General Wesley Clark, then and now.

In light of the furor over Gen. Wesley Clark arguing that "getting shot down is [not] a qualification to be president" (true, I suppose, but nobody is arguing that it is, in itself, the qualification) and that John McCain is "untested and untried" (um...good luck with that line of attack, guys) - and following up on Bill Beutler's post about the Left doing a 180 on the merits of attacking a candidate's military service, let me point out what Gen. Wesley Clark was saying about the importance of a candidate's military service just four years ago....

John Kerry has heard the thump of enemy mortars. He's seen the flash of the tracers. He's lived the values of service and sacrifice. In the Navy, as a prosecutor, as a senator, he proved his physical courage under fire. And he's proved his moral courage too.

John Kerry fought a war, and I respect him for that. And he came home to fight a peace. And I respect him for that, too.

John Kerry's combination of physical courage and moral values is my definition of what we need as Americans in our commander in chief. [...]

John Kerry is a man who in time of war can lead us as a warrior [...]

He has the moral courage born in battle...

Funny, Wes Clark seemed to think military service was an important qualification for a US Senator without executive experience 4 years ago. 

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Does Schieffer count?

"In light of the furor over Gen. Wesley Clark arguing that "getting shot down is [not] a qualification to be president" (true, I suppose, but nobody is arguing that it is, in itself, the qualification)"

wrote Jon.

I would just like to point out that Bob Scheiffer was making that very argument and Clark simply negated Scheiffer's exact words.  Here's the transcript.

SCHIEFFER:  I have to say, Barack Obama has not had any of those experiences, either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down.  I mean...

CLARK:  Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.

As you make clear above, a true statement but in addition Scheiffer was clearly arguing that it was a qualification. 

And before you make like Clark is disparaging or attacking McCain's service, you might want to check out what Clark was saying about 30 seconds before the fighter plane comment:

I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war.  He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in the armed forces, as a prisoner of war. He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee.  And he has traveled all over the world.

Calling someone your hero hardly seems like an effective attack.  More silliness from the media on this one but it looks like the Right will get some legs out of it.  And Obama sucks for throwing Clark under the bus.  Lame.

Obama wants to win.

Obama will throw anyone under a bus to win if he thinks it will help him win. Everything Obama does is calculated, yet the "responsible" media accepts this change agent folly as truth too much of the time. Then again, it is the very same mainstream media that, in my opinion, manufactured the nomination of Barack Obama.

Obama is a smart and capable candidate, but he has made very serious blunders along the way, blunders of the sort that have derailed or defeated past candidacies.

Here's Clark's real record on geopolitical leadership (WW III?)

"The guy who almost started World War III" 

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=wesley+clark+michael+jackson+russia&fr=yfp-t-501&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8

"Nato supreme commander General Wesley Clark is not being allowed to fade away quietly. Days after the Clinton administration relieved him of his command two months early, Newsweek is reporting that the victor of Kosovo was blocked from sending paratroopers to Pristina airport to pre-empt an unexpected Russian advance.

Lieutenant-general Sir Michael Jackson overruled General Clark because the British commander did not want to spark a clash with the Russians.

"I'm not going to start Third World War for you," General Jackson told the US commander, according to Newsweek. In the hours that followed General Clark's order, both men sought political backing for their position, but only General Jackson received it.

News of the clash between the British and US commanders comes just days after the US snubbed General Clark by ordering him to step down next year, two months early, to make way for Air Force General Joseph Ralston, vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.

The move is widely seen as a rebuke for the man who led Nato to victory, but who clashed repeatedly with his superiors because he favoured more aggressive tactics. General Clark, for example, pressed for the use of Apache attack helicopters, but his wish was denied amid fears of American casualties.

Trouble flared between the two men as soon as General Jackson was appointed commander on the ground in Kosovo. Talks on Russia's role had broken down and the American general was so anxious to stop Moscow from stealing a march on the allies, he ordered British and French troops to take the airport.

General Clark then asked fellow American commander Admiral James Ellis, in charge of Nato's Southern Command, to land helicopters on the runways to prevent giant Russian Ilyushin transport coming in. However, Admiral Ellis also refused, saying General Jackson would not like it.

The Russian planes were only prevented from landing after US officials persuaded Hungary to deny them permission to overfly the country. Both generals turned to their political masters for support, but while the British government backed General Jackson's judgment, General Clark received no support, effectively meaning his orders were overruled."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,3888788-103558,00.html

Perhaps we ought to question whether General Clark has the proper experience and temperament to handle a geopolitical crisis. Given the way this one went, he has a rather huge pair to take issue with John McCain's credentials