8/28/2005

Daily Kos: 4 Star General Supports Cindy Sheehan and Protesters

4 Star General Supports Cindy Sheehan and Protesters
by Best in Show
Sun Aug 28th, 2005 at 04:59:33 CDT

But first, lets go back to March 25th 2003. ....this was during week 1 of the invasion of Iraq.

All networks were covering the war 24/7. I happened to be watching CNN . During one of the few breaks from war coverage, Aaron Brown interviewed Michael Moore - he had just won an Oscar for his film "Bowling for Columbine" and had created quite a stir with his anti-Bush/war speech while excepting his award.

After the Michael Moore interview, Aaron Brown turned to General Wes Clark (former SACEUR and currently the most decorated military officer alive) who was in studio with him that evening in his role at that time as CNN military commentator, and asked him his thoughts on the Moore/Oscar speech bit.

here's part of his reply.............

CLARK: Well, first of all, you know, I was at a media conference today at this little college in South Carolina and people were asking...

BROWN: Yes. This job isn't busy enough for you?

CLARK: People were asking about what about dissent? And people in the armed forces not only respect dissent, they expect dissent, as long as it's directed at the policies, not the people.

You know, we think the American armed forces should be respected, admired, appreciated for what they're doing. These are men and women who raise their right hand to lay their life on the line for this country. They didn't make the policy, so as long as the dissent goes after the policy and the policymakers, that's appropriate, that's democratic and let's have it out.

Sometime later Michael Moore wrote a public letter to General Clark, recalling that evening and how it floored him that a General would defend him on public TV

Dear General Wesley Clark,

I've been meaning to write to you for some time. Two days after the Oscars, when I felt very alone and somewhat frightened by the level of hatred toward me for daring to suggest that we were being led into war for "fictitious reasons," one person stuck his neck out and came to my defense on national television.

And that person was you.

Aaron Brown had just finished interviewing me by satellite on CNN, and I had made a crack about me being "the only non-general allowed on CNN all week." He ended the interview and then turned to you, as you were sitting at the desk with him. He asked you what you thought of this crazy guy, Michael Moore. And, although we were still in Week One of the war, you boldly said that my dissent was necessary and welcome, and you pointed out that I was against Bush and his "policies," not the kids in the service. I sat in Flint with the earpiece still in my ear and I was floored -- a GENERAL standing up for me and, in effect, for all the millions who were opposed to the war but had been bullied into silence.
...snip......

So it was of no surprise to me when this past week when the General, who was taking/answering questions online at the Washington Post, responded to this poster's question

Houston, Tex..: How would you respond to Cindy Sheehan and the other family members who believe their children have been sacrificed for a lie?

General Clark: I have the deepest sympathy and empathy with Cindy Sheehan. My son served in the Armed Forces and I worried about him every day. And, I carried a burden of guilt about his service, as I am sure most mothers and fathers do. Because, after all, we either encourage them, supported them, or sustained them in making this commitment to their country. My prayers and condolences are with every family who has lost a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan, or seen him or her come home forever scarred or crippled. And I thank them for their loved ones' service and for their sacrifice. And I understand the depth of their feelings I believe, because every American trusts our leaders to use our men and women in combat only, only, only as a last resort. And in Iraq, this wasn't the case. And we will probably never learn the full array of motives that lead our nation's leaders to take us to this war. I warned at the time that it was "elective"--we didn't have to do it. There wasn't an eminent threat. So why did we? Cindy Sheehan, every mother and father of our service members, and every American has a right to know. It was a strategic blunder to go there. Now America sees it in hindsight.But those in power have responsibilities to do the right thing, and when they don't they should be held accountable. Cindy is doing everything she can to hold them accountable. President Bush should talk to her and tell her the truth.

You go General! A Dem leader who answers a question directly and honestly. A man with "Starch", unafraid to speak his mind.

Daily Kos: 4 Star General Supports Cindy Sheehan and Protesters

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