Skip to comments.Clark calls for a new American patriotism (BARF ALERT)
Posted on 09/22/2003 9:16:54 PM PDT by Sparta
HARLESTON, S.C., Sept. 22 Gen. Wesley K. Clark called today for "a new American patriotism" that would encourage broader public service, respect domestic dissent even in wartime and embrace international organizations like the United Nations.
General Clark, a former NATO commander and Army officer who last week announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination, accused the Bush administration of neglecting economic problems and of pursuing a dangerous go-it-alone foreign policy.
But he also used the setting of the Citadel, the military college here, to appeal to about 150 cadets and civilians on the parade grounds to help restore something loftier, a sense of national spirit that he suggested that the administration's campaign against terror had corroded.
"We've got to have a new kind of patriotism that recognizes that in times of war or peace democracy requires dialogue, disagreement and the courage to speak out," General Clark said. "And those who do it should not be condemned, but be praised."
General Clark made it clear he believed that the administration had unfairly focused on whole classes of immigrants, for fear of a minority within them.
"Three million Muslims have come to this country from Asia and the Middle East," he said. "They didn't come because they were afraid of our values. They came because they wanted to live under them."
Today was Day 6 of the campaign, and General Clark's 20-minute stump speech at the hastily arranged event here had a few rough patches.
"Patriotism doesn't consist of following the orders, not, not not when you're not in the chain of command," the general said, stumbling over his words and catching himself before he inadvertently encouraged insubordination in the ranks.
Despite the stumbles, General Clark heard good news in a CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll that showed he had jumped ahead of the other Democrats. The poll, conducted over the weekend, showed him tying President Bush head to head.
General Clark was invited to speak here by Philip Lader, a visiting professor of political science who is a close friend of former President Bill Clinton. Many former top Clinton aides have roles in his campaign.
General Clark directed his attacks against the administration, never mentioning the other nine Democratic hopefuls. He criticized the Bush team as doing little to stem the job losses and mounting deficits that have weighed on the economy since he retired from the Army in 2000.
"I'm running for president because I could not stand by and watch everything that we fought for, everything our nation had accomplished and become, unravel before our eyes," General Clark said.
He said the administration had failed to shore up health care and education, but he offered no detailed plans.
"One of the principles we learned in the United States armed forces was the principle of accountability," he said. "Americans today are asking, `Why did we lose three million jobs over the last three years?' "
He fired the other barrel of his attack at the handling of Iraq and at overall foreign policy, especially given that Mr. Bush is requesting $87 billion from Congress to finance reconstruction and military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"What was the strategy?" he asked about Iraq. "What was the purpose? What is the success strategy? How are we going to finish the mission there?"
General Clark did not discuss what are apparently his reversals on the the war. Last October, he said that he would support the Congressional resolution that authorized the use of military force in Iraq and then spent months criticizing the execution of the war. On Thursday, the day after he announced his candidacy, he said, "I probably would have voted for" the resolution. On Friday, he backtracked, saying, "I never would have voted for war."
By coincidence, his aides said, General Clark spoke here nearly four years to the day after George W. Bush, then the governor of Texas, visited the Citadel to lay out his most explicit thinking on military policy.
General Clark did not delve into such detail, but said he would map out a foreign policy, drawing on his experience leading tens of thousands of troops and working at the highest levels of the government, first as a senior general in the Pentagon and later as NATO supreme commander in the 1999 war in Kosovo.
He said his approach was based on three basic pillars. First, his strategy would reach out more aggressively to allies. He said he would also work to improve relations with international organizations like the United Nations, which he said were created decades ago to "to distribute the burdens of leadership, to share the responsibilities and to share the benefits of security."
Finally, he said, he will always support a well-financed military, strong enough to deter or, if necessary, defeat any threat.
After his remarks, General Clark bounded into the audience, shaking hands, signing copies of his memoirs and getting a feel for what life is going to be like in the campaign.
