Veteran U.S. General Wesley Clark — the former supreme allied commander in Europe and presidential candidate in 2004 — is poised to join the country’s first cross-partisan coalition to fight President Donald Trump.
Officially announced Friday, Clark’s move to lead Alliance Against Radical Islamic Terrorism comes in reaction to the President’s recent anti-Muslim rhetoric.
“The concept of fighting radical Islamic terrorism across a geographic space that includes the entire Levant — just in Europe — there’s no one better positioned than General Clark to effectively lead this effort,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said.
The group plans to rally support for a new alliance “to vigorously and effectively counter radical Islamic terrorist groups and to strengthen the alliance of democratic states against them.”
The group says it expects the General to serve as president and will use an “interim period” to recruit and train general military and police officials to serve as liaisons with NATO and the European Union.
“Since the very outset of Donald Trump’s presidency, he’s unleashed those who want to see America destroyed,” Clark said. “President Trump cannot defeat this threat by leading us into war alone.”
The group will mobilize support by calling for a “softening of our borders, cracking down on Muslim funding, tougher enforcement on hate speech, and ridding America of clerics who propagate hate. Combined, these three steps will expose Islam to the light of the truth.”
The first general to serve as a presidential candidate in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 elections, Clark has been a member of the Pentagon’s National Security Council staff and served as deputy commander of NATO for more than a year.
In his first stint in the office, Clark stepped in when Donald Rumsfeld was in England for the 9/11 Commission report hearings, and remained on the job through January 2005, a job that included calling former President George W. Bush “a truthful truth teller” in his testimony.
In 2003, Clark was named Supreme Allied Commander of Europe in April 2003, where he oversaw NATO forces in the wake of the tragic terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Clark was a key official behind the efforts to free Western hostages held by Saddam Hussein, including British photojournalist Ken Bigley.
Formerly a vocal critic of Trump, Clark spoke out earlier this year against the Administration’s talk of a swift withdrawal from Syria and speculated that the President could be setting the stage for a wider regional war.
The group called on American leaders to “reframe our views of Islamist extremism, so that we understand it as an enemy of civilization, not as a religious movement or ideology.”
The group was founded by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC). Albright noted that former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had published a book, “See No Evil,” on radical Islam, and that Albright and former Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) had co-authored an op-ed to appear in the Wall Street Journal the week after the President’s Charlottesville remarks.
Although they now have a multi-partisan approach, Albright said that “there have been some strains of partisanship in our alliance.
However, she and Edwards said the Washington Post’s editorial cartoon depicting Clark a goat on his knees made matters worse.
“One of the most demeaning things I’ve seen about W. was this cartoon by Walt Kovacs in the Washington Post,” Albright said. “And I could not resist. I said ‘Wow, that’s really demeaning.’”
The former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe is also signed on as a co-chairman of The New Paradigm Alliance, an organization created to represent the ideological beliefs of Western liberals.