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Ear to the Ground

McCain, Obama Rebuke Clark

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Posted on Jun 30, 2008
Clark
AP photo / Danny Johnston

Patriot games: On Sunday, Gen. Wesley Clark (pictured) questioned McCain’s military record as a qualification for the presidency. On Monday, McCain rejected Clark’s criticism, and criticized Obama, who said he didn’t want his own patriotism questioned.

Monday brought yet another round of political Mad Libs, which proceeds as follows: 1. (Insert surrogate name here), adviser to (candidate)‘s presidential campaign, slams (rival candidate) for lack/excess of (personal quality) on (major media outlet); 2. (Rival candidate) blasts (surrogate), hints that such antics reveal opposition’s true character; 3. (Candidate) distances self from (surrogate), who goes on to apologize and perhaps step down; 4. Repeat as necessary.


“Top of the Ticket” in the Los Angeles Times:

Barack Obama just delivered a speech on patriotism in Independence, Mo., hometown of what was once America’s most powerful haberdasher, and offered a mild rebuke to Wesley Clark, who took on John McCain’s military record the other day in rather scorching terms.

And just to make it clear, an Obama spokesman sent out this brief statement as Obama was speaking: “As he’s said many times before, Senator Obama honors and respects Senator McCain’s service, and, of course, he rejects yesterday’s statement by General Clark.”

[...] “I think that that kind of thing is unnecessary,” said McCain. “I am proud of my record of service, and I have plenty of friends and leaders who will attest to that. But the important thing is if that’s the kind of campaign that Sen. Obama surrogates and supporters want to engage, I understand, but it does not reduce the price of gas by one penny ... doesn’t help Americans stay in their homes ... it certainly doesn’t do anything to address the challenges that Americans have in keeping their jobs, and their homes and supporting their families.”

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By rage, July 1, 2008 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Had Gramps placed higher than fifth from the bottom of his Naval Academy class, just maybe the angry airedale wouldn’t have proven to be low-hanging fruit for the enemy to capture and puree. That Gramps survived 5 years in hell with Victor Charley affords him nothing but the Nation’s eternal gratitude and respect, but NOT the Presidency of the United States of America! NO FREAKING WAY!

No one is swift-boating or attacking Grampers’ Naval service. General Clark is simply and aptly noting that having been held in hell by Victor Charlie for 5 years of starring in anti-American propaganda films does not alone, in and of itself, qualify Gramps for the Presidency. And, it really doesn’t. General Clark has been there, done that with far more honor, valor, and distinction than McCain can imagine exists in combat. Clark knows the courage and committment needed to command. A whole lot of vets have been captured and tortured in Viet Nam. Still, few, if any at all, came out raw Presidential material from the refinement of that fire. A whole lot of these heroes, like we suspect McCain needs to be, are being treated for their consequent PTSD.

Let’s tell the truth and shame the devil. Gramps has taken to milking this Viet Nam POW experience the same way 9ui11iani milked being mayor of New york City on that fateful September morning in 2001. Incidentally, that ruse didn’t render Rudy Presidential either. It only served as a momentary distraction from the reality that Rudy never bothered to put together a campaign platform on which to base a Presidential run beyond the sensationalized fearmongering about synthetic terrorists already throttled too often by Dumya and his current cronies. In the end, the sheep came arond, and began to ask tough questions like how Rudy planned to keep them any safer than he had kept New Yorkers who were still dying from his beloved 9/11 attack.

Grampers is pulling the same stunt with every embellishment his handlers can connivingly concoct from his horrific 5 years of torturous captivity. Every one of Grampers most recent attack ads features the young airdale in his dress whites standing at attention next to his jet five seconds before showing old shots of bin Laden before he was killed to tie up loose ends, all tritely tied together to imply Obama has an inexperienced delusional 10Sep2001 stance on terrorism and national security. See, Team Gramps is hoping to bamboozle the sheep into believing the old codger to be ready to confront terroism at 3:00 AM EST day 1. He really needs to consult Hillary about the effectiveness of that disasterous ploy before taking that dangerous toke any further over the line. That particular ruse made her a derrided laughing stock for more of her campaign than she was able to ever fully appreciate when it finally backfired. Besides, why should the sheep expect Grampers to sacrifice his rest at ungodly o’clock because terrorists, pissed about his perpetuating BFEE imperialist hegemony, can be heard from their caves screaming obscene threats to attack us?

