Wesley Clark Hammers McCain’s Experience

ImageWesley Clark was on Face the Nation today, and he took aim at the idea that McCain’s Vietnam War experience makes him more qualified to be president. “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 the Navy that he commanded, that wasn’t a wartime squadron,” Clark said.

Host Bob Schieffer said that Barack Obama hasn’t had these experiences either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down. Clark replied that, “I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president.” With one swoop, Clark attacked the entire basis for the McCain presidential campaign.

McCain spokesman Brian Roberts tried to use Clark’s statement to paint Obama as a typical politician, “If Barack Obama’s campaign wants to question John McCain’s military service, that’s their right. But let’s please drop the pretense that Barack Obama stands for a new type of politics. The reality is he’s proving to be a typical politician who is willing to say anything to get elected, including allowing his campaign surrogates to demean and attack John McCain’s military service record.”

Of course, Clark is correct. The whole idea that McCain would make a better president because he was a P.O.W. is stupid. Clark was not challenging McCain’s military record, what he was challenging is the phony idea that McCain’s military record makes him a more qualified candidate than Obama. McCain’s experience in Vietnam probably shaped his ideology, so isn’t it fair to ask if this ideology is the correct one to lead the nation forward at this time.

I am glad that somebody finally had the guts to stand up and challenge the Republican Party and their faux patriotism. For too long Democrats have cowered at the prospect of being labeled un-American, so it was refreshing to see Wesley Clark finally step up and challenge these GOP myths. Now I am left to wonder if Clark just elevated himself on Obama’s VP short list.

You can watch the interview here.

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52 Replies to “Wesley Clark Hammers McCain’s Experience”

  1. What countries does McCain owe allegiance to?
    Is John McCain in the pocket of oil companies?
    Is John McCain in the pocket of insurance companies?
    Is john McCain in the pocket of pharmaceutical companies?
    Here is a list of lobbyists and employees of major companies working in leading positions in the McCain campaign. It will answer any questions you might have about the people who are advising and influencing him.

    http://mccainsource.com/corruption?id=0006

  2. Are you a Democrat test?

    Would a Democrat vote for a man who voted against raising the minimum wage in, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2006?

    Would a Democrat vote to kill our bravest young people for 100 years looking for weapons of mass destruction that do not exist?

    Would a Democrat vote for a man who does not know that 9-11 was caused by Osama Bin Laden not Sedam Hussein?

    Would a Democrat vote the man who does not know if the Sunnis or Sheits are our enemies?

    Would a Democrat vote for the man who voted against increasing benefits for the military that he sends in harm’s way?

    Would a Democrat vote to keep putting our government on the China, Saudi Arabia credit card?

    Would a Democrat vote for tax cuts only for the wealthy?

    Would a Democrat vote for opposition to SCHIP?

    Would a Democrat vote for tax credits for health care instead of a nation health care system?

    Would a Democrat vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?

    Would a Democrat vote for a right-wing Supreme Court?

    Would a Democrat vote for a third Bush term?

    Would a Democrat vote for a man who says the economic downturn is psychological?

    Would a Democrat vote for a man who says you are better off under George Bush?

    Would a Democrat vote for a man who says irresponsible, undeserving homeowners are losing their homes? But is fortunate to own 8 homes!

  3. Awesome response dude! u hit the nail right on the head. As much as I admire & respect the USA being a world leader of democracy (before theBush43 years), I fear the American public will b scared into voting 4 another republican president. I hope not but it probably will happen. God help us!

  4. I completely agree with this post. But Obama is going to have to be very careful with how much of a leash he keeps on his surrogates.

    There is also the interesting angle of Clark vying for the VP spot with this sort of attack dog comment.

    http://www.politicana.co.uk

  5. The idea that either Senator McCain or Senator Obama would make a better President because of military combat experience alone is a superfluous argument at best and General Clark knows this. The framers of the Constitution knew this as well.

    General Clark knows that being President of the United States involves experience in the politics of war as well as the mechanics of war.

    Senator McCain has both. Senator Obama has none. General Clark only has the mechanics of war experience.

    Such arguments to make a case that the GOP is more-American than Democrats are just as superfluous.

  6. In his autobiography McCain recounts his being shot down. Typical of a USNA “anchorman,” it was due only to his incompetence and dull wits…by his own admission. He threw away his taxpayer-supplied airplane.

    His grandfather was relieved of his command during WWII. His father served a corrupt president in another false war predicated on GHWBush’s, Nixon’s, and an element of the Knight of Malta-led, Roman Catholic CIA’s assassination of John Kennedy, six weeks after we had been ordered home by NSAM263.

