Through his entry into the 2004 presidential race on the Democrat side, retired Army General Wesley Clark foiled my plan to refer to the other nine Democrat candidates as the Nazgûl.
I had been putting off talking about nine
wraiths Democrat candidates for three reasons: 1) I won’t be voting for any of them, 2) we’re up to our eyeballs in stories and opinions about them in all forms of media, and 3) with the possible exception of Senator Joseph Lieberman, all of them just seemed too ridiculous to waste too much time over.
However, then there were ten. General Clark’s candidacy garnered my interest for one reason: a Democrat general is harder to find than a Republican black chick. So I decided to do a little Internet research on the good general.
The things that came up were frightening. One dominant personal characteristic in General Clark is decidedly un-general like: he’s a whiner.
"The White House actually back in February apparently tried to get me knocked off CNN and they wanted to do this because they were afraid that I would raise issues with their conduct of the war," Clark told Newsradio 620 KTAR. "Apparently they called CNN. I don't have all the proof on this because they didn't call me. I've only heard rumors about it."
CNN had no immediate comment on the general's allegations. White House officials told Fox News that they are "adamant" that they "never tried to get Wesley Clark kicked off the air in any way, shape or form." Beyond that, the White House "won't respond to rumors."It’s pathetic to see a grown man show his girly tendencies in public. But there’s more:
After Al Qaeda attacked America, retired Gen. Wes Clark thought the Bush administration would invite him to join its team. After all, he’d been NATO commander, he knew how to build military coalitions and the investment firm he now worked for had strong Bush ties. But when GOP friends inquired, they were told: forget it.
WORD WAS THAT Karl Rove, the president’s political mastermind, had blocked the idea. Clark was furious. Last January, at a conference in Switzerland, he happened to chat with two prominent Republicans, Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and Marc Holtzman, now president of the University of Denver. “I would have been a Republican,” Clark told them, “if Karl Rove had returned my phone calls.” Soon thereafter, in fact, Clark quit his day job and began seriously planning to enter the presidential race—as a Democrat. Messaging NEWSWEEK by BlackBerry, Clark late last week insisted the remark was a “humorous tweak.” The two others said it was anything but. “He went into detail about his grievances,” Holtzman said. “Clark wasn’t joking. We were really shocked.”General Clark picks his political affiliation by the party that kisses his ass the most? Interesting. I suppose that it didn’t occur to him that Bush and company might have had more pressing things to do at the time, like catching enemy combatants, waging one war and planning for another. Currying favor with a narcissistic retired general might have seemed a bit frivolous, considering that we had just been attacked. Maybe it’s just me.
So what if Karl Rove did block the idea of bringing Clark on board? Principle is the operative word here. Of course, expecting most politicians to have principles is foolhardy at best. But General Clark doesn’t even seem to be good at pretending that he has them.
He does seem good at publicly crying about people that don’t like him. This was a general?
Could you imagine how such a man would react to the type of ego-bruising, hysterical criticism that President Bush has had to put up with over the past two and a half years?
I was vaguely aware that the general had been the NATO commander in the nineties and that he had been relieved of his command earlier than is the norm. (For a commander of any rank, being booted out of a position spells career death; if he/she has enough time, he/she is “cordially invited” to retire. However, a four-star general in such a position doesn’t have much to fret over, except his/her ego.)
But I didn’t know the details surrounding the general’s retirement.
After reading this, however, one wonders if a hypothetical President Clark should be allowed near the “doomsday” button.
"I'm not going to start the Third World War for you," the British general was reported to have told General Clark after refusing his orders to send assault troops and helicopters into Pristina airport to block the Russian forces.
The clash, in which the British Government backed General Jackson, and the American Government did not support General Clark, surfaced just days after the Nato commander had been abruptly told in a midnight call that he would be replaced next April.
Trouble between the generals started immediately after the air war had ended and General Jackson had been made commander on the ground in Kosovo. Talks on Russia's role had broken down in Moscow and 200 Russian troops entered Pristina at 1.30am on June 12.
According to Newsweek, General Clark was so anxious
to stop the Russians from stealing a march to Pristina airport that he ordered an airborne assault by British and French troops to take the field. But General Jackson
would not carry out General Clark's orders, not believing that an assault was necessary.
General Clark was not mollified. He asked Admiral JamesThis is the best that the Democrat Party has to offer? I can’t even laugh at it. It’s too frightening to consider that democrats may be so numerous that they’d elect this man as the leader of the free world.
Ellis, the American in charge of Nato's Southern Command, to order helicopters to land on the runways at Pristina so that Russian Ilyushin transports could not land. This time Admiral Ellis balked, saying General Jackson would not like it. The Ilyushins were in fact blocked by the intervention of American officials who persuaded Hungary to deny overflight rights to the Russians.