C’mon! The general is right. Being a Viet Nam POW with a reputation for having picked more unnecessary fights on the Senate floor than Ali won in his boxing prime is not enough to render Gramps Presidential, not after 8 horrific years with Dumya and Dick. Face it, this old coot is applying lipstick to the pig he’s trying to sell in front of an audience he hopes is hungry enough for some pork to trust his honest face and smooth line of drivel. Unfortunately for him, that audience is made up of BFEE tortured captives stripped of their rights, much too often with his Senatoral support. So, Grampers is going to need way, way more than that coyly spun hero tripe to be deemed Presidential in this political economy. More like resisting the urge to publicly humiliate his wife by calling her a c*nt under the least little stress and pressure, for starters.

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By DR, July 1, 2008 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

“”“Swiftboating John McCain on his war experience? “”“

Are you really serious? Or are you just repeating a right wing mantra?

Did you actually listen to the interview? I doubt it. Because if you had, you would know that Clark certainly did NOT swiftboat McCain. He did not question his service or his patriotism; all he did was question how pertinent his service was to the post he is seeking. That is a perfectly valid question, considering that McCain has nothing BUT his military service to run on. He has never held a real job in his life.

McCain’s service has a large number of gray areas, any of which Clark could have brought up if he had truly intended to “swiftboat” him. Gray areas such as:

- McCain’s public confession and filming of a propaganda video for the Viet Cong.

- McCain inventing out of whole cloth a story about being offered a flag officership, but turning it down because he “wanted to serve in other ways”.

- McCain’s claim to have shied away from using his service for political gain, while at the same time bringing it up every second sentence.

- McCain’s extremely poor flying record. In addition to the plane in which he got shot down, McCain lost 4 other planes; none of them in combat situations.

- McCain got plum assignments notwithstanding his extremely poor academic record, assignments he certainly would never have gotten were it not for his political and military connections (McSame as Bush in SOOOO many ways…).

Clark DID raise the fact that McCain has NEVER held a position which had any sort of strategic responsibility within the Navy. But I fail to see how that amounts to swiftboating in any way whatever.

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By skulz fontaine, July 1, 2008 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

Um, the Wes Clark schtick and Obama response was a set up. I mean, Obama is from that old school Chicago political machine and nobody does it better. The Obama campaign gets to covert the McLunatic and then come out looking all bipartisan compassionate. Patriotically defending an “American war hero” and golly, the Obama kids couldn’t have pulled that one off any better had they screwed up in reverse. Kudos to the Obama professionals. They just might pull off an upset.

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By Sue Cook, July 1, 2008 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

C’mon!

Swiftboating John McCain on his war experience?

How far will this absurdity go?

If the left wingnuts are that desperate just to try and get a rise out of McCain. It failed.

He handled it in excellent fashion.

Obama has nothing to say on the subject because he never seen combat nor never will in his priveledged life.

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By samosamo, July 1, 2008 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

Well, well, revelations never cease or better yet, education is an ongoing process. How much it means that old johnny got through the officers schooling in the bottom half is erily reminiscient of our current prick in chief. And thus that could be the tell tale that will give the presidency to ole johnny because of his mediocrity just as w graduated with a ‘c’ average, and that was most likely bought,makes this is the new lower bar that determines who will be president. Of course it may need the help of the supreme court again or some tweaking and manipulating by diebold and es&s;with a healthy mix of a couple of states’ secrectary of state in charge of elections shuffling things around. You know, the great american experience of voting for our ‘leaders’.
All I know is that most of the current class of incumbents need to be voted out, not just a new president of a different party but the those traitors living it up in the house and senate.
I would like some help here and it is: why would wesley clark not be a good choice for vp or even president?

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By jatihoon, July 1, 2008 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

You scratch my back and I will scratch your’s, and never let the,“TRUTH OUT,” is the motto of today’s would be leaders.

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By d. hussein parker, July 1, 2008 at 9:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would have to agree with heavyrunner.  My first thoughts while listening to Clark were that finally, a voice of reason…and I wanted to vote for HIM!  The idiotic pundit reviews and skews of what he said were out there.  He didn’t question McCain’s patriotism or war service, he merely pointed out that being a prisoner of war neither qualifies one for presidential office nor does it indicate a higher level of deserving to be president.  Clarke emphasized Obama’s qualities of good judgement and being able to communicate as maybe more desirable when choosing a president than “experience”.