    McCain went on to betray the wife who faithfully waited for him. The adultery he committed was with the woman to who he is now married…a Mob frontman’s daughter.

    Wesley Clark can never repair the Ft. Hood commissary line unmasking he did of himself…disqualifying himself for any elected office…but he nailed McCain properly on this matter.

    McCain is no hero. He is a serial incompetent married to the Mob without grace, dignity or honor.

  7. McCain has “experience in the politics of war”? Like what?

    Has he been an ambassador? No.

    Has he ever brokered a peace treaty? No.

    Has he ever met with foreign leaders? No.

    McCain’s much-ballyhoo’d ‘experience’ is a myth. A popularly-believed one, but still a myth.

  8. While Clark is an active member of the Democratic party I’d hardly call him a surrogate and definitely not an attack dog. He has a long record of standing up and speaking his mind on military matters and I don’t see this as any different just because we are in the run up to the election. I also think it’s ridiculous to say that “Generals should stay out of politics”, if so, shouldn’t this apply to all retired military officers including McCain? I agree that ACTIVE military members should not participate in the political process beyond voting since they are duty bound to report to the president whether they like him/her or not. However, Wesley Clark is retired and has as much right to participate as McCain has as an ex-military officer.

    It’s too bad if you don’t like what he has to say but he has as much right to say it as anyone else and his professional experience adds more weight to his opinion in this case. His comments are far more honest and honorable then the swift boat veterans comments four years ago and I’ll bet you had no complaints about them.

    While Clark is stating the obvious that getting shot down and being a POW doesn’t make you qualified to be president, I’d be inclined to go even further. I have serious doubts about McCain’s mental fitness to be president after being a POW. How did his being tortured affected his mind? Did it break him and make him less decisive in pressure situations? Did it leave him angry and volatile making him more inclined to over-react in a military situation. I don’t think anyone would argue that torture can change a person, the question is how has it changed him? Not knowing how it has changed him, I am very concerned with putting him in a position where he is the one person with his finger on the switch.

    I have tremendous respect for John McCain, other POW’s and veterans in general. In fact, I’d support McCain for any position except president. However, I’m far more comfortable giving someone with little or no military experience control over our WMD’s because I’m confident he is of sound mind and will make decisions based on his life’s experiences, all very similar to mine. With McCain, my fear would be that he too would make decisions based on his life’s experiences and those experiences as a POW are understandably horrible. Many veterans came back missing an arm, a leg, their vision or their hearing and they all faced career limitations due to their obvious disabilities. Many POW’s also suffered less obvious mental injuries and worked through those problems to have successful careers but I would not be comfortable making a POW president. This may not be a politically correct position to take but sometimes you have to face reality.

    As a comparison, how comfortable would you be if one of the Guantanamo detainees was elected to lead Iraq? Wouldn’t we be concerned that there experiences would color their judgements?

  9. That’s right. Five planes. Wesley Clark was being kind. McCain crashed four planes – and then after that was finally shot down over Vietnam – seems the Communists did everybody a favour – before anybody got seriously injured.

  10. I think that the McCain campaign’s statement that this is an attack on their candidate’s military experience is a joke. If you watch the interview, Clark even said something along the lines of praising him for serving his country. As has been pointed out above, military experience and foreign policy experience are two very different things.

    Funny enough, the Republicans are using the same argument with McCain that they ripped apart when John Kerry was the Democratic nominee in 2004. Apparently, military experience only matters to the GOP when their candidate has it.

  11. I’m worried that McCain’s time as a POW would cause him to nuke the entire country that held him. I will NEVER vote for someone who jokes about bombing countries (Beach Boys tune). I honestly think talking first before military action is best. The pen really is mightier than the sword.

  12. So, if I follow this reasoning, a person’s past experience always plays into what type of President they’d be?

    Ok, so how does McCain’s past experience as a liar and crook play in? Does his experience and his being implicated as a player in the savings/loan scandal predispose him to being a good president?

    Does the fact that his wife is also a convicted criminal and drug addict also play in?

    Compare that to the Harvard education of Obama and the stellar record of Michelle Obama; that they have two healthy children; that they have a stable, drug-free, complication-free marriage….

    Yeah, I can see why an uneducated, manipulated US public would prefer the McCains’ experience.

  13. Buddy, you need to do some reading.

    The facts stated are true.

    You need to rip the blinders off and stop sucking at the teat of Fox News.

