I was saddened to read Rich Lowry's attempt to portray Gen. Wesley Clark as a "paranoid liberal" in a column that recently appeared on this page. Lowry's rhetoric is a painful reminder of the depths to which public debate in our republic has sunk.
Evidently, Lowry did not read the research paper published by the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute last month which concludes that the Bush administration's war on terrorism is unfocused, and refers to the invasion of Iraq as "a strategic error." Or maybe he thinks the Army War College is run by a bunch of "paranoid liberals."
Lowry probably also missed the three articles recently published in the American Conservative magazine by retired Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, a former Pentagon insider, which describe her experiences with the civilians currently running the Department of Defense. Kwiatkowski claims to have been "present at a staff meeting when Deputy Undersecretary Bill Luti called (retired Marine Corps) General Zinni (who was once Bush's Middle East envoy) a traitor." She attests to the manipulation of intelligence by those in the Bush administration who favored a "pre-emptive" invasion of Iraq. Many of those who have made it onto "the Neoconservative List of Major Despicable People," she observes, "were retired from a branch of the military with a star or two or four on their shoulders." More disgruntled "liberals," I presume.