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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Clark won't back down

Ben Smith: Clark won't back down: Retired general Wesley Clark says,
There are many important issues in this Presidential election, clearly one of the most important issues is national security and keeping the American people safe. In my opinion, protecting the American people is the most important duty of our next President. I have made comments in the past about John McCain's service and I want to reiterate them in order be crystal clear. As I have said before I honor John McCain's service as a prisoner of war and a Vietnam Veteran. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in Armed Forces as a prisoner of war. I would never dishonor the service of someone who chose to wear the uniform for our nation.

John McCain is running his campaign on his experience and how his experience would benefit him and our nation as President. That experience shows courage and commitment to our country - but it doesn't include executive experience wrestling with national policy or go-to-war decisions. And in this area his judgment has been flawed - he not only supported going into a war we didn't have to fight in Iraq, but has time and again undervalued other, non-military elements of national power that must be used effectively to protect America. But as an American and former military officer I will not back down if I believe someone doesn't have sound judgment when it comes to our nation's most critical issues.
I guess this is what passes for logic in Clark's mind.

But what it comes down to is, "The poor democrats...still think John Kerry lost because his service to his country was attacked, rather than his disservice", as Orrin Judd put it and Ed Driscoll added.

So they are repeatedly attacking McCain on his Vietnam experience in order to put McCain on the defensive, and to put McCain's heroism and character on the same (low) level as Kerry's.

Clearly Obama has no national security experience, no command experience, no military experience (may I point out that McCain served in the Navy for 8 years after he was released by the Vietcong?), no diplomatic experience (even when he's willing to meet with our enemies without preconditions), and in his two measly years in the Senate has not been in the Senate Armed Services Committee. The Obama people have to come up with this stuff because they can not afford to have anyone compare Obama's resume to McCain's.

I was talking to Rick Moran yesterday afternoon, and this is one issue McCain can take on, and run with it: experience and national security. Once McCain explains to the American people how important our energy policy is and how it is pertinent to our national security and economic well-being, an issue McCain's experience and character well qualifies him for, he'll win the election.

It looks like McCain's taking that approach:
The important thing is that if that's the kind of campaign that Senator Obama and his surrogates and his supporters want to wage, I understand that, but it doesn't reduce the price of a gallon of gas by one penny. It doesn't achieve our energy independence, make it come any closer. It doesn't help an American stay in their home who are at risk of losing it today. And it certainly doesn't do anything to address the challenges that Americans have in keeping their jobs, their homes and supporting their families. So, I intend to, in this campaign, to discuss the challenges we face, ... and [the] many other proposals and ideas and a plan of action I have to help the families of this nation.
In the meantime, may Aravosis repeat his question. It'll only make the public realize what Obama supporters really are like.


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At 10:40 AM, Blogger Anthony (Los Angeles) said...

This is one of those moments when someone should say to the Democrats, "Don't you dare go there!" The Swiftboaters raised legitimate questions about Kerry service, service which Kerry himself made part of the campaign, and about his post-service activities. If anyone is engaged in "swiftboating" (as the word is commonly understood), it's the Democrats with these sleazy attacks on McCain's record.

BTW, just to be picky in the morning, McCain was released by the North Vietnamese, not the VC, who operated in the South. :)

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Pat Patterson said...

Especially egregious is that the updated version from Gen. Clark simply brings to mind that his own exereince leading combat formations was one month and then as NATO commander he had to be slapped down twice by the civilian leadership in the US, and to a lesser extent NATO, for overstepping his military responsibilites. First in threatening Milosevic with a land invasion, which had been specificaly disavowed by NATO and Pres. Clinton, and the second giving a tactical order to a British officer that contradicted NATO policy and overruled that officer's direct orders from his own government, for not starting, as the officer claimed, "World War III."

In fairness to Gen. Clark, he was indeed asked the question by Bob Scheiffer but appears, again, not to have the sense to keep mum then and then later when he continued struggling in his own briar patch.

This question of executive experience is indeed important and as usual the media has abrogated any responsibility for leading the discussion and simply is running back and forth between the campaigns hoping for a headline.


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