Democrats & Liberals Archives

Introducing Wesley Clark

A lot has been said about the wide range of candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for President. The Dems have lost focus, there are too many, the field needs to be trimmed down, etc. All of those are valid observations on one level or another, however, it appears a new candidate is poised to take the lead and he wears a few stars on his shoulders. CNN has announced Wesley Clark will announce his candidacy tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 17th.

Wesley Clark graduated first in his class at West Point, was a Rhodes Scholar and eventually earned a graduate degree from Oxford. He retired from the military as a four star general and is one of the country’s most decorated soldiers since Dwight D. Eisenhower. He has received honorary Knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments and was made a commander of the French Legion of Honor. In 2000, Clark was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Or, as a friend put it, “actually he needs to get his [crap] together and start screwing up if he wants to be in politics.”

If you’re interested in getting the entire story straight from interviews with Clark I highly recommend reading the Wesley Clark FAQ, which is full of soundbytes and sources of his various interviews. I’ll recap some of my favorites in this post.

"The solution to terrorism is not going to be found in bullets…It's not going to be found in precision ordnance or targeted strikes. It's really going to be found in changing the conditions. It's going to be found in establishing a global safety net that starts with security and goes to economic development and political development and the kinds of modernization which let others enjoy the fruits of modernization that we as Americans enjoy…"

Clark's philosophy on terrorism is exactly what mine is and that is that we're only producing MORE terrorists by bombing Iraq and our blind support of Israel. He also points out that we can't force them to change, we must first foster the conditions for change. Obviously Clark paid attention in class at Oxford while getting his masters in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

"The Patriot Act ought to be pulled out and given a full sunshine review… You’re not going to win the war on terrorism if you destroy who we are as Americans and take away our rights and liberties."

And the crowd stands up and cheers! I about pulled out my checkbook when I read this. This is the argument I make all the time to my right wing friends who say "We can't let them (terrorists) win!" I say that, with the introduction and enforcement of the PATRIOT Act, they have already won.

"We went into Iraq under false pretenses. There was…deceptive advertising; you'd be taking [President Bush] to the Better Business Bureau if you bought a washing machine the way we went into the war in Iraq."

I about fell out of my chair laughing at the above statement and there's really not much I can say as far as commenting goes.

I've read through the FAQ and a couple of bios and I've got to say that I'm super impressed by what I see. I see a distinguished soldier, a well educated man (no, going to Yale and graduating with a C average is not well educated) and someone who recognizes the threat terrorism poses and has the knowledge to deal with it.

What makes me most excited about Clark is the fact that Bush can't stand on his neo-patriotic platform anymore and denounce Democrats as not having the credentials to deal with the threat of terrorism. With the introduction of a four star general that argument goes out the window.

Posted by joestump at September 16, 2003 12:47 PM