Jeff Jarvis on Clark

Sorry for spending so much time on this subject today, but its on my mind.

Jeff Jarvis thinks i should invite a few more candidates over for coffee before making up my mind on Clark.

Maybe i should. It would be Dean, Kerry, and Gephardt if i had to choose. Dean because he’s in front and knows something about the Internet and its power to fuel democracy like nothing else. Kerry because i like him, i think he’s a good man, he served his country well in Vietnam, and i mostly agree with his politics. And Gephart because i think he is the truest to his core beliefs with the possible exception of Wes Clark. But i don’t think any of these three has a chance in hell of beating Bush next year.

But Jeff is wrong about a few things he said in his post.

Jeff says this about the flag burning issue:

I’m appalled by his promise to sign a Consitutional amendment banning flag burning. During Vietnam, authorities in New York started arresting people for displaying the peace-sign-American-flag button. My father — a staunch Republican, a veteran, a proud patriot — was so incensed at this violation of Constitutional rights of free speech that he asked me to give him one of my buttons and he wore it with defiance: Arrest me! I was so proud of him for that. I’m not proud of Clark’s stand. It’s Constitutionally naive and dangerous. It’s pandering that will get him nowhere.

Well Jeff, Clark isn’t talking about banning the “peace sign american flag” button. He’s talking about burning the flag. The symbol of America. We make our kids pledge allegiance to it in school. What’s wrong with saying the flag’s off limits for pyrotechnics. And Clark simply said to a bunch of veterans in an American Legion hall that he’d sign it, not that he’d push for it. In fact, he specifically said he’s not going to push for it.

Jeff says this about the Clark’s plan for Iraq:

I’m quite unimpressed with his “plan” for Iraq: pull the hell out and hand it over to Iraq now, with minor help. That is downright irresponsible. We have a moral duty to help the Iraqi people build a strong democracy and economy. Pulling out, Vietnam-like, won’t do that. This, too, is pandering.

I don’t know why we have a moral duty to help the Iraqis build a strong democracy. We shouldn’t have gone in there in the first place. Sadaam didn’t attack us. Bin Laden did. And Bush pulled the greatest bait and switch on the american public in history and used 9/11 to galvanize public opinion for a war against someone who had no way and no will to attack us. So Bush may have a moral duty to help clean up his mess, but America doesn’t.

And we didn’t pull out of Vietnam until we’d spent 10 years there and countless lives. The whole problem with Iraq is that its just like Vietman. Clark knows that. He wants our troops out of Iraq because its a quagmire like Vietman that’s getting worse. We are fighting an unwinnable war. So let’s do our best to help the Iraqis and then get out before we spend too much blood there.

I think Jeff’s a smart guy, but i disagree with him on this stuff. Hopefully, he’ll give Clark another chance.