    The McCains are both criminals related to criminals.

    Do some research and grow up.

  14. Why does one of the worst students of his class (ranked 894 out of 899) get to be a pilot? (son of an Admiral maybe)

    Why did they keep giving him planes? (must not be very good at flying if he crashes 5 of them)

    McCain got in the military the things that he wanted because of his dad, afterwards his second wife bought him his political carreer (whome he called the C-word).

    final thought: can we again put our trust in another Republican flyboy who were bad in school?

  15. Whoever says that 22 years of military experience does not make McCain more qualified to be COMMANDER IN CHIEF of the US armed forces, in a time of war, is an idiot. Anyone supporting Obama who would question McCain’s military or political experience is also an idiot. I’d argue that the 6 years he spent as a POW and his continued resistance and refusal to give up information through constant torture certainly show qualities that I want in my President, and qualities that could not be developed in half a term in Congress.

    To whoever questioned his experience in war politics, he served on the Armed Services Committee, the Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, and was very involved in foreign affair matters for many years in the Senate.

    To whoever questioned his mental health – his continued service in the Senate has proven that this argument is baseless. To compare him to terrorists in Guantanomo is absurd. Also it was 40 years ago.

  16. The flaw in your argument is that you equate military service to foreign policy experience. Using your logic, anyone who is career military would make a better president than someone who wasn’t. Serving in the military and foreign policy expertise aren’t the same thing. McCain can try to wrap himself in the flag, but it doesn’t mask the fact that he is a deeply flawed candidate touting deeply flawed policies.

  17. Yeah! I’m so glad that being a democrat/republican is so easy! It’s like, every four years I don’t even have to think about the candidates, I just look at my voter registration card. What’s my party? Oh yeah, there it is! Now I can vote for the good guy! Also, I can continue to hate the person from the other party, not because I’m a huge tool that votes for the same side year after mind-numbing year, but because I actually have known for years before they won the primary that they were __a liar/too old/too young/terrorists/commies/muslim/jew/unfaithful/dumb__ (circle one).

  18. Are you implying that “the savings and loan scandal” was one court case? If so look it up.. And if your using guilt by association in the Keating five.. Don’t forget about Tony Rezko.. Also, I would much rather take a wife’s past drug problem than past cocaine problems of a certain candidate…

  19. So he has 22 years of military experience, I know lots of people that have been in the same job for 20 plus years and they are still incompetent. I know other people in the same profession that are only 1 year out of college that are amazingly competent. No doubt experience helps, but it is far from the sole criteria for determining competence. We’ve got a couple of Chicken Hawks running the country right now and they have been micro-managing the whole war. Maybe we’d be better off with a president that is willing to exhaust every reasonable option before making the decision to go to war rather then one who’s spent a large part of their life in the military and is all to comfortable with the idea of going to war? Maybe a president that hasn’t been intimately involved with the military or the military industry would be more inclined to let the military professionals fight to win the war while he fights to win the peace?

    As far as what happened during his time as a POW only McCain knows. Other POW’s have given different versions of McCain’s time as a POW but I give their versions as much credibility as I gave the Swift Boat Veteran’s for Truth, which was none.

    Who knows what he did or didn’t give up while being tortured, does it really matter? After enduring years of torture there is no telling what damage was done to his mind. My point is that I want a president that I am confident has a 100% sound mind. PTSD is nothing new and soldiers can experience flashbacks and panic attacks when under stress their entire life. Some experience these problems frequently, others rarely, many work through it over time and don’t experience any problems. Unfortunately there is no test to determine who will have problems again. Furthermore, enduring constant torture does not “show show any qualities”, it’s not something he persevered in, it’s something he was subjected to. Being subjected to torture does not develop any qualifications for President that I can think of. I’d trust McCain with almost any job, but I would not trust him having his finger on the button.

    If you re-read what I said, I DID NOT compare him to a terrorist, you just did that on your own. I have complete respect for the Vietnam veteran’s just like I respect for the Iraq veterans, it was our leadership then and now that got us into both ideological wars and they are the ones that deserve every-ones contempt. Just to clear up a point, terrorists are what attacked the World Trade Center. Most Iraqis however view their fighters as patriots defending their country just as we would view Americans defending our country if we were attacked. Just because Bush calls them all terrorists, doesn’t make it so. What I had asked was how you would feel about an ex-detainee of Guantanamo being elected to lead Iraq. Someone that has been held prisoner and tortured would clearly harbor a deep hatred for their captors. Would they be able to put the past aside as their countries leader or would it color everything they did? Might they be inclined to use their position to lash out, hurt or punish those that may have been involved in their mistreatment? Would a Guantanamo detainee hate all Americans, all westerners, all democracies? I don’t know. Does McCain harbor hatred of the Vietnamese, Asians, the Soviets, communists? Once again, I don’t know, and that is where the problem is.

