General Wesley Clark

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by michaello, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. michaello macrumors newbie

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    #1
  2. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    Excellant article. I particularly liked the quote from Truman stating:

    Harry, where are you when we need you?
     
  3. michaello thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Exactly.

    I found this part pretty interesting, too, considering this article was written in September of 2002:

    "The longer the war goes on, the more we are going to need cooperation and support from other nations--not just troops and ships and airplanes, but whole-hearted governmental collaboration. Instead, we seem to be getting less as time goes on. After September 11, the United States gave the United Nations a list of groups and individuals suspected of funding terrorists. European governments responded by freezing their assets. In the spring, the U.S. government provided an updated list with new names. This time, most European governments ignored the list, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing concern that the United States was providing insufficient recourse for those who claim they are innocent. "
     
  4. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    I find it interesting that such a high-ranking former military man is such a supporter of international institutions, international law, and restraint of military action. Not what I would have thought to hear from General Clark. Not saying I would vote for him as my first choice, but the article makes me want to hear more.
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    nice piece. this is the sort of thing i'd expect a leader to say. i can't imagine bush writing anything like this.

    (come to think of it -- have i ever read anything he's written?)
     
  6. michaello thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Come to think of it, I don't believe I've ever read anything George W. Bush has written either.
     
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    Clark wasn't the only person saying this a year ago, but now it should be painfully apparent to everyone who was right and who was wrong.
     
  8. michaello thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Yeah, he sort of bypasses the argument among the Democrats about who was "for the war" and who was "against the war" with that paragraph.

    As I read up,I see there's a whole lot of negative press about him, too. Some heavy allegations about Waco and Kosovo. Anyone have a bead on which pool that's coming from?
     
  9. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    at first, i thought, "how unusual for a general to be a democrat" since the high profile soldiers i can think of who were generals are republicans...colin powell who is current secretary of state, former secretary of state alexander haig, and former presidnet dwight eisenhower

    but in my experiences living near several military installations, all but one of the officers and men i have known over the years were democrats...so maybe clark is not all that unusual
     
  10. Marc2B macrumors newbie

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    General Clark

    :cool: One can only hope that he can do it. Leadership is an inherent trait. You either are born with it, or not. I believe what Patton said; "Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way". We have too many pols who don't have enough balls to call it as it is
     
  11. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    and now i have. ladies and gentlemen, i present to you, a poem from bush to his wife:
    link
     
  12. toontra macrumors 6502

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    #12
    OK - where are those people who say that Bush is not as stupid as he is portrayed in the press!!

    To have "written" such crap in the first place is embarrassing but excusable, but to watch while your wife reads it to the press beggars belief.
     
  13. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    It may be the cynic in me but I want to know if Rove came up with this idea to read this drivel in order to remind us what a "folksy" guy we have as President. No wonder he got "C"s in Yale.
     
  14. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    Re: General Clark

    i believe while leaders are usually born, they can also be made

    but the world's militaries cannot rely on the very few who have an innate talent to lead

    west point and the other military academies exist for that hope

    a friend of mine, a navy captain, best put it this way, "college trains you to think, to create and that is good enough for most of us who will never fight in battle...the academies train you to lead"...so i believe that because we are dealing with war here, there are distinct differences between teaching someone how to be an engineer, landscaper, or professor vs. leading people into battle

    thinking is not the best road to survival in a war where coordinated movements have to be done secretly yet as a unit and people have to follow orders to ensure the success of the mission...free thinkers need not apply...so the military academies teach you to lead, but in the context of following orders from your superiors, for the insurance that doing such will lead to the least amount of casualties in the given situation...in a war, there is only one leader paid to think and that is the president...history tells us that errant military subordinates to the president either get fired, get killed, or are a danger to soliders and civilians alike
     
  15. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    i have the utmost respect for the military academies and they have played their part in why we still have a democracy

    before someone misinterprets what i say in my previous post, i am not saying that the leaders in the military cannot think or are stupid...but they have to have the smarts to do their job, the courage to do so, but most importantly, the discipline to do things which may not seem to "make sense" on the micro level they may be at in the big picture

    in peacetime, or in army ads trying to get new recuits, it may sound cool to appear to have a more touchy feely army of creative individuals...but after having spoken with military authors, historians, and war veterans, this all goes out the window when you are at war and soldiers and civilians are getting killed

