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Saving Democrats From Themselves
by Paul Walfield
14 September 2003Wesley Clark

What really makes General Wesley Clark look like a winner in 2004 is his reluctance to call himself a Democrat.


Nine presidential hopefuls, all Democrats, and all without a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming president in 2004.  No matter how you slice it, unless the planet Mars continues to inch its way towards earth instead of backing off like it is supposed to do, the 2004 presidential election will go forward and George W. Bush will once again be elected President of the United States.

While Democrats grumble how George W. Bush can’t be elected “again,” because he was never elected in the first place, they know all to well that the present group of democrats vying for his job need a miracle to happen in order to achieve their goal.  What do the democrats need to save them from four more years of George Bush? 

A General. 

And not just some ordinary 1-, 2-, or 3-star general, mind you.  The Democrats need a 4-star general who was supreme allied commander of NATO.  The democrats need a candidate who exudes national security and who at the same time is not a Republican.  Along comes General Wesley K. Clark.

Wesley Clark, a Democratic candidate for president who knows how to win.  So far he is mum about actually running, which makes folks long for his announcement.  But what really makes the General more like a winner in 2004 is his reluctance, his abject refusal to even call himself a Democrat.  Of course, everyone knows he is a Democrat and everyone knows he wants to run for president, but in the tradition of Arnold Schwarzenegger, he is no doubt waiting to make his announcement on the Tonight Show.

Wesley Clark, for many in the know down at the DNC, is the last best hope of the Democratic Party to have any chance of beating President Bush in 2004.  For Democratic leaders who actually have a clue, it has become painfully clear that, other than Joe Lieberman, none of their candidates have an inkling of what the American people need and want in a candidate for 2004--a sense of national security and a perceived willingness to do what is necessary, militarily, to achieve safety here at home.

In 2003 it has become painfully clear that appearance is of more importance than substance for many on the Left, including a whole lot of Democrats.  Having a general--a “military man”--decked out in his uniform for all of America to see and calling himself a Democrat is what matters, and not necessarily who he actually is.  Well, at least for the Democrats.

For the rest of us, we have a tendency to open the book and read a little before we judge it.

Working backwards, we have General Clark explaining on CNN that we have no business being in Iraq because, “The simple truth is that we went into Iraq on the basis of some intuition, some fear, and some exaggerated rhetoric and some very, very scanty evidence.”

And just what was President Bush’s misjudgment that mistakenly caused us to free 26 million Iraqi’s from the brutal clutches of the Hussein regime?  Wesley has the answer that would never have caused him to act and take decisive action in the wake of September 11, 2001. “First of all, the idea that this was going to solve the war on terror. The president said this is the centerpiece of the war on terror.” 

We all remember President Bush saying that overthrowing Saddam Hussein would solve the war on terror don’t we?  Actually, President Bush never said that, and the good General along with every American who can remember past breakfast this morning knows that also. Clark also says that we were wrong in liberating Iraq because America’s leaders were not prepared for the aftermath of actually winning the war in Iraq.  “There was a misjudgment about what would happen afterward. The idea that we would go in, be welcomed as liberators. They'd quickly move to the ballot boxes, we'd bring our troops home, out before the heat wave hit. That didn't happen either. There have been a whole series of issues associated with this campaign, starting from why we went into Iraq, to how we dealt with our allies, to how we prepared for the aftermath that are very, very troublesome.”

Of course we also all remember that America was told we would be in and out of Iraq before autumn, right?  And that we needed to be friendlier with France and Germany after they spit in America’s face during our time of need.

Then there is General Clark’s original accusation that the White House pressured him to say that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were originated in Iraq.  The Weekly Standard reports three different stories, all by Wesley Clark about the same subject, first on Meet the Press, “CLARK: "Well, it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, 'You've got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.”  Then on FoxNews’ Hannity and Colmes about the same subject: “CLARK : And I personally got a call from a fellow in Canada who is part of a Middle Eastern think tank who gets inside intelligence information. He called me on 9/11.”  When pressed by Sean Hannity as to whom at the White House asked him to blame Iraq for 9-11, Clark responded, “I'm not going to go into those sources.”
Finally, the general admits in the New York Times, “I received a call from a Middle East think tank outside the country, asking me to link 9/11 to Saddam Hussein. No one from the White House asked me to link Saddam Hussein to Sept. 11.”  

General Clark is a graduate of West Point and obtained notoriety conducting the war to oust Slobodan Milosevic from power in the Balkans and the mistaken bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, which he called “a mistaken target identification.”  While the democrats may not recognize the good General as the same kind of mistake for the Democratic Party, when it comes to presidential hopefuls, perhaps the rest of the country will.

Paul Walfield is a freelance writer and member of the State Bar of California with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and post-graduate study in behavioral and analytical psychology.

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