Do We Want A General?

by James Glaser
September 18, 2003

Wesley Clark threw his hat into the ring and joined a field of nine others trying to become the Democratic candidate for President of the United States. Clark is the Former Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and a Four Star Army General.

My personal hero, Marine Corps Major-General Smedley Butler, winner of two Congressional Medals of Honor wrote, "I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service."

I believe that is the true for General Clark and anyone else that works their way up from Lieutenant to General. If you do have your own thoughts you learn to keep them to yourself if you want to head up that career ladder. The Army is looking for people that can follow orders and those that can, get promoted.

If in fact General Clark was a free thinker, then some time that he was a General and certainly while he was the "Supreme Commander" of our troops in Europe, we would have heard him advocating for his troops. It seems that while Clark was at the top of the pay scale, those at the bottom, the troops he led, had families living on food stamps and they could qualify for welfare payments.

The Press are painting General Clark as an antiwar candidate, but one would do well to read "The guy who almost started World War III" by Stella Jatras.

Jatras writes, "This is the guy who received the Kosovo Campaign Medal after having been granted a waiver, although according to an article in the Stars and Stripes (European addition), no one seems to know who granted the waiver in time for the General to get the first medal awarded."

Usually when a Soldier gets a Campaign Medal, he has actually been in the campaign. He must physically be in the country or the "Theater of Operation" that the Medal was issued for. It seems like Wesley Clark never made it there, but got the First medal anyway.

Now I know this is being "picky," as General Clark did win the Silver Star and a Purple Heart in Vietnam, so he didn't need this one. So why take a medal you didn't earn? It is a question of honesty and with the problems we have had with Presidents Bush and Clinton on that score, it becomes important.

The spin is now on, painting General Clark as Antiwar. The man spent his whole adult life training to kill people. He was in charge of the war in Kosovo in which his bombing campaign killed thousands and thousands of civilians.

This man is not antiwar, he is a retired Four Star Army General that was, a Supreme Allied Commander. You don't get to those positions by being antiwar.

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