    ...following orders will save your butt and sticking to the plan is key

    vietnam was an example of not following a strict plan and officers were given more leeway in determining what was best without consulting their superiors... the chaos of this war is well documented

    having learned from the mistakes of vietnam, the military has tightened up more to its original form and the chain of command is taken far more seriously and sacrifice for the common good is more instilled than in vietnam...follow orders, lead in that context, achieve the mission, and don't question

    we win wars efficiently that way and i am sure general clark is of that mindset and few question his credentials as a warrior and loyal soldier

    but somewhere in the back of my head, i do have a nagging doubt about such a disciplined person taking on something as changing and unpredictable as politics...past four star generals like u.s. grant and eisenhower do not have the best records as politicians
     
  16. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Leadership qualities can be situational. Look at Rudy Giuliani -- he was seen as a divisive figure in New York before 9-11, and was growing increasingly unpopular. It looked for all the world like his political career was finished. But after the attacks, he found something buried deep in his soul, and was transformed. He became, not just for New Yorkers, but for the country, a symbol of resilience in the face of adversity. A lot of people found his calm, articulate determination in the face of great tragedy to be inspired and inspiring.

    How a person behaves under stress and in the midst of crisis is my measure of leadership. The ability and desire to brush others aside in a rush to get where you want to go, is not.
     
  17. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    the mayor of new york rose to the occassion

    i remember how bad he looked being a conservative trying to lead the largest multicultural city in america and one known for its liberal ideas...before 9-11, i thought rudolph was going to get tossed into the east river by his fellow new yorkers:p

    9-11 definitely saved his reputation as did the reputation of the president who stood tall in those dark days...guiliani rode off into the sunset with the girl while W stayed behind to lead america in the white house...unfortunately, W's indecisiveness as a president after a strong president like clinton makes americans uneasy

    as the time goes by, W's popularity falls as he reverts back to his pre 9-11 form:rolleyes:

    i do look forward to a debate between clark and the president, if it ever comes to that...W's biggest positive accomplishment in his term could be tied into the military...but he won't be able to use that in a debate against clark who will have the advantage on topics of that issue...it will force the domestic issues (and the topic of the bad economy) and this is something the president has ignored for too long
     
  18. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    I'm one who doesn't think GW stood particularly tall in the 9-11 aftermath. A day or more passed before he spoke to the nation, and the first appearance I recall him making after that attacks was hours later, at the impromptu press conference where he referred to the terrorists as "folks," accompanied by that deer-in-the-headlights expression. Hey, that's how we all felt -- but like I say, great leaders rise to an occasion.
     
  19. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    ha!

    i'm a writer, and believe me when i say i've seen a LOT of absolute crap writing (in classes, in writing groups, on stage). bush's "poem" takes the cake.

    it's unoriginal ("roses are red"), clunky ("ate your shoe") and the prosity is all messed up. there's bad grammar and the through line plays second to the forced rhymes.

    the sentiment is weak. i know a ton of great actors who can turn the worst writing (including some of mine :) into gold on stage.

    this would play only as a comedic or ironic piece. bush displays an incredible lack of nuance and expression. i'd also say he's not written anything creative in a long time, despite what laura says. if he is a regular "writer" of poems, i would absolutely ****ing LOVE to see what crap he's spewed forth before.

    dare i say they're probably ALL "roses are red" derivatives?

    for something that's supposed to be from the heart, it smacks of a 5th grader trying to sound clever. and i'm being kind on the grade estimate. i wrote smarter things when i was 8.
     
  20. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    No, surely some of them are of the "There once was a man from Kent..." variety.

    Must... try... to... resist...
     
  21. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #21
    "There was a young lady from Leith..."

    Oops!

    jef, I'm one of many who'd have some disagreement with your comment, "vietnam was an example of not following a strict plan and officers were given more leeway in determining what was best without consulting their superiors... the chaos of this war is well documented."

    Oh, chaotic, no doubt. However, the micro-management from the White House and the lack of an overall strategy looks to me to be what turned it into the giant cluster-foop it turned out to be. Once the Grand CYA began, "wasted" truly deserved its entry into the lexicon of death.

