of Egypt are overwhelming pro-America and pro-democracy.

“Just because a few hundred — or in some cases, less than that — demonstrators use America as a target to whip up a frenzy and then demonstrate outside our embassy, so what?

“We know the direction modernization will inevitably follow. People want self-expression, they want self-government and they want economic development, and that’s coming.

“There’s going to be a few lurches back and forth in these countries. It’s difficult,” he added, saying that one of the most important lessons is to increase security for American diplomats.

“It shouldn’t happen again and I’m sure we’ll prevent it,” he said. “But it’s not going to change and it should not be viewed as a popular referendum on the United States and certainly not on President Obama.”

When it comes to the election, Clark said he is confident that Obama will win.

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“When he took office, we were in a deep, deep economic hole. It got worse, really, the same hole. It just kept collapsing like a sinkhole. And he just happened to be here.

“So, as President Clinton said in his remarks in Charlotte a few weeks ago, the Republicans’ strategy is, ‘Hey, we gave you a problem. You didn’t solve it fast enough. You’re out of here. We want to go make the problem worse again.’

“That’s no answer. And the American people know it.”

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There is little chance of Israel bombing Iran because sanctions and other measures put in place by the international community will be enough to contain the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions, former four-star general Wesley Clark tells Newsmax.
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 02:23 PM
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