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By Purple Girl, July 1, 2008 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

I have been so sick of the MSM Kit glove handling of Mac and his so called Military service which he claims warrants his win as president.
Bullshit! following his logic any and all those serving Now in Iraq & afghanistan are far more qualified to be President than Him.They’ve been on the ground, dodgeing IED’s much like those who were stuck in the jungles in Vietnam, while Mac Flew over head.
Also Mac ranked in the lower half of his Officers Training Program- which still granted him his Captains rank.General Clark was able to not only complete the training but continue up the ladder to earn the Rank of General and Top NATO commander.A rank which affords him the right to evaluate a Captains abilites and fitness for Duty as the Commander in Chief.I also Resent Mac’s using his injuries to infer they were a result of torture while a POW, results of the Crash. What other POW was offered release when Mac’s Top Brass Daddy got him that ticket out.and what fool would Torture such a Daddy’s Boy, when they were so many other who would not have those connections and possible reprecussions?
When it comes to handing out badges for Valor,Sacrific and committement John McCain should be holding the Door for all those who not only were on the Ground in Vietnam,but also all those Serving Now!If Mac is going to run on his militiary service then it is fair game,just like they did to Kerry.
How dare anyone, esp the media, feel vindicated to protect Mac while dismissing or maligning a proven Hero like Clark. Mac is a liar - always has been (Keating S& L), always will be. His service 40 yrs ago can not compensate for the crap his has done since!
By not supporting Gen Clark the Rest in Uniform only diminish their own service and those who are now sacrificing for this country, by giving Mac a Free pass and camoflague to disguise his Unpatriotic Ambitions!

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By Jim Yell, July 1, 2008 at 6:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Read the post by the Lt. General on Huffington Post. Secondly remember that unless a person drops their weapon and surrenders without having fought, their status as a POW is not their fault, as one post contends.

Wesly Clark was completely correct in his evaluation and the spinners trying to make it an attack on McCain’s military credentials is “wholly bogus”, as anyone who reads the transcript of what Clark said can clearly see, unless they are intellectually dishonest.

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By felicity, July 1, 2008 at 6:30 am Link to this comment

McCain has chosen to tout his stint in the military as his preparedness for the presidency.  Interesting to recall something Eisenhower said.  “I thought it completely absurd to mention my name in the same breath as the presidency.”  Sounds like Eisenhower would have agreed with Clark.

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By jersey girl, July 1, 2008 at 4:42 am Link to this comment

Dave:  I couldn’t agree with you more.  Obama is a republican in the mold of LIEberman.  No doubt about it.  He sounds more and more like George W Bush every single day.  From his views on Nafta, aipac, FISA, Pakistan and Iran to just name a few, this man is a shill for those already in power. Pretty soon even the obamatons will have to take notice that he and McCain’s policies sound oh so similar.

Wes Clark is right about his assessment of McCain’s service.  Hero? He’s no hero.  He was captured during his tour of duty.  How does that make him a hero?  He was doing his job and was, like someone else here mentioned, stupid enough to get shot down.  So, he wasn’t even doing his job that well. And yet, what does Obama do? He praises McCain instead of defending a REAL leader like Wes CLark. 

To further illustrate Obama’s right wing tendancies, he has even said he would ask Robert Gates to stay on as his Secty of Defense because he’s doing such a wonderful job.  WHAT?  And you people think Obama will bring change? ha!

Dave, we will never have a leader like Kucinich(my choice) as long as we remain a “one party system”.  THEY won’t allow a man of the people in power because they don’t give a damn about the people.  Their bread is buttered by the corporate war lords and it is upon their altar that they worship.  That’s why Obama is their man.

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By Dave in Big Pine, July 1, 2008 at 3:39 am Link to this comment

Well, now we’ve seen obamas true stripes, and they are rebublican red. this guy threw clark under the bus, and then through all his supporters under the bus with his FISA reversal. He should have jumped up and down not only echoing what clark said, but then go after McSeniles war record and expose him for the traitor he was/is. But no, he showed himself to be the corporate shill that he is. we are in for no change. will he be as bad as Bush has been, or as McMoron would be? no, but he wont be much better, and things wont be any better. wasn’t that the point of electing him? where was the firebrand he was during the primaries? he is just another politicion. Too bad the American populace is too stupid to support someone of real change: Kucinich.

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By kath cantarella, July 1, 2008 at 3:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

test your objectivity…

How does the middle name ‘Hussein’ affect your opinion of what i’m saying?

