With Fourth of July patriotic celebrations only days away, a retired U.S. Army general who supports Barack Obama viciously attacked presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s military credentials.
“I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president,” said Gen. Wesley Clark, himself a failed Democratic presidential candidate, on CBS television Sunday.
Sen. McCain, said Clark, “hasn’t been there and ordered the bombs to fall” and has never “held executive responsibility” over troops in wartime.
In fact, McCain dropped bombs on North Vietnam before being shot down and spending five years under torture as a prisoner of war. McCain was the pilot of that aircraft, not merely a passenger “riding” in it. And McCain, whose father and grandfather were U.S. Navy admirals, led the largest squadron in the U.S. Navy.
Sen. Obama followed Clark’s fragging of McCain with a pious declaration that he would “never question” the patriotism of others.
This is a bit like an alcoholic candidate saying he would never question his opponent’s sobriety — and thereby saying it would be wrong for anyone to question his own sobriety.
Obama otherwise boasts of his background as an anti-war radical activist while downplaying his past friendships with far-left anti-Americans. Obama refused for months to wear an American flag lapel pin.
How should journalists handle this latest dustup?
First, we should ask Obama this question: “Some infer that General Clark wants to be your Democratic vice presidential nominee. But in light of Clark’s latest criticism of Mr. McCain, at odds with your statements honoring the Arizona senator’s military service, will you now rule out picking Clark as your running mate?”
Honest reporters would keep repeating this question until Obama either disowns Clark or, in effect, admits that Clark was acting as his surrogate hatchet man by attacking McCain.
Second, the press needs to tell Americans who Gen. Wesley Clark really is.
After graduating first in his class from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1966, Clark commanded a mechanized infantry company in Vietnam, was wounded four times, awarded one Purple Heart, and won the Silver Star and two Bronze Stars. While in Vietnam he converted from Southern Baptist to Roman Catholic.
Like Bill Clinton, Wesley Clark was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. In August 1968, he emerged with a master’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics. He speaks fluent Russian.
The Rhodes scholarships were created by British imperialist Cecil Rhodes to “educate” the brightest American youngsters in England — as a once-secret codicil in his will made clear — so that they would go home and help bring America back under the political sway of the British Empire.
Wesley Clark’s early career in the U.S. military was honorable but not stellar. But an unexpected bolt from the blue would suddenly change Clark’s life from military mediocrity into a skyrocket ride. He was named commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, III Corps, at sweltering Fort Hood southwest of Waco, Texas.
On a late winter day in 1993, Democratic Texas Gov. Ann Richards suddenly called the base, later meeting with Clark’s No. 2 to discuss an urgent matter.
Religious cultists at a Waco compound had killed federal agents. If newly-sworn-in President Bill Clinton signed a waiver setting aside the Posse Comitatus Act, which generally prohibits use of military weapons against American citizens within our borders, would Clark supply tanks and other equipment?
Wesley Clark’s command at Fort Hood “lent” 17 pieces of armor and 15 active service personnel under his command to what became Clinton’s extermination of the Branch Davidians — the death, mostly by fire, of at least 82 men, women and children, including two babies who died after being “fire aborted” from the dying bodies of their pregnant mothers.
Was Clark at Waco in person to help direct the assault against the church compound in a scene remarkably similar to the incineration of villagers in a church by the British in Mel Gibson’s movie “The Patriot?”
Planning for this final assault involved a meeting between Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno and two unidentified military officers. Leftist journalists Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair wrote that the ruthless battlefield tactics used at Waco are strikingly similar to those Clark has used.
Immediately after he went along with the Clintons’ potentially-illegal weapons request for Waco, Wesley Clark’s flat, fading career began an incredible meteoric rise.
In April 1994 Clark was promoted to director of strategic plans and policy for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In June 1996 Clark was named commander in chief of the U.S. Southern Command in Panama and put in charge of most U.S. forces in all of Latin America and the Caribbean.
In June 1997, President Clinton appointed him commander in chief of the United States European Command and SACEUR, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, in command of the forces of NATO, a position Clark would hold until May 2000.
As SACEUR, Clark collected a truckload of honors. He would prosecute Clinton’s war siding with Muslim Kosovars against Christian Serbians in the Balkans.
Clark would also be photographed embracing Hashim Thaki, head of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) that was accused of torturing, abducting and “disappearing” people.
This war was largely fought from high altitude aircraft to minimize American casualties, an approach that increased civilian casualties. Clark, as Time magazine reported, soon acquired a reputation for lying about such casualties.
When Russians took over one provincial airport in the region, Gen. Clark commanded British forces to attack the Russians. British Gen. Sir Mike Jackson reportedly refused, saying: “I’m not going to start the Third World War for you!”
“Known by those who’ve served with him as the ‘Ultimate Perfumed Prince,’” wrote veteran military combat soldier and journalist Col. David Hackworth about Wesley Clark, “he’s far more comfortable in a drawing room discussing political theories than hunkering down in the trenches where bullets fly and soldiers die.”
This is the Obama surrogate who this week smeared John McCain.
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