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Gen. Wesley Clark: Escalation Will Empower Iran

By Amanda Terkel on February 27, 2007 at 2:15 pm

"Gen. Wesley Clark: Escalation Will Empower Iran"

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In his Jan. 10 address to the nation, Bush cited Iran’s growing influence in Iraq as a key argument for escalating U.S. troop presence. “Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We’ll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria,” Bush said.

Last night on Fox News’s O’Reilly Factor, Gen. Wesley Clark said that using escalation to counter Iran is a “fundamentally flawed” strategy. “What is actually happening with the surge strategy is the Shiite militia have gone underground and the U.S. troops are going to concentrate against the Sunnis. The actual impact of the surge strategy is likely to be that we deliver total control of Baghdad to the Shiites sooner rather than later.” In other words, if anything, the escalation will end up empowering Iran. Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/02/clarkiran.320.240.flv]

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Transcript:

CLARK: What is actually happening with the surge strategy is the Shiite militia have gone underground and the U.S. troops are going to concentrate against the Sunnis. The actual impact of the surge strategy is likely to be that we deliver total control of Baghdad to the Shiites sooner rather than later.

O’REILLY: It’s possible. It’s possible.

CLARK: Liable to exacerbate the problem. The administration believes it can gain leverage against Iran by being successful in the surge strategy — that is a fundamentally flawed assumption. And they’re postponing dialogue, waiting for the success from the surge strategy.

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