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Tags: wesley clark | israel | hamas | ukraine | donald trump | joe biden | ukraine

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark to Newsmax: 'Serious Mistakes' Made in Gaza War

By    |   Thursday, 11 April 2024 12:19 AM EDT

"Serious mistakes" have been made from the beginning of the hostilities between Israel and Hamas, but the United States remains a strong supporter of Israel, a key ally, retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, a former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, told Newsmax on Wednesday.

However, Clark told "Newsline" that comments made by former President Donald Trump in Atlanta on Wednesday claiming that President Joe Biden has "abandoned Israel" are not fair.

"The United States should have insisted that Israel and Egypt evacuate people from Gaza," Clark said. "Hamas didn't want it. Egypt didn't want them there. But if you pay enough money, [they] would take them. You had to get the people out of the way before you started the military operation."

But now it's too late to do that, but it's not too late in terms of Israel's planned initiative on Rafah, the city in southern Gaza that Israel claims is an enclave for Hamas leaders, he said.

"We should still be pressing to get those civilians out of Rafah and have Egypt and Israel take them," Clark said. "There are so many humanitarian agencies that would love to put up the refugee camps and accept these people, and that should be a principal effort by the United States."

The U.S. is still strongly supporting Israel, he insisted.

"I know how the people in Israel feel because I talk to them almost every day, and there's just a terrible sense of deja vu that they can't let Hamas get away with this," Clark said. "I know the president must feel the same way about it. And somehow [they have] to work through this issue of the civilians that are being used as human shields and hostages there."

Clark also discussed the situation in Ukraine, where mistakes have also been made, but he said he does not agree with statements blaming the situation fully on Biden's handling of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

"The truth is that the Afghan withdrawal was built upon a settlement that Donald Trump proposed," Clark said. "He's the one who left us with no residual force. President Biden was held and put in a position of if he was going to try to keep forces there, he was going to have to go to war with the Taliban all over again, so we elected not to do that."

However, he said he could not defend the way the withdrawal was "handled poorly, particularly by the State Department and poor estimation of the staying capacities of the Afghan military."

Meanwhile, the situation in Ukraine dates to the Obama administration, Clark said.

"Basically, the Obama administration told [Russian President Vladimir] Putin he could have Crimea and told the Ukrainians to get out of it," he said. "There's been a decade of failure in dealing with strongly with [Vladimir] Putin, including Donald Trump."

Further, Ukraine has not been given the military or political support it needed in its fight after the Russian invasion, Clark said.

"Even today we don't have a strong commitment to the fact that Ukraine must eject Russian forces from all of Ukraine, including Crimea," he said. "That's the only condition for peace in the region."

Clark said it "just breaks my heart" to see the U.S. so divided and in recent months, he has been working with an organization to unify Americans.

"Look, we just have to respect each other as Americans," Clark said. "I mean, people are going to have differing opinions, but that doesn't mean you're a traitor. It doesn't mean you're an enemy. It doesn't mean there's going be a civil war."

His organization, the New America Together program, is "bringing people together from all across diverse backgrounds and letting them problem solve together."

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Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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"Serious mistakes" have been made from the beginning of the hostilities between Israel and Hamas, but the United States remains a strong supporter of Israel, a key ally, retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, a former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, told Newsmax.
wesley clark, israel, hamas, ukraine, donald trump, joe biden, ukraine, russian
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2024-19-11
Thursday, 11 April 2024 12:19 AM
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