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13 June 2008


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Let's bring in McCain, so we can re-do coldwar all over again.

China and India are already reactivating their Kashmir-tibet military asset. With how we botched Pakitan-taliban-kashmir border. That place is going to be one shooting galery soon.

It's Sino-India war again. Bring in the CIA to prod the tibetan to revolt.

Anybody notice, we are back to 50-60's conflict area again? exact same spots (Palestine, Lebanon, Kashmir, Korea, southern africa)


"By reactivating the airfield, India would like to be seen as exercising a more assertive presence in this area. Most of all it will be a great morale booster for our troops positioned there. Landing at Daulat Beg Oldi airfield will enable India to induct troops swiftly, improve communication network and increase the air effort in the region substantially," Barbora added.

"The reopening of the field is a signal to China that India will take steps to protect its national interest," Dikshit told Asia Times Online.


Politics brings out the worst in people. They will do or say anything to get their candidate elected.

Wes Clark's challenging McCain's Command experience is the beginning of an orchestrated demeaning of McCain's military experience. Guess its a reverse Swiftboat or something.

Bottom line is the Navy does not make someone a Captain if they cannot lead nor does the Army make someone a General even if he does not know when to put his foot in his mouth.


Excellent commentary on command authority and responsibility. It should be mentioned that while authority can be delegated, responsibility never can be. (Those in and out of the administration who wish to shift responsibility to congress for starting the war should be reminded of that fact, as should those in Congress who want to shift blame for their failure to fulfill their obligations and address concerns in 2003 - prior to their vote.
As for looking for another Marshall I agree, I hope Obama is looking for a Marshall. I doubt that you'll find him on the cocktail circuit.


Theory: The veneration for today's veterans is in direct proportion to the shame and guilt felt for exposing them to unnecessary danger and sacrifice.

Patrick Lang


You should have guessed by now how hard it is for anyone to "orchestrate" me in anything.

At a speaking engagement at a senior service college recently, an officer said to me, "it isn't really true is it that in the old days you SF people did prety much what you thought best?"

I explained to him that it was indeed true and that is where I had belonged. pl

" He was abused by them in violation of international law."

Which is likely to "scar" someone permanently with a loathing of oppression and a profoundly personal reverence for the rule of law. [possibly only my pollyanna fantasy.]


your post gave words to two things i have been thinking about


how the press has been magnifying the value of mccain's military experience

as pointed out he was a junior aviator and a POW

and being on the armed services committee of the senate gave a him a lot of exposure to military issues

(i think he was once liaison to this committee)

hilary chose this committee to strengthnen her image as knowledgeable about warfare

but i have wondered what caused a long-time presidential aspirant with a military background to not fight for a place on the committee on intelligence where foreign policy is the concern

second and most important
of your words were these:

"In their new found love of soldiers Americans ascribe something almost sacramental to the experience of military service. This is unexpected"

i have observed this and did not have the words to express it

you have said it well

does it have a simple explanation?

is it an artifact of the vietnam experience?

is it that people are wanting to oppose the war but are being very careful to make sure that there is no way that anyone can misconstrue their remarks as any kind of criticism of the troops?

especially since from the start of the iraq debacle the president and the vice president have carefully and systematically shown themselves surrounded by enthusiastic troops


Overlooked is the fact that Franklin Roosevelt had substantial executive experience in the military, serving as Assistant Secretary of the Navy during WWI (1913-1920). He was also President the last time the United States actually won a major war.

What is being challenged now is not just McCain's lack of command experience. At issue is his strategic judgement and willingness to honor and care for the troops who served in this ill begotten venture.

Unfortunately the person needed today is someone with the stature of an Eisenhower, someone who--like in Korea--can say "enough" to all the stupidity. That's what military leaders serving as President are really good for.

Since there is no one with that stature around, we will have to wait for the politicians to come to their senses, not a cheerful prospect.


What Marcus said.

Three cheers for Wesley Clark. I hope he's on the short list for VP. I don't think it's "reverse swiftboating" to draw attention to a few facts.

And speaking of swiftboating, if Clark were to get the VP nod, we'd have to revisit the whole Hugh Shelton/William Cohen flap again.

Oh well, nobody's perfect.

Wesley Clark has an IQ in the range of Bill Clinton's. He's also knows economics and environmental science.

Obama could do a lot worse.


If only there was the draft today. Then everyone could have views with the same emotional basis on war. There is more focus on Iraq now because of its effect on the economy lives. The caskets of our dead are not allowed to be filmed on their return to the states.


Thanks, Colonel Lang. You will make an excellent Secretary of Defense. I look forward to that day.

Clifford Kiracofe

Here is an interesting take on McCain by Elliott D. Cohen:
"John McCain has long been a major player in a radical militaristic group driven by an ideology of global expansionism and dominance attained through perpetual, pre-emptive, unilateral, multiple wars...." http://www.truthout.org/article/john-mccains-chilling-project-america


To your list of those who served in adverse circumstances, I would take the opportunity to add Max Cleland.


Wesley Clark didn’t achieve all of his success in life because he is stupid. If there is anything you can say about Wes Clark, it is that he isn’t dumb. As a former candidate for President, Clark has grown to become politically savvy. That is why I can’t understand why Clark would want to turn this election into an election on foreign policy credentials. Clark did campaign heavily for Hillary Clinton during the primaries. Could it be possible that Wes Clark is sabotaging Barack Obama for his girl in 2012?



