WESLEY CLARK A “LOOSE CANNON”
UNFIT TO BE PRESIDENT - ALMOST
STARTED WWIII WITH ORDER TO
ATTACK RUSSIANS IN KOSOVO – DISSES
JOHN KERRY AS “ONLY A LIEUTENANT”
IN VIETNAM – FIRED FROM POST AS
NATO SUPREME COMMANDER
WE DON’T NEED A MEGALOMANIAC
IN THE WHITE HOUSE
If you’ve ever seen Sterling Hayden’s brilliant portrayal of “Gen. Jack D. Ripper” in Stanley Kubrick’s black comedy, “DR. STRANGELOVE,” you know all you need to know about Wesley Clark.
As megalomaniac generals go, Clark comes straight from “central casting” in Hollywood. With his crazed “deer-caught-in-the-headlights” eyes – round as saucers on his slightly effete face (which was recently featured on the cover of the gay magazine THE ADVOCATE) – the Democratic Presidential candidate should send a chill down the spine of any sensible American voter.
At first, Clark was mildly amusing with his propensity to exaggerate his own accomplishments or spout a bald-faced lie, such as he “worked his way” through West Point. The media was content to give him a pass. After all, wasn’t Wes a “crony” of the Clintons? They were never known for telling the truth. So who cares?
But will those vets – the few that are registered Democrats – be conned into voting for a man retired Gen. Hugh Shelton said was canned for “integrity and character issues?”
“I’m not going to say whether I’m a Republican or a Democrat,” Shelton announced. “I’ll just say Wes won’t get my vote.”
Former Army Chief of Staff and now Secretary of State Colin Powell confirmed Clark was sacked, but declined to discuss the details in depth: “What happened was, that Wes Clark got fired. But I am not going to be pulled into a ‘Who shot John?’ about it.”
COHEN TEACHES CLARK WHO’S “BOSS”
The cagey candidate Clark never uses the word “FIRED” on the campaign trail because it might cause voters to think twice about letting him anywhere near the nuclear button.
Respected columnist Jim Brunelle of the Portland (Me.) PRESS HERALD spelled it out under the headline “WESLEY CLARK WENT TOE-TO-TOE WITH BILL COHEN AND LOST HIS JOB.”
Brunelle, who has built up many contacts and sources over the years, had a direct line into Cohen’s office and knew what the former secretary of defense had to do to reign in his “loose cannon” general.
“Clark sprang to media prominence as supreme allied commander of NATO forces overseeing the air war in Yugoslavia, to halt ethnic cleansing in Kosovo,” Brunelle wrote. “The Pentagon is said to have been upset by what was regarded as loose-cannon behavior by the general, especially in one diplomatically sensitive incident.
“As the war wound down, a small contingent of Russian troops was reported to be rushing toward the Pristina airfield in Kosovo with the intention of occupying the facility.
“Clark called for an airborne assault to stop the Russians, an order that British Gen. Michael Jackson, head of the international force responsible, refused to obey. Jackson reportedly told (Clark) ‘Sir I am NOT starting World War III for you!’
“When all this came out later, Clark insisted the idea for engaging the Russians in a risky military showdown actually originated in Washington, an assertion that did not endear him to his critics.”
Brunelle wrote that “three months before he was scheduled to step down as allied commander, the Pentagon announced Clark was retiring early. The general, it was said, was furious, but helpless to prevent his ouster.”
THE “MYTH” OF THE GREAT GENERAL CLARK
NEWSWEEK further obliterated the fiction of Wesley Clark, “brilliant military leader,” with the bombshell investigative article, THE KOSOVO COVER-UP, which revealed Clark’s much-vaunted air war “success” was largely due to “inflated numbers.” The pompous general didn’t have much to say about all the civilian casualties in the air campaign, including the deliberate targeting of Yugoslav television in downtown Belgrade.
More than 20 staffers, including a make-up woman – surely no threat to world peace – were incinerated in a second of madness and terror as cruise missiles slammed into the media outlet. What would we Americans say, if forces from a country we had never attacked blew up CNN headquarters in Atlanta and wiped out the “on-air staff” on duty?
However, Wesley Clark did have something to say about the last time Belgrade was “bombed from the air.” The German Luftwaffe raided the city April 6, 1941, causing 17,000 casualties.