    BTW, why is that so many Republicans (sorry fiscal conservatives, I don’t mean to lump you in with this bunch) resort to insulting anyone that doesn’t agree with them? You called me an idiot twice because you think McCain is more qualified to be president. Is the lack of civility a trait of Republicans or are the derogatory comments your attempt to win points with bluster? Have you been listening to too much Rush or watching too much Fox news and now you mimic their tactics? I simply stated my opinion with supporting arguments, are you incapable of formulating intelligent counterarguments to present your opinions?

  20. A lot of the opinions on this board aren’t very refined for citizens of a democratic country. We shouldn’t look so narrowly at the political process. McCain is undoubtedly a man of extreme integrity and sense of duty. And, it is possible to respect John McCain as a brave person or as a survivor of horrific circumstances and still believe Barrack Obama will do a better job in the White House.

    Don’t play these inhumane political games where people’s traumatic experiences and even families are fair game for political discrediting. I’ve completely decided to vote for Barrack Obama but I don’t think McCain is a horrible candidate, person or American.

  21. I’m no where near being blinded by Fox News, but if you mean doing research on conspiracy websites finding a link between a CIA controlled by the Catholic Church assassinating JFK and then that was a great plan to lead up to the Iraq invasion. Then the thing about tying him to the mob with how many connections there? I’d much rather stick with Fox News and their terrorist jab BS than need me some tinfoil to make a hat.

    Next thing you know Hitler is still alive in Brazil secretly running concentration camps there along with the clones of Heimler and the rest of the Third Reich.

  22. It blows my mind how anyone can possibly even consider a vote for the war mongering, lying, and slllooooww thinking Republicans?
    One only need look at what the ‘conservative’ mood of the last 8+ years has done to our great country.
    Republicans and their political rhetoric point out that they represent lean MEAN government. But what about a bloated military? The (very expensive) Industrial Military Complex is not government?

    Unfortunately many Americans have been brain washed by the (malicious) right wing radio hosts.

    For example they attach stigma to Socialism. And yet the countries with the highest standard of living are socialist.

    Did you know that the # 1 cause of bankruptcy in the United States is unanticipated medical bills?

    Predatory lending is another good example of the ‘right’ gone wrong. If the mortgage industry had been regulated we wouldn’t be in the housing mess we’re in now. Thank you Republicans!

    And the weak dollar? Yes. again we can blame the conservatives. America has become more a debt ‘junkie’ – – than ever before with total debt of $53 Trillion – – and the highest debt ratio in history. Thank you Conservatives!

    And the high price of oil? Unregulated futures market (a few getting very rich-very Republican) a week dollar and a federal government with out vision. Thank you again Republicans!

    I too am going to campaign vigorously for President Oboma.

    God help us all if John McBush gets into office.

  23. So where were these views he had when he touted John Kerry’s Vietnam experience as qualifications for him to be president in the 2004 election?

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/vote2004/demconvention/speeches/clark.html

    “John Kerry has lived the values of service and sacrifice. In the Navy, as a prosecutor, as a senator. He proved his physical courage under fire. He’s proved his moral courage, too. John Kerry fought a war and came home to fight for peace – his combination of physical courage and moral values is my definition of what we need in a Commander-in-Chief.

    And John Edwards, with his leadership and competence, will be a great member of this command team. John Kerry is a man who – in times of war – can lead as a warrior, and who – in times of peace – will heed the call of scripture to beat swords into plowshares. John Kerry will lead America with strength and wisdom. He has the will to fight, and the moral courage born in battle to pursue and secure a strong peace.”

  24. Its an old tactic called “Good cop Bad cop” have one of your minions say something bad and in return have the Good cop refute and say something fairly nice. It happens all the time. L.A. Gangs do this to recruit new members.

  25. Actually I asked God and He said He wants McCain. Then I asked Jesus and He said He likes Obama. I was so shocked – who would have thought Jesus was an America hater?

  26. lol fox news. awful. all you partisan types jump to the biases of cnn or fox news to seem to destroy the credibility of each other. As if you guys even know what the other person watches. crazy democrats and republicans hating on each other all the time.