    ****

    Somebody from the Democrat Party commented after Ike won the election of 1952, "I almost feel sorry for the poor bastard. He's gonna give orders, and nothing will happen, and he'll never know why."

    Oddity: Street interviews show that when the ignoranti are told Clark's a general, his favorable rating declines. Go figure.

    'Rat
     
  22. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #22
    i wasn't in vietnam so i admit what i get, i get from what colin powell says in his book and it does seem to mirror, mostly but not all of what i read, about the military and its strategy in the vietnam war

    the powell doctrine...well i don't have to get into that as i am sure you know all about it...have a plan, stick to it, and have an exit to the campaign...vietnam did not have those...especially the latter

    i come from a liberal side and you have a lot of your arguments based from the conservative point of view, and that will lead us to different ideas for what is best militarily, and many times on the domestic front issues

    i am not going to try and blame nixon's role in the war because i think he inherited a military that didn't have a plan, and was under a president, democrat lyndon johnson, who didn't have a plan...i will freely admit that the war was a huge mistake in the way president johnson handled it...and i am sure we can find middle ground and agree on at least that

    in his book, powell criticizes how the us army, just prior to its enterance in vietnam put little emphasis on combat readiness

    today i went to an air show which was also a ground breaking for a world war II memorial and at one of the display booths, a sgt who was a veteran of kosovo had a pretty good talk about vietnam with a two tour veteran from the marine corps...they went on and on about how "bad" the military was in screwing the whole thing up...interestingly, there was not one word blaming either president or the politicians...since the topic of the show was world war II, the current sgt. was fairly critical about the right time to use force or not...and if you go in, you do so to win, and then get the heck out

    since this is an apple inc site, i think apple needed leadership, which was lacking, in the mid-90s, and they neeeded someone with a plan who was the "boss" and a willing group of employees who would back him and be fiercely loyal

    steve jobs came in during 1997 and took control of the company, which had been floating around in different dissenting camps, and pointed in the right direction
     
  23. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

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    #23
    Clark is a train wreck. It's a shame that the Democrat party can't rally behind a strong candidate.

    Clark was seen as a loose cannon within the military and almost sparked an armed conflict with Russia during the Kosovo conflict, if it weren't for the intervention of a British general he would have attacked. During his stay in Yugoslavia the American embassy instituted the "Clark Rule" that stated Clark could not talk to foreigners without a US diplomat present. This was sparked by an improptu visit he payed to a suspected Serbian war criminal after he was told by US diplomats not to. He was then stricken from the promotion list for full general (he was a Lt. General at the time) but he managed to pull strings within the Clinton administration to get a promotion.

    More recently he has changed his position on Iraq several times, going from "I probably would have voted in favor of the Iraq resolution" to "I would never have voted in favor of the Iraq resolution", both statements were about a week apart. In 2001 he gave a rather gushing speech at a Republican party fundraiser in Little Rock that praised nearly every member of the Bush Administration by name. He also proceeded to gush about Reagan and other assorted conservatives.
     
  24. Sayhey macrumors 68000

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    #24
    Clark is not my ideal candidate, but he is hardly a "train wreck." He had problems with Hugh Shelton and Sec. of Defense Cohen in the struggle to have Apache helicopters available for the Kosovo Campaign but he may well have been right on the question. The arguments around the Russian occupation of the Pristina Airport is something that has to looked at from both sides, but I don't think it is correct to characterize him as a "loose cannon." He was operating under the authority of the NATO Secretary-General and the understanding of most of the governments of NATO. The British forces on the ground refused to follow the agreed on policy. It's one thing to agree with the British; it's quite another to jump to the conclusion that Clark was operating out there on his own with crazy ideas. The guy did lead a very successful campaign.

    Before you buy the Republican spin, I would recommend reading some of his and others accounts on the questions. Seems to me he gets into trouble because he doesn't yet know how to answer in "sound bites" that can be easily digested by the press.

    Check out these sites:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/671495.stm

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/conversation/jan-june01/clark_06-15.html

    Clark's Presidential campaign has this site which is good for another view of his ideas:

    http://www.americansforclark.com/
     
  25. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #25
    In 1952, it was still known as the "Democratic Party," but of course that was before Newt Gingrich changed the party's name.
     

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