CLARK ON FOX….Via Josh Marshall, here’s a link to the Wesley Clark interview on Fox that several people mentioned in comments below. You have to sit through an opening ad, and Fox annoyingly prevents you from skipping forward and backward in the clip, but at about the 2-minute mark the Fox host asks ? while sort of sadly pretending to apologize for having to bring it up ? about something Clark said on Sunday:

Fox: On Meet the Press you said something about Iraq. You said, “President Bush has said [the war in Iraq] is the centerpiece for the war on terror. It isn’t. It’s a sideshow. It’s simply their easiest means of access to attack American soldiers. That’s all it is.”

Do you really think Iraq is only a sideshow?

Clark: For the war on terror it’s a terrible distraction. We should have gone directly after Osama bin Laden….We should be putting a full court effort on finding Osama bin Laden….

Fox: While our men and women are dying in Iraq, is it proper to call it a sideshow?

Clark: Our men and women in Iraq are doing a fabulous job….Don’t you dare twist words into disrespect for our men and women in uniform….You better take my words the right way….

And it just gets better from there.

This tired trope of pretending that anyone who criticizes presidential priorities is showing disrespect to the military is about as despicable as it gets, and it’s way past time for it to stop. Clark got good and pissed off about it, and deservedly so. I hope it embarrasses the clowns at Fox from pulling it again.

And in case you’re wondering, I imagine that this kind of remark is exactly what Samuel Johnson had in mind when he said “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

UPDATE: Wording changed slightly based on the transcript here.

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