  27. He was a jackass as Clinton’s stooge during Kosovo.

    (these are the actual dialogs between the war mongering Clintons and Milosovich.)
    Can you say, slow build up…oops peace talks lets disarm…nope more ethnic cleansing please…alright, but this time we will go to war…ok more peace talks…say are you ethnic cleansing again?

    He and his buddy McPeak make quite the pair.

  28. You said:

    “his continued resistance and refusal to give up information through constant torture certainly show qualities that I want in my President, and qualities that could not be developed in half a term in Congress.”

    McCain actually said:

    “O.K., I’ll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital.” He left and came back with a doctor, a…

    His first-person account of that harrowing ordeal was published in U.S. News in May 1973 US News World Report.

  29. ah… no, actually, there’s no conspiracy at all. There is almost unlimited information on the scandals that both the McCains have been involved in.

    Just go do some mainstream media research.

    Man. Is it weird to live with your eyes closed all the time??

  30. I’m certain of two things: that problem is FAR from “past,” and she STOLE DRUGS from her own aid organisation. She was convicted of theft and drug abuse.

    I just cannot understand the level of ignorance possessed by the US public about their candidates, their politics, their political ‘process.’

    As for Tony Rezko, who cares??? He’s not running for office!

    Guilt by association??? is that what the revisionists are calling it now?

    Doomed. The US is doomed.

  31. I know I would be censored if I printed what you are full of. If your such a staunch supporter of Clark you better check his military record to see what a washout he was.
    Chas

  32. I’m glad to see there is someone else out there who recognizes and remembers what a phony Gen.(??) Clark was. good for you respnse.

    Chas

  33. Wrong I believe he did give up the information , then lied in his book that every man at the Hanoi Hilton had a breaking point. Not True.Please check the facts , it doesn’t hurt to read sometimes. Why do you tink they offered to send him home early? He didn’t make a decission to stay The Military Code of Conduct order him to stay.He must have accepted the idea before he turned it down. Are we to believe he was liked more than the others.Maybe McMoma was thinking back to how he told the enemy his father was an admiral. when she said we must hold our noses and vote for Stanley. Stand not in judgement of the man , but the deed doesn’t stand the test of a Hanoi Hilton Hero.

  34. I am a military retiree who happened to be stationed in South East Asia. I and my wife went to greet all of the POW’s at Clark AB in the PI and John McCain was only one of many of them. We observed more POW”S who were in worst condition physically than John McCain who because of his father being a Rear Admiral in the US NAVY, he was without a doubt given more special priveliges than the other POW”S. He looked real neat and clean when we seen him. I can appreciate his ordeal as a POW but that sure in the hell won’t make him a good president. We need out of this uncalled for war in Iraq and McCain only wants to keep killing our young troops. Mcain is not the only Senator who supports us Disabled American Veterans the Diasabled American Veterans lobby for us and all of the US Senators support the DAV.

  35. I knew him when he was a young captain back in ’68. He ran a 6 minute mile with boots on and lead our armor school basic course by personal example. He rose to the rank of 4 star general on merit, not because he was the son of an admiral. McCain’s promotions and medals came while he sat in prison and while commendable reflect his status as a VIP POW. Wes didn’t lie or libel as McCain has of late and he rose to flag rank on merit. His word was his bond then and still is. McCain’s word is regularly a rank misrepresentation of reality and that was before he added Sarah Palin to his faltering ticket. He’s become a senile angry old man. Wes Clark is an eagle scout by comparison.

  36. I knew Wes Clark when he was a young captain just back from his Rhodes scholarship leading my armor school basic course class. He is a man of class and character and he’s no John McNasty. He’s commanded troops in combat and NATO which is an international force representing our allies. Unlike McCain who is still fighting the Viet Nam war, Clark fought that war and used those experiences to lead NATO’s involvement in eastern Europe. I absolutely agree that McCain’s military service while commendable is noteworthy only for his refusal to leave his comrades in the Hanoi Hilton behind and exercise his VIP status as an admiral’s son, and I also agree that having been a POW it in and of itself does not make one presidential. He was McNAsty at Annapolis and showed his intellectual skills by finishing 5 spots above last and he got shot down over Hanoi. He wasn’t an ace, he was a hot dog. And now he’s an angry old man. We don’t need another cowboy or confrontationalist in the WH!

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  38. I think fox news sucks all you partisan types jump to the biases of cnn or fox news to seem to destroy the credibility of each other. As if you guys even know what the other person watches. crazy democrats and republicans hating on each other all the time. But thats just my opinion.Wall Unit Air Conditioner

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