“That will forever be a shame on Germany,” the hypocritical Clark pontificated.
Jack Kelly, writing in the Pittsburgh POST-GAZETTE, was able to penetrate the public relations hype about Gen. Clark.
The columnist quoted a defense consultant as saying Clark “is able, though not nearly as able as he thinks, and has tended to put his career ahead of his men to the point of excess. He is opportunistic, lacks integrity and will be an absolute menace if he gets into a position where he can exert influence on the Army because he lacks true vision and is prone to be vindictive.”
That comment was made prior to Clark’s forced retirement and his running for President. There is no reason to believe the official has since changed his mind.
COL. HACKWORTH DOES AN “ABOUT - FACE”
One well-known commentator on military matters seems to have come 180 degrees, however.
No less than Col. David Hackworth, champion of the enlisted soldier, critic of fat cats and brass hats, who blasted Clark with both barrels in a 1999 “Defending America” column, now sings the praises of the man he once derided as the “Ultimate Perfumed Prince.”
A few short years ago, Hack slapped Clark for not being a “muddy boots” soldier. “He’s a military politician without the right stuff . . .” Hackworth said at the time.
“At West Point, he graduated No. 1 in his class, and even though the Vietnam war was raging and chewing up lieutenants faster than a machine gun can spit death, (Clark) went to Oxford for two years of contemplating instead of to the trenches to lead a platoon.
“A year after graduating Oxford, he was sent to Vietnam, where, as a combat leader for several months, he was bloodied and muddied. Unlike most of his classmates, who did multiple combat tours in the killing fields of Southeast Asia, (Clark) spent the rest of the war sheltered in the ivy towers of West Point or learning power games first hand as a White House fellow.”
But by 2003, Hackworth was full of admiration for Wesley Clark. He announced that “after three hours interviewing the man” (for MAXIM, a skin magazine – Hack stopped writing for NEWSWEEK years ago) “I’m impressed.”
“He (Clark) is insightful, has his act together, he understands what makes national security tick – and he thinks on his feet somewhere around Mach 3,” Hack gushed. Calling the onetime perfumed prince “brilliant,” and “super-smart,” America’s most-decorated living soldier embraced Clark with the ardor of a reformed zealot.
There was unintentional humor in the recent Hackworth column, too.
The colonel raved ecstatically about how Clark came along “without the standard platoon of handlers.” Hack reported that Gen. Clark “treated the little folks who poured the coffee and served the bacon and eggs with exactly the same respect and consideration he gave the biggies in the dining room, like my colleague Larry King, and Bob Tisch, the Regency Hotel’s owner. An appealing common touch.”
As if Wes was going to be a “bad boy” and give Hack a second shot at ripping him up! The mercurial general was, of course, on his “best behavior.”
One almost hopes that come April 1st, 2004 – by then, Clark’s candidacy may be just a fading memory – Hack will spring a surprise on us all and say: “Hey guys, I really had you going there, didn’t I? That was just old Hack, doing the schmooze. I really got Clark’s number. I know what he is. Don’t worry.”
CLARK “DISSES” KERRY, BRISTLES AT DOLE “DEMOTION”
Sometimes it seems as if Wes Clark thinks he’s still wearing four stars. When WWII hero, Bob Dole teased him about being (politically) “demoted” from general to colonel on a recent LARRY KING SHOW the night of the New Hampshire primary, Clark almost had a cow on live TV!
One must never lose track of the fact that Wesley Clark, the arrogant and brusque West Pointer and Rhodes Scholar, was a top-ranking general, “thank you very much,” and must be treated accordingly.
Clark didn’t win many votes from “the lower ranks” when he reminded TV viewers that Vietnam hero and presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry, “was only a lieutenant” in Vietnam.
Measuring his words carefully, the craggy-faced liberal Democrat from Massachusetts dealt with the disrespect by reminding Clark that a lot of “lieutenants” do the fighting and dying in combat. The inference was clear. “Four-star Wes” has no right to “disrespect” those who, for whatever reason, didn’t reach the lofty heights of “flag” rank.
“I think it was a cheap shot,” said Reuben Noel, executive director of the Arizona Fraud Prevention Council. “Where does Clark come off, pulling rank and acting like a jerk?
“I was in Vietnam,” said the former reporter for the Dallas (Tex.) TIMES-HERALD, “and I respect men like Kerry, who were willing to risk all for the rest of us.”
