Wesley Clark's new memoir casts more
light on the Bush administration's secret strategies for regime change in
Iran and elsewhere
by Joe Conason
While the Bush White House promotes the possibility of armed conflict with
Iran, a tantalizing passage in Wesley Clark's new memoir suggests that
another war is part of a long-planned Department of Defense strategy that
anticipated "regime change" by force in no fewer than seven Mideast states.
Critics of the war have often voiced suspicions of such imperial schemes,
but this is the first time that a high-ranking former military officer has
claimed to know that such plans existed.
The existence of that classified memo would certainly cast more dubious
light not only on the original decision to invade Iraq because of Saddam
Hussein's weapons and ambitions but on the current efforts to justify and
even instigate military action against Iran.
In "A Time to Lead: For Duty, Honor and Country," published by Palgrave
Macmillan last month, the former four-star general recalls two visits to the
Pentagon following the terrorist attacks of September 2001. On the first
visit, less than two weeks after Sept. 11, he writes, a "senior general"
told him, "We're going to attack Iraq. The decision has basically been
Six weeks later, Clark returned to Washington to see the same general and
inquired whether the plan to strike Iraq was still under consideration. The
general's response was stunning:
"'Oh, it's worse than that,' he said, holding up a memo on his desk. 'Here's
the paper from the Office of the Secretary of Defense [then Donald Rumsfeld]
outlining the strategy. We're going to take out seven countries in five
years.' And he named them, starting with Iraq and Syria and ending with
While Clark doesn't name the other four countries, he has mentioned in
televised interviews that the hit list included Lebanon, Libya, Somalia and
Sudan. . . .