Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wesley Clark: McCain Untried, Untested, Unqualified

John McCain has always been reticent about using his military record and POW experience in his political campaigns. It's never really been much of an issue because most of his opponents have had some kind of uniformed experience.

Until now.

Barack Obama has no military experience whatsoever and he wants to be President and Commander-in-Chief of all the armed forces of the United States. That should not be any impediment to becoming President; many Presidents have had no military service. But, in these dangerous times, even Obama seems to think military service important enough to have his proxies attack the military record of John McCain.

US Army General Wesley Clark, retired, was a guest on Face The Nation this morning attacking McCain as untried, untested, and unqualified to be president. Bob Schieffer didn't let the comments slide.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: ...I think being President is, is about having good judgment. It's about the ability to communicate. As one of the great Presidential historians Richard Newsted said, "The greatest power of the Presidency is the power to persuade." And what Barack Obama brings is incredible communication skills, proven judgment. You look at his meteoric rise in politics, and you see a guy who deals with people well, who understands issues, who brings people together and who has good judgment in moving forward. And I think what we need to do, Bob, is we need to stop talking about the old politics of left and right, and we need to pull together and move the country forward. And I think that's what Barack Obama will do for America.

Bob Schieffer: Well you, you went so far as to say that you thought John McCain was, quote, and these are your words, "untested and untried," And I must say I, I had to read that twice, because you're talking about somebody who was a prisoner of war. He was a squadron commander of the largest squadron in the Navy. He's been on the Senate Armed Services Committee for lo these many years. How can you say that John McCain is un- untested and untried? General?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Because in the matters of national security policy making, it's a matter of understanding risk. It's a matter of gauging your opponents, and it's a matter of being held accountable. John McCain's never done any of that in his official positions. I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in Armed Forces as a prisoner of war. He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in Air- in the Navy that he commanded, it wasn't a wartime squadron. He hasn't been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn't seen what it's like when diplomats come in and say, 'I don't know whether we're going to be able to get this point through or not. Do you want to take the risk? What about your reputation? How do we handle it-'

Bob Schieffer: Well-

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: ' -it publicly.' He hasn't made those calls, Bob.

Bob Schieffer: I have to say, Barack Obama has not had any of those experiences either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down. I mean-

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be President.

Bob Schieffer: Really?!

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: But Barack is not, he is not running on the fact that he has made these national security pronouncements. He's running on his other strengths. He's running on the strengths of character, on the strengths of his communication skills, on the strengths of his judgment. And those are qualities that we seek in our national leadership.
Okay, there we have it. McCain's military experience before and after Vietnam and his leadership while in captivity and afterwards in the Navy don't count for spit. Being the son and grandson of US Navy Admirals who served their country with distinction and honor and having them as life mentors are nothing but smoke.

McCain's character and judgement has been tested. He could have emerged from the Hanoi Hilton with nothing but hate in his heart for all Vietnamese. He didn't though. Granted he's not so fond of the guys that tortured him, but he holds no animosity toward the entire nation. That's character and judgement. Is he perfect, no. But we have seen that he tries to live his life by principles that are not conveniently flexable. John McCain has always been a Christian proud of his country.

But, according to Clark (who has been criticized for many of his decisions in the Balkans War that probably led to his early retirement,) Obama has his character, his communication skills, and his judgement. And it's open season on being shot down as a character and judgement building experience.

And what has built the character and judgement of Barack Obama? Having a communist activist as a childhood mentor; accepting Christ from a Black supremacist racist and holding him as a spiritual mentor; having a Weather Underground domestic terrorist university professor as his educational mentor; holding near and dear a shady real estate investor as a financial mentor? To Wesley Clark and many Democrats, these all qualify Barack Obama, who's middle name cannot be uttered, to be President.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


don said...

I am so thankful for someone like Gen. Clark to clarify for me how I should judge the suitability of a candidate.

Indigo Red said...

Yeah, especialy since he was such an acceptable candidate.

suek said...

"But Barack is not, he is not running on the fact that he has made these national security pronouncements. He's running on his other strengths."

Hah. In other words, it was fair to Swiftboat Kerry because Kerry decided to run as a Vietnam vet, so it's not fair to let McCain get the benefit of his Vietnam vet status. Barack isn't running on his National Security pronouncements so we can't hold them against him.


Indigo Red said...

You got it, suek. It's okay for one but not the other. And if the situation was reversed the situation would simply be reversed.

Danny Vice said...

Wesley Clark trips all over himself every time he says anything.

Last go around, Clark crowed endlessly about Kerry’s service, and how horrible it was that anyone would doubt Kerry’s integrity. He held Kerry up as a hero and ABSOLUTELY advertised his service as a reason why Kerry was fit to be commander in chief.

Now he flip flops right on his face - as he usually does.

Conservatives flip flop from time to time, but they don’t throw any vet under the bus unless that vet is out there denigrating our troops - like Kerry did.

They are two peas in a pod.

Clark is a disgrace to the uniform and it’s a tragedy our soldiers and vets had to listen to his blather.

On the other hand,does military experience give you an advantage when dealing with military commanders - something the next President will have to do often? That's quite obviously a yes.

Danny Vice