Noel, a singer-songwriter who, with his wife Nancy, entertained troops all over Vietnam in the late 1960’s, wrote the classic book SAIGON FOR A SONG. A registered Republican here in Arizona, Noel supports Kerry’s presidential bid and warns his fellow citizens not to vote “for a nutcase” like Clark.
WITNESS TO A WES CLARK TEMPER TANTRUM
One journalist and talk show host who witnessed Clark “flipping out” was Monica Crowley of WABC in New York.
She attended a conference in California several years ago and was stunned to see “a temper tantrum so ugly, it had to be seen to be believed.”
“At the end of the conference, everybody was sort of leaving the hotel and checking out at the same time,” Crowley told her vast radio audience.
“Clark proceeded to throw a fit that had to be seen to be believed – something about how his luggage was being handled,” she explained.
Crowley said Clark was so “abusive, condescending and
mean” to the hotel staff that the conference organizer later felt compelled
to apologize on his behalf.
The WABC host allowed that while Clark could have been “having a bad day,” there “seems to be a pattern of behavior here that raises questions about his temperament and ability to be a civilian commander in chief.”
MORE “BAD BEHAVIOR” BY GEN.CLARK
There are many examples of Clark’s bad behavior and hissy fits.
A veteran of Clark’s tenure at Ft. Hood (Tex.) told Alexander Cockburn of COUNTERPUNCH how he recalled the general throwing a “massive tantrum because the privates, sergeants and wives in the crowded (canteen) checkout lines didn’t jump out of the way fast enough to let him through.”
Writing the incisive article “MEET THE REAL GEN. CLARK – A VAIN, POMPOUS, BROWN-NOSER,” Cockburn reported that “All observers agree that Clark has always displayed an obsessive concern with the perquisites and appurtenances of rank.
“Ever since he acceded to the NATO command post, the entourage with which he travels has accordingly grown to gargantuan proportions to the point where even civilians are beginning to comment, “ Cockburn said. “A senate aide recalled Clark’s appearances to testify, prior to which aides scurried about the room adjusting lights, polishing the general’s chair, testng the microphone prior to the precisely timed and choreographed moment when the Supreme Allied Commander Europe made his grand entrance.”
The aide told Cockburn that “pomposity and arrogance” are nothing new in his domain. “But when a witness displays those traits so egregiously that even senators notice, you know you’re in trouble."
WE TAKE A STAND ON WESLEY CLARK – DON’T VOTE FOR HIM!
George Bush has lost many a Republican vote among veterans for his Administration’s almost hostile treatment of retired and disabled vets, but will those who “went into harm’s way,” risking their lives for their country, cast a ballot for the erudite general from Little Rock, Ark.? We hope not. Wesley Clark does not belong on any party ticket this fall. The man is unfit to be President.
We believe Gen. Clark has neither the temperament or character to be trusted in the Oval office with protecting us from terrorists in the dangerous days ahead.
While this website – launched July 4, 2000 – has been critical of Bill “I loathe the military” Clinton and his imperious wife – along with assorted flunkies like former Army Chief of Staffs, Gen. Dennis Reimer and Eric “Black Beret fiasco” Shinseki, we’ve also criticized George W. Bush and his pompous Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
In fact, we have called for Rumsfeld’s resignation.
It is the policy of the staff and management of MilitaryCorruption.com that we do not endorse any political candidates. But, once in a while, along comes somebody who is so unfit for office, we have to make a stand. That is why we make this exception to our rule.
TO ALL VETERANS EVERYWHERE, INCLUDING OUR TROOPS ON ACTIVE DUTY AND IN THE GUARD AND RESERVE, ALONG WITH THEIR FAMILIES, PLEASE DON’T VOTE FOR WESLEY CLARK!
Send him back to Arkansas. He made $1.7 million in 2002 (we don’t have the figures for 2003 yet) so no need to fret over poor, old “Wes.” He will continue to sit on the boards of various companies doing business with the government and pile up a huge fortune. There’s no danger of him ever going hungry or being homeless like so many less fortunate Vietnam vets on the streets of our cities.
Maybe Clark can start a new career as an “influence peddler,” around the world like his old “pal” William Cohen. We sure would like to be a bug on the wall” when those two cross paths again!
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