If there was ever any idea that General Wesley Clark was one of the cadre of officers that David Hackworth calls the “Perfumed Princes,” check out his comments regarding John Kerry:
Clark, who didn’t compete in Iowa, told campaign workers in Manchester, N.H., that Kerry, a decorated former Navy officer, had a military background “but nobody in this race has got the kind of background I’ve got.”
“It’s one thing to be a hero as a junior officer. He’s done that, I respect that,” Clark said. “But I’ve got the military experience at the top as well as at the bottom.”
What an asshole. John Kerry, despite his politics, is a bona fide military hero. Period. End of story. Here is a brief recounting of his valor in VietNam:
In Vietnam, Lt. Kerry served as captain of a “patrol craft fast,” or “PCF.” These fast river crafts were the inland equivalent to the famous “PT.” vessels of World War II–another parallel to the biography of John F. Kennedy. During his time in Vietnam, Kerry would demonstrate genuine heroism and courage under fire, once driving his ship directly into an ambush gunnery. His bravery earned him a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. In 1969, Kerry reversed the course of his ship under fire and retrieved a wounded sailor from the water, receiving the Bronze Star for his actions, as well as his third Purple Heart. In addition, he earned a ticket home.
This last incident would generate considerable attention for Kerry when the man he retrieved from the river, retired Los Angeles police officer Jim Rassmann, made a surprise appearance at a Des Moines rally just two days before the caucuses.
I may not like a lot of Kerry’s politics, but I find Clark’s comments deeply offensive.