Petitions arrived from NYC around midday. I have all the petitions for the 26th Congressional District in my possession. I have already put them in the mail & everyone should have theirs in Friday's mail. This was the most expedient way to distribute them. If you need petitions, please send an email via the Yahoo Group, or call Dave Swarts.
Very intriguing piece from Josh Marshall in "The Hill" "Democrats are reacting to the RNC ad with a mixture of outrage and poorly concealed fear. They shouldn’t be, because this is a line of attack that a strong, wily Democratic opponent could parry and turn to his advantage. This new line from the president also shows why — in a certain sense — an effective Democratic contender next year will want to — indeed, will have to —run to the president’s right on the all-important issue of terrorism." (Marshall also posts great stuff at www.talkingpointsmemo.com)
Can be viewed by clicking this link: http://www.mindspring.com/~abedenko/ecpetition.pdf
If you haven't yet signed up to help gather petitions, please do so at the Buffalo for Clark webpage, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or via a message to our Yahoo Group. As we discussed at last night's meeting, you are not restricted to collecting signatures in your own Congressional District; the law states that someone from Quinn's 27th Cong. Dist can collect signatures in Reynolds; 26th District, and vice-versa. Please help us during this most critical pre-primary activity. We need all the help we can get to brave the cold and get the signatures we need to ensure that Wesley Clark's name and delegate slate appear on the March 2004 primary ballot. Thanks.
Great article outlining Clark's effort in New Hampshire. "But at all of the forums, he won voters' hearts and minds. People who arrived undecided left an hour later as supporters. In some cases, they left wearing Clark stickers. 'He's very humanitarian, very compassionate and warm for a general,' said John McLain, an author from Keene, N.H. 'He would be a good leader for this country. He would be everything George Bush isn't.' Earle Rugg, manager of a technology company who heard Clark's speech to the business group, has been uninspired by the other Democrats. But he was impressed with the general. 'I was looking for somebody who can be a leader and he certainly can be that,' said Rugg, an independent who plans to vote in the Democratic primary. 'Far and away, Gen. Clark was the best.'"
7:00 pm. at the Brounshidle American Legion Hall in Kenmore. Hopefully, it will be the biggest local meeting so far. We expect all of our prospective delegates to be present. We hope to have petitions in hand & ready for distribution.
In its first propaganda salvo of the 2004 Presidential election season, the Republican Party is running an ad blasting Democrats for "attacking the president for attacking the terrorists." Understandably, Democrats (including General Clark) are urging the GOP to stop running this cheap piece of slander. (For the record, not one of the Dems, as far as I know, have criticized Bush's actions in Afghanistan, except to say that he didn't bother to stay and finish the job there before getting sidetracked by the Iraqi adventure). Correctly, General Clark accused the GOP of exploiting 9/11 for political gain - something Bush promised he wouldn't do. Just add it to the laundry list of Bush lies.
A must-read from today's New York Times: General Clark on the Hustings: Complexity and Contradiction "Always, he thought unconventionally. General Scales, his classmate, offered this: 'They say in the military that you bring to your boss three solutions: one that's too hot, one that's too cold and one that's just right. That's called the Goldilocks solution. You have an answer and you steer him to it. 'Wes doesn't recognize the Goldilocks solution. He'll say: `Well maybe we shouldn't eat any porridge. And why are there bears in here? And who is this Goldilocks character wandering around? And by the way, what is the whole purpose of fairy tales?' And this drives some people nuts.'"
Click here to find out in which Congressional District a particular NY address is located. Petitioning begins this Wednesday. Don't forget Monday night's meeting/rally!
From last night. In two parts. PART ONE IS HERE. PART TWO IS HERE. PART THREE IS HERE. All reports say that it was his best interview yet. "Oh, this I believe in: accountability, responsibility, performance of duty, dedication. That’s what I have built my life around in the United States armed forces. I believe, you know, I love my family and I love my church. I love my faith, but my profession has been a profession of arms, and it's been a profession of duty..." "Well, I told the American Legion that I support just about anything that will strengthen respect for the flag. If that's the amendment that comes through and it's adopted by the states and reach (PH) all those provisions, I'm not going to oppose that amendment. "The flag is something very near and dear and personal to me. Dan, I served under that flag. I saluted that flag. I fought for that flag. And I've seen brave men buried under that flag. It stands for something. And it means something. And we should respect it. And that's what I believe about the flag." General Clark takes on tough issues like Iraq, General Hugh Shelton, the economy, President Bush, his Army career, and many others.
