News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Monday, August 18, 2008

Great soldiers and sucking bureaucrats

Politics and Hypocrisy remarks on the fact that the Obama campaign has discharged Gen. Wesley Clark and told him there would be no purpose in him coming to the Democratic Convention. This could cost Obama the support of some veterans who think the war on Iraq is an atrocity that needlessly took 4,100 American lives and physically and mentally maimed tens of thousands of military personnel.
As NATO commander and Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Gen. Clark worked out the diplomatic process and military strategies in dealing with Bosnia and Kosovo. In implementing the diplomatic "offensive," Gen. Clark was tireless and relentless. His appeal to military personnel is that he doesn't regard soldiers as disposable. He does not order soldiers into battle when there are other means of to deal with a crisis. Despite the words of commiseration by the Bush administration and John McCain, the fact is that war on Iraq is a war of vanity that has served no purpose in creating peace and bettering lives. It has done quite the opposite, and it needlessly sacrificed American lives in the process.

Gen. Clark has been dismissed from the Obama campaign for commenting in regard to John McCain that flying an aircraft and being a prisoner of war is not a qualification for the position of chief executive of the free world. As Fred Kaplan of Slate says, Clark's remarks have merit, but he has shown a politically tin ear. As NATO commander, Clark also irritated the hell out of Secretary of Defense William Cohen. Exceptionally intelligent and capable people test the tolerance of bureaucrats.

Gen. Clark commanded an infantry unit in Vietnam and was shot four times by a Viet Cong soldier during a fire fight. Clark commanded his unit to respond and it won the skirmish. He was awarded he Purple Heart and the Silver Star. Soldiers like to know that the person who orders them into battle and commands them knows and understands what it is to have your ass shot off. The War on Iraq is in the genre of Custer at the Little Big Horn. Custer ignored the intelligence brought to him and in his vainglorious frenzy violated his orders and all the rules of battle. He sacrificed an entire company to stupidity and incompetence--but George W. Bush has set a new record in that regard.

Gen. Clark lost no American lives in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Gen. Clark may make some injudicious remarks, but his record of performance is unparalleled in contemporary military history. He commits troops to battle only when diplomatic negotiations have been exhausted.

The Obama campaign needs to keep Gen. Clark on board, because America needs the kind of international and military thinking and experience possessed by him and people of his caliber. He is needed to extract us from the atrocity of Iraq.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States