Terry Tranen, 61, a retired aerospace engineer, said General Clark was the Democrat with the best chance of beating Mr. Bush.
"I think I might send him some money," Mr. Tranen said. "That's the real test, isn't it?"
french Army to Market "Ultimate Surrender" Video Game
Paris - Inspired by the commercial success of the United States Armys "Boot Camp" video game, the General Staff of the french Army has announced plans to market "Ultimate Surrender," a video game based upon the proud military traditions of the Gauls.
In the game we follow the exploits of Lucky Pierre, an apprentice garlic salesman from Marseilles, as he joins the french Army and begins a rigorous course of combat training.
The First Level of the game is called "Survival School," and the players have to help Lucky Pierre survive 24 hours without red wine or crème brulé.
The Second Level is "Capitulation," and the goal here is to see which player can have Lucky Pierre surrender the fastest without firing a shot or getting his uniform dirty.
Level Three is "Collaboration." Here the players battle to see who can collect the largest numbers of pairs of nylon stockings and packages of chocolates by having Lucky Pierre perform sexual favors for members of the occupying forces.
Level Four is "Be Ungrateful to America for Rescuing Your Sorry french Ass Once Again." In this extremely challenging part of the game contestants vie with one another to see who can make Lucky Pierre behave in the surliest manner when the United States inevitably comes to the rescue of the defeated french.
The Final Level is "Pretending to Have Been in the Resistance." Here contestants compete in a battle of tall tales and whoppers as they try to protect Lucky Pierre from treason charges.
Marketing tests show that "Ultimate Surrender" is a big hit with french teenagers and young adults who are too young to have experienced frances lightening surrender to the Germans in 1940 or its defeat by the Vietnamese in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu. "Zees is a great tool to inspire ze patriotism in ze youths, nest ce pas?" said General Jean-Jacques Loseur, Commander-in-Chief of the french Army, during his weekly press conference. "Since ze end of ze Cold War we french have not had many opportunities to surrender or to show great cowardice in the face of much weaker opponents."
When questioned about comments made in the french Chamber of Deputies that "Ultimate Surrender" makes the french Army look like a bunch of gutless mamas boys, General Loseur pulled out a white handkerchief, put his hands over his head and said, "Oh heck, I give up."
Mary! Mary, help me out here. Mary!?
Careful there, or the Loyalty Police will get you. ;^)
Personally, I consider it the duty of every American to keep a critical eye on the doings of our government, since we are the final "check and balance" against tyranny. And lately, it seems we've been falling down on the job, if you ask me.
There is a very big difference between honest political dissent, however, and lies, slander and unmitigated attacks upon the character of the United States, its leaders and its people. Constructive criticism is valuable and should be cherished, but opposing everything America does simply because it is America doing it is nothing more than mindless antagonism, devoid of any value whatsoever except to the enemies of the United States.
Defaming the United States is not patriotic, and no amount of lies or distortion will ever convince me that it is.
People who love the United States are patriots. People who hate the United States are its enemies. Simple enough to understand.
It was good for our founders
It was good for our fathers
It was good for our mothers
And it's good enough for me.
Take your "new patriotism" and stuff it, General Weasely Clark!
Captain Yee comes readily to mind as a nice fit!
Yes, the "economic isolation" argument is frequently used to explain why we "must" join the EU. But being outside the EU has never meant economic isolation, and never will. You don't have to surrender your sovereignty in order to trade with other nations. That kind of "trade" would in fact not be trade at all, but slavery.
I hope we'll be able to stop this madness! I hope it's not too late!
The problem is that the people of nations like Poland or Hungary do not yet fully know what the EU is really all about. The media and the politicians have been telling them the EU is the future. They do sense that there is something fishy about it--that's why they were so reluctant to say "yes" in the recent referendums--but they have yet to be confronted by full extent of the EU's socialist authoritarianism. Then they'll know it's better to stay out of this pathetic club of loosers--but by then, of course, it will be too late to part peacefully.
Seems like this is a lesson our nations will have to learn the hard way.