As we discussed at the November meetup, we will be holding what we hope will be a large-scale meeting/rally on Monday, November 24th to kick-off the Western New York campaign effort for General Clark. This will be taking place at the Brounshidle Hall in Kenmore. We hope everyone who is active & interested can attend, and hopefully bring some new faces. To that end, I have prepared a flyer and uploaded them to my webspace. It is in MS Word format and can be edited, and I have also posted a PDF version that will work on any computer with Adobe Acrobat or Apple Viewer. To access the word version, click here. To access the PDF version, click here. (You will need Adobe Acrobat to open, but it'll look really pretty). Please print many copies, distribute and post them all. Let's have a big turnout. And we don't charge $1,000 a plate, unlike SOME people.
Yesterday, Clark was interviewed by Fox News Channel's David Asman. In the interview, Clark called the President's escapade in Iraq a "sideshow" to the war on terror. He argued that Tommy Franks, should have paid more attention to prosecuting the war in Afghanistan and the search for Osama bin Laden when, instead, this administration made him plan for the invasion of Iraq. Indeed, Iraq became a distraction to the war on terror. Asman then insinuated that Clark was denigrating the troops' work in Iraq as a "sideshow." Clark appropriately and understandably lost it and went after Asman. It is brilliant, and I can't understand why the campaign doesn't highlight this on their website.
Excerpt from a 2000 press briefing given byGeneral Hugh Shelton and Secretary of Defense William Cohen: "Q: This is General Clarke's [sic] last visit to Kosovo today. Any word on how he has performed his job? Sec Def.: He has done an extraordinary job. General Clarke is one of our most brilliant officers. He undertook a mission that is perhaps one the most complicated and complex and carried it out successfully. As I mentioned in my remarks, this air campaign was the most successful in the history of warfare. We had over 38,000 sorties that were flown. We had only two planes that were shot down and no pilots lost. That is a record that is unparalleled in the history of warfare. So, General Clarke and his entire staff and subordinates and all who participated deserve great credit. Q: Why is he leaving office, then? Sec Def.: He is leaving because we have General Ralston who will become the new SACEUR. We are now replacing many of our CINCs throughout the world. Q: It is not a reflection on his performance? Sec Def: No reflection at all. He has done an outstanding job as the Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Southern Command, and he did an outstanding job here as EUCOM Commander and also as SACEUR. " You know, Shelton, Cohen, Franks and Schwartzkopf each owe Clark an apology.
Even while running for President, General Clark can make time for his country, and for the international good. "Retired Army general Wesley K. Clark agreed to take a brief hiatus from his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination to go to the Netherlands in mid-December and testify at the United Nations war crimes trial of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic."
Excellent summary of Clark's career, courtesy of the Boston Globe. This article examines, in-depth, Clark's rise through the ranks, his relationship with Bill Clinton, and what may be spurring Shelton's nasty remarks. In a nutshell, Clark was trying to ensure that the Kosovo war could be won, and began planning ground war contingencies, despite the political opposition to a ground war.
Let's focus for a moment on Clark's signature issue: security. General Clark met in Portsmouth, NH yesterday with young Albanian-Americans from around the country. They came to thank him. Think about that. Young men and women came to thank this Presidential Candidate for saving their kin from certain genocide. How many other Presidential Candidates can say, "I helped prevent one of the worst post-WWII genocidal campaigns." While Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt bicker about Medicare cuts, Wesley Clark can take credit for taking on Slobodan Milosevic's decadelong campaign of territorial expansion and ethnic cleansing. The Yugoslav wars' culminated in Milosevic's effort in 1998-1999 to completely "Serbify" the mostly ethnic Albanian Serb region of Kosovo. Under the Communists, Kosovo had been granted partial autonomy, and began calling for independence as early as 1979. Coincidentally, Kosovo is the site of "Kosovo Polje", where the Serbs lost a decisive battle against the Ottoman Turks in 1389, leading to centuries of Ottoman rule over the Serbs. Kosovo Polje is the Serbian Alamo. In 1989, almost the entire Kosovo Serb minority (10% of the population) made a pilgrimage to the battlefield. One of the speakers at that rally was the new head of the Serb League of Communists - Slobodan Milosevic. In his speech, Milosevic, (couching his language in socialist pan-Yugoslav phrases), expressed his vision of a united, greater Serbia - one encompassing all areas with Serb populations. The next year - 1990 - Milosevic led an effort to abolish Kosovo's autonomy. Milosevic's actions set the stage for 10 years of genocidal bloodshed, that led to the collapse of Federal Yugoslavia, pariah status for Serbia and Montenegro, and ultimately sent Milosevic to the Hague for his war crimes. Milosevic's career effectively rose and fell on the Kosovo Polje. The people of Serbia ultimately defeated Milosevic on their own. Hundreds of thousands more Albanians would have been murdered or expelled from Kosovo without Wesley Clark's leadership.