(N.B. It’s not my middle name.)

So how much fear is there in your heart? Will you vote out of fear or love in November? Be honest with yourself, it is important to be self-aware.

If you vote out of fear, you already have blood on your hands. You might as well take partial responsibility for the Iraq war and stop blaming Bush.

Obama is the love in November. McCain is the fear.

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By heavyrunner, July 1, 2008 at 3:07 am Link to this comment

When I heard Gen. Clark make his comments I thought, “This man would make an excellent Secretary of Defense in the Obama administration.”

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By 911truthdotorg, June 30, 2008 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

About a month ago I heard this former Korea-Vietnam Era fighter pilot say, in reference to McCain, that only bad pilots or stupid pilots got shot down.

McCain was both.

The official 9/11 story is a fairy tale.

http://www.ae911truth.org

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By chuck, June 30, 2008 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A general questioning a soldier on his leadership ability-what’s the problem?

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By SoccerGuy, June 30, 2008 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

Have you ever noticed that during a presidential campaign, when ever someone from either team speaks the truth there is a quick call to “denounce” or “reject” the comment?  Frankly, I am glad someone finally said it.
Being a POW has no bearing on the qualifications for being president.

This is a good litmus test for what is true and what is false.

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By joey, June 30, 2008 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

After years of war,what have we to show for it?
What did we learn from all that?
The 15 people that caused 911 died in the attack
It was not Iraq behind 911
It was not Iran behind 911
It was not even Afghanistan behind 911
The country behind 911 was not a country
So what the hell are we doing?

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By kath hussein cantarella, June 30, 2008 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I support what Wesley Clark said. Unequivocally. Arguing for politeness while war and mass-murder is in the offing won’t cut the mustard with people like us. Clark never criticized McCain as a POW, but as a candidate for President. The two things cannot be conflated.

Obama needs to make speeches like this, but the US constituents need to be honest with each other.

No one is criticizing POWs for being POWs. We are criticizing McCain for being too war-prone, and too unstable. Heroism in war is no qualification for leading a country and avoiding war if you possibly can. Hitler was a war-hero, and in the beginning sane Germans felt they could not criticize him for that reason. I’m not comparing McCain to Hitler (yet), but in advocating the Iraq war (as far back as the 1990’s, i believe) McCain has already proven himself to be the wrong person to put in charge of the most powerful war-machine on the planet.

I’m not saying that in support of any campaign, but to protect the world that i’m part of and love. I would criticize Christ himself, or Mohammed, to do that. As should we all, if our priorities are in the right place.

McCain does not belong in the White House, just as Bush never belonged there.

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By Alejandro, June 30, 2008 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

General Clark was right to point out Sen. McCain’s lack of leadership skills. Whats the big deal? Since when is being shot down a prerequsist to run for President. Any one that says that Mccain is qualified for the Highest office in the land based on a not to distinguisted Naval Career, lacks knowledge of military spree de corp. There’s alot about Sen. Mccain’s service that needs to be explained. One example is his refusal to be released early. He says that he choose to stay with the rest of the POW’S. That’s an embelishment of reality. Had he taken that deal. I find it hard to believe that he would not have been courtmarshled and drummed out of the Navy. He knew that. Also according to alot of new information it is said that he recieved preferential treatment. I’m not saying yey or nay, but I would like know.  Because, you do your Duty, does not mean that you some how are elevated to a pedestle. Sen. Mccain should realease all his military records as well as those of his water carriers.

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By jobart, June 30, 2008 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

McSame is just a bad joke, being thrust upon the American populace/Sheeple as the “next” a-hole-in-charge. I suggest that, if you REALLY CARE, about truth, you open this link…http://www.counterpunch.org/valentine06132008.html
He is nothing more than a neocon, with the necessary support, spewing the same ole cesspool diatribe as his mentors. He, as well as the other complicit traitors, needs to be held, tried, and convicted, for crimes against humanity. Please, if you have a “need” to voice your opinion through the voting process, do so intelligently and with purpose. We, as a country, trying to survive for our kids, need you in our corner. Please, if for the first time in your life…..VOTE SMART. Vote for your country and, NOT, for those who TELL you that they’re “with you”.  They are not now, or have ever been, for you.  They’ve used you.  Don’t let them continue to do so as they ruin our country. Please, be smart, and see through the treachery. Please, for once in your life, make a truly supportive influence on your vote and the country we all hold dear.

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