America and its allies need to get tougher on young men, who may become radical Islamists, said Clark, who is best known for leading NATO troops during the Kosovo war. The former Democratic presidential candidate made the comments in an interview on MSNBC in response to the shooting at a recruitment camp in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that left four Marines killed.
“We have got to identify the people who are most likely to be radicalized. We’ve got to cut this off at the beginning,” the retired general said. “I do think on a national policy level we need to look at what self-radicalization means because we are at war with this group of terrorists.
“In World War II, if someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn’t say that was freedom of speech, we put him in a camp, they were prisoners of war,” he said. “If these people are radicalized and they don’t support the United States and they are disloyal to the United States as a matter of principle, fine, that’s their right. And it’s our right and our obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict.”
Clark added that “not only the United States but our allied nations like Britain, Germany and France are going to have to look at their domestic law procedures.”
The suggested heavy-handed solution that implies punishing people not for criminal acts but for upholding radical beliefs came in contrast to Clark’s earlier criticisms of the excesses of the Bush administration response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, such as the torture of terror suspects. He also spoke against “the politics of fear” in dealing with the threat of foreign fighters coming home from Middle East conflicts.
The interview sparked outrage on social media, which the former general called “blogosteria” on his Twitter account. He reiterated that “US Citz who choose #ISIS are spies, enemy combatants or both. Govt should separate them from the rest of us.”