Petitioning in New York State begins on Wednesday, November 26th - the day before Thanksgiving. The number of signatures needed varies from Congressional District to District, but the absolute maximum is 1,000 per district ... of registered democrats ... who haven't already signed another petition. And don't forget - upstate, it'll be winter regardless of what the calendar says. That means we need a lot of help. Please, please contact your local Clark organizing committee and volunteer to help collect signatures. Each local committee should have petition forms available for the asking. The only requirement is that you're a registered democrat, and that you are collecting signatures in your District ONLY. If you're a Notary Public or a Commissioner of Deeds, you can collect signatures across District lines. If you live in any of the 8 counties of Western New York, please contact us at email@example.com. You can also sign up at buffalo.nyforclark.com. Thank you.
General Clark unveiled his plan to strengthen and enhance veterans' services and benefits: "'The ingratitude we show our veterans is appalling,' Clark said. 'As of earlier this year, more than 235,000 of our veterans are on waiting lists for VA care. Many wait six months or longer to see a doctor; some wait as long as two years.' "
Foreign policy and military affairs is really what sets Clark head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. General Clark gave a speech in South Carolina yesterday outlining his stategy for dealing with Iraq. The General acknowledges that the US cannot just pack up and leave now that the postwar is killing American soldiers on an almost daily basis. The General explains that we need a clear definition of success: that Iraq become strong enough to sustain itself without significant outside help, but that it does not become so strong that it again threatens its neighbors. This is a carbon copy of our postwar Germany & Japan strategies. Success can only be achieved if Iraq develops a representative form of government to become a model for the rest of the Middle East. If Iraq is permitted to become the next Al Qaeda training camp, then we have not succeeded. How do we succeed? 1. Incorporate more non-US troops; 2. Reconfigure the occupation force in Iraq; 3. Turn civilian control over to Iraqis; and 4. Rebuild our alliances. General Clark, who has first-hand experience as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO - Europe, believes that the Atlantic Charter need to be re-formulated - no member State would be able to veto the US, but the treaty would redefine common threats and require member States to promise to act together as a first choice - not a last one. Instead of going it alone, as Bush has seen fit to do, we can and must get our allies, who share our interests, to also share our challenges. We led the Cold War era not by compulsion, but by convincing our allies. General Clark proposes shifting occupation responsibility from the US to NATO, and to invite Arab nations to join, as well. The reconstruction should be internationalized, and an Iraqi Reconstruction Council should be formed. Finally, we need a greater mix of Special Forces to combat the growing threat to troops on the ground in Iraq, and tighter border controls to prevent infiltration by non-Iraqi jihadists. Iraq belongs to the Iraqis. We must facilitate their success by giving them a stake in their own destiny. "We must be a country that listens, and leads again," Clark said. "A country that is respected, not resented. Not for its military might or material wealth, but for its values and vision; for the greatness of its goals, and for the generosity of its spirit. Respected more than feared, by nations rich and poor, Christian, Jews, and Muslim. A country governed by people with ideals, not radical ideologies. A nation where citizens speak their minds, demand more of their leaders, and serve their country. It's what I call a New American Patriotism."
I spoke today with the NYS Board of Elections. For each Congressional District, we must collect the lesser of: 1/2% (.005) of the enrolled democrats in that CD, or 1,000 So, Whichever is smaller. You can see the enrollment figures here So: If you live in Reynolds' 26th Cong. District, you only need 676 signatures. If you're in Quinn's 27th Cong. District, you'll need to get 1,000 signatures Likewise, in Slaughter's 28th Cong. District, you'll also need 1,000 signatures
Mark Shields writes that it's time to take (Wesley Clark nemesis) