Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark made his first campaign appearance in Iowa Friday amid questions about his views on the war in Iraq. Clark, who is a retired general, has been a frequent and vocal critic of the war in Iraq, but he told a group of reporters on Thursday that if he’d been in Congress last year he would have voted to give President Bush the authority to use force against Iraq. During an interview with Radio Iowa on Friday, Clark said his comments had been taken out of context, and others who heard what he said had a different interpretation. “I’m a soldier. I understand what war’s about, but I would have voted for the right kind of leverage for the President to head off war and avoid it,” Clark said. After our interview, Clark delivered a foreign policy lecture at the University of Iowa — and he attracted a crowd of over a thousand.Clark told the crowd he “would never have voted for war.” “I’m a soldier,” Clark said. “I’ve been in war. I’ve been shot. I’ve laid on the battlefield bleeding. I’ve looked at people dying. I’ve looked at the devastation across Europe from war. I’ve seen the terrible passions it engenders. I’ve seen that killing begets killing and hatred begets hatred and it’s no way to solve problems and resolve disputes.” Clark entered the presidential race this past Wednesday and in our Radio Iowa interview he said he plans to return to Iowa and compete for support in Iowa’s Caucuses, which are the first contest in the 2004 nominating season.
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