Sun Tzu had something to say about serving your nation as a General -
"And therefore the general who in advancing does not seek personal fame, and in withdrawing is not concerned with avoiding punishment, but whose only purpose is to protect the people and promote the best interests of his sovereign, is the precious jewel of the state. Such a general has no personal interest. Few such are to be had" (X.19)
I was talking to my brother on the phone on Monday about General Wesley Clark. First let me give you a run down on my bro (he sometimes posts comments here as Matt-Bro).
1. My brother was once the most virulent, rabid, conservative known to Man at ages 18-27. That's nine years folks. He made Pat Buchanon look like Nader. He was a trader in one of the last unregulated markets - currency (Yen).
2. He got married.
3. He married a former aide of Hillary's (four years 92-96), changed his ways, became a flaming democrat (not too liberal). Now, he is more like James Carvel.
4. When I wrote the going home posts, he was there, too, and he gave my mom an autographed copy of Hilary's book. (don't ask - I still ain't ready to talk about it, yet).
So, now, he is excited that the Dems are trying to adopt a military figure to run for President. Conversation summary is below:
Matt-Bro: Matt, so what do you think about General Wesley -
Blackfive [interrupting]: He's a pussy!
Matt-Bro: - Clark? *gasp* You don't like him?! He's a combat vet.
Blackfive: *sigh* So is Charlie Rangel. You think he should be President? General Clark was a nobody until his boy Clinton came along...
Now, personally, I don't really care if my President has served in combat or not. I mean, come on people, don't you want someone that leads by vision, decision, action, listening, team building etc. I am talking about character and personal responsibility. Actually having heard shots fired in anger, while deserving our respect, isn't much of a presidential leadership identifier to me. I have known plenty of guys who served in combat with me that would be lousy presidents. Yours truly included (I would immediately confiscate all of your Johnny Walker Black for my own medicinal purposes)...
Gen. Clark is absolutely nuts. His tanks were probably used in the assualt on the Branch Davidians in Waco. He grew up as a hunter but is for much stronger gun control. When he was the Army Commander for Europe, he made all kinds of crazy changes - like turning barraks into dormitories. Imagine being the First Sergeant in charge of a Company of soldiers and not be allowed to inspect the living conditions of your soldiers. The dormitories were controlled by a governing council of soldiers - yep, a freaking committee. Anyway, don't know about the rest of the Army but this 'idea' caused a few discipline problems.
Gen. Clark also is claiming to have stopped the genocide in the Balkans. This is garbage. How many people were masacred while you were in charge, jackass? I believe you had responsibility for Africa, too, at that time. How about the 5 million people butchered in Rwanda? At the time, Gen. Clark was a soldier and not a key decision maker on foreign policy - so how the hell can he (or his PR department) claim that HE stopped the genocide in the Balkans? What a complete bunch of shit!
Now, this Jackass is claiming that the Bush Administration tried to get him kicked off CNN. This, of course, is based on rumors that he heard. What a complete bunch of shit!
So, I tend to get pissed when someone puts General Clark on a pedestal because of his PR agent. You want to know about a good General? Check out Peter Schoomaker, the new Army Chief of Staff - he is a kick ass, take names kind of General Officer. He is the kind that would dig his own foxhole. His troops would even take a bullet for the guy. He would never be nicknamed the "supreme being" by his troops. Clark has been so named...
Update: Just found this Washington Times Article on the General - it is pretty damn good.