Friday, September 08, 2006

Wes Clark - Vision, Smarts and Party Loyalty

When I am utterly disgusted with the mendacious and unpatriotic despotism that defines the Bush administration, I go over to Wes Clark's site for a breath of fresh air. I've never made a secret of my support for Clark, but he really is the candidate for the times. In his latest interview, with Ed Schultz, he is able to talk about international relations, political economy, regional stability, maintaining US military readiness, the utter stinking incompetance of the Bush White House, and having faith in the American people. It was great to read something by someone who can think on his feet and move easily from topic to topic.

However, where he has been hammering away is on two fronts - Bush's incompetancce and the need to tak back the Congress. In this interview on ABC News, he cuts through all the BS the media is letting Bush get away with:
Sam Donaldson: Alright, 'Stay the Course', it's a great theme, and as Mike suggested, it may have some validity. What's wrong with the president saying, 'We've just got to tough it out'?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, the policies aren't working. He hasn't made us safer. He's made us weaker. Look, the American public understand, the War on Terror's a very serious business, but they're also understanding in greater and greater numbers that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake and that staying there and pursuing the policies he's pursuing in Iraq is actually serving as a recruiting magnet for Al Qaeda.

There were a number of us who testified on the Hill in 2002, and we warned of this very occurrence. And it's come to pass, because this administration went to a war we didn't have to fight with Iraq, and then handled the aftermath of that war very, very poorly. The American public see it. You know, when you're dealing with a democracy, you don't get down into the fine nuances. People are busy in their own everyday lives, but what they know is: This administration promised the American people a cakewalk in Iraq and then a sweep through the rest of the Middle East to sort of clean up those old regimes and rubber-stamp Democracy in there. And it hasn't worked. It's a failed policy, and in Democracy, leaders who fail are held accountable by the electorate. That's what President Bush has riding on this election. He's failed. The American people are beginning to see it.

(Later, talking to Mark Halperin)

Mark Halperin: General Clark, your party has argued for months that Iraq is going badly. It's not a pleasant place, as Senator Reid said. Is that a message that you think's gotten through to the American people? Are you convinced that the American people understand, as you say you do, what's going on on the ground in Iraq and will vote based on that?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, I think increasingly, the American people do see it. It's not because Democrats have been saying it. We want to succeed in Iraq like everybody else does. What they're seeing is the facts in Iraq and the fact that the President always is talking about turning corners and see lights. We've been about three laps around the Pentagon right now in terms of the number of corners we've turned, and we still haven't really turned a corner in Iraq. So, I think people have enough common sense to recognize that 'Stay the Course' is not a strategy for success.
Bush's policies (to the degree they deserve to be taken that seriously) have failed. Full stop. The American people know it, and it is time for the media to stop playing some game that it's all "just politics," as though the butchery of Americans and Iraqis is not happening as a result of the lies told by this administration.

What Wes Clark does better than any other presidential contender is tie together domestic national security, military readiness, international relations and support of the Democratic party. I have yet to hear anyone make a more certain and effective argument than this to overcome decades, even generations, of misplaced faith by security elites in the Republicans:
We need a change in course, and that's got to start with a change in the leadership in Congress. I believe the leaders that you see here, in the United States Congress and the others will help put us on the right course for success in the War on Terror. They know that to win you've got to make more friends than enemies in the world. They know that you've got to strengthen relations with other countries, that you've got to talk to people you don't necessarily agree with and that you've got to use all the elements of military power AND America's diplomatic strength and international law and law enforcement, bringing it all together to succeed in the War on Terrorism. They're not soft. They're tough-minded, and they're determined to win.

And I want to make a special plea to my fellow believers in U.S. national security - our veterans, our policy analysts, the men and women associated with the Armed Forces because their spouses or their children or their fathers are involved in this. We've dedicated over thirty years since Vietnam to rebuilding our Armed Forces. We created a whole strengthened culture of national security, and I'm calling on those people today and my fellow retirees from the Armed Forces to lay aside the prejudices of the Vietnam era and face the facts. The war in Iraq was a mistake. The policies that this administration has trumpeted haven't worked. It's time to change the course, and to do that, we must have a change in leadership that starts in 2006.
Given the hand-wringing by certain youngsters in the progressive punditry over how to package the Democrats as strong and smart on national defense, you'd think they'd pay more attention to the person who is actually doing it.

Wes Clark is busting his chops to get other Democrats elected. This is someone who really understands "team player." Yes, he wants to be President, but more than that he wants us to have a government we can be proud of and the rest of the world looks up to.

A man with vision and common sense, who is smart and well connected enough to make it happen, and who is totally dedicated to the Democratic party. The antidote to six long years of the Bush regime.



Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

And I'll add "Amen, brothers and sisters"