It does not matter what Senator McCain's military background is or that he receives a Navy Tax-Free Disability Pension. It is clear as day that he will continue the current occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan forever.

Senator McCain will never mentioned that the rise of gasoline prices is due to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan raising the risk price of Middle East Oil and the cumulative Three Trillion dollars in war debt that is crashing the US dollar.

He will never mention the security risks of all the excess oil money flowing from American drivers into the pockets of Muslim Extremists.

He will never mention peak oil. He will never mention raising the taxes on the wealthy to pay for his never ending oil wars.

He will never mention the coming collapse of the US Army from the Forever War.

He will never mention the Draft.

Farmer Don

Col. Lang,
Indeed an "Excellent commentary on command authority and responsibility".

It's what makes History so interesting. The Study of how different men handled high authority and extreme responsibility in difficult situations.


Who needs orchestration? I can dissect candidates solo. Here's an article on McCain's flying career from '00...

This excerpt is, well, instructive... "The instructor added that McCain was "positively one of the weakest students to pass our way, and received consistently poor marks and a number of Dangerous Down grades assigned by more than one instructor. He had no real ability and was clearly out of his element in an airplane, and way over his head even as a junior naval officer."
""John McCain," says another Navy pilot and acquaintance of that era, "was the kind of guy you wanted to room with -- not fly with. He was reckless..."

I much prefer a President who can recognize & work with a Marshall to one who thinks he is one - or Pappy Boyington, for that matter.

Buzz Meeks

Wet-Start McCain certainly has displayed command authority of his own legislative offices. The Keating Five savings and loan debacle, Jack Abramoff, the Rothschild foreign campaign fundraiser in London (which I think was illegal) in March 2008, his lobbying for European Aeronatic Defense and Space Co.'s Airbus tanker deal,and cutting funding for Amtrak certainly shows that his love of our country is more along the lines of Rethuglican contempt.

EADS-Northrup isn't even in his state so I can't by any stretch think he is looking out for his constituents. Wet-Start only has himself to thank for what ever is flung at him. Not much of the flung materials will be reported NY Pravda or Pravda of the Potomac so thank Al Gore for inventing the internets.

I don't know how much Wet-Start McCain collaborated with the North Vietnamese. He is certainly collaborating against American vital Constitutional and domestic issues now.

Buzz Meeks

PS. I can't wait for him to come to my town next month. My dozen eggs are already sitting in the sun.

Larry Mitchell

"In their new found love of soldiers Americans ascribe something almost sacramental to the experience of military service. This is unexpected. There has emerged a kind of reverence for those who have served which is unfamiliar to the veterans of earlier generations."

I think this has to do with the fact that the military is now all volunteer. A small percentage volunteer, and the rest really don't want to go. Now they don't have to, and this is a good situation for them. It is now possible to be patriotic by loving the soldiers. Magnetic ribbons on your car help too. During Vietnam and the draft, people who didn't want to be in the military were more likely to justify it by declaring that joining the military was a bad thing, in my opinion.

I am glad to see the soldiers being treated well this time around, but I am cynical about the reason for it. I'm sure that some of the love and respect is genuine. For the record, I didn't volunteer but was drafted. I do respect the volunteers.

Duncan Kinder

John McCain is an admirable man.

While I think that McCain has enjoyed too much of a free ride on the "character" issue, there is a more important point.

Perhaps the two most admirable men to have been elected president have been Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter.

The problem with John McCain is that he thinks that all foreign policy is a redux of WWII. And that was 60 years ago. He also thinks that the sixties were some sort of Woodstock aberration that the country needs to get over to return to its WWII excellence. And the 60s were 40 years ago.

We need a president who is prepared to grapple with the 21st Century; not to attempt to revive the 20th.

For example, there is a deafening silence from both candidates about the drug lord war down in Mexico. And that is going to overshadow even Iraq during the next administration.

It would be nice to know if either Obama or McCain had any concept of how he might respond to that.


What has Obama commanded?
You really think he will find a Marshall?
Trinity Church?
Maybe he can get Bill Ayers to serve as National Security Advisor...

Forget the command question (a false canard, BTW) and ask how many years of national politics each candidate has.

Patrick Lang

You are funny. You have not seen my stuff on Obama? What are you, a relative?

So, what is unfair about the "canard?" What did he ever command? pl



Obama is not claiming command experience. McCain is hanging his presidential aspirations on his national security credentials. What Gen. Clark asks us to reflect upon is that in addition to his years as a POW, McCain has 26 years in the Senate and six years supporting George W. Bush's war policies. McCain asks the voters to believe he is better on foreign policy than Obama. Clark disputes this premise, which, by the way, is accepted and touted daily in the mainstream media.


I want a President who knows how to use a PC. :)

More to the point, it is difficult to know where McCain stands on any issue. If Kerry was a flip-flopper, then McCain is a mega-Kerry.

David W.

I'm interested to hear more about McCain's performance from his old shipmates and fellow pilots; Here's to the USS Forestal becoming this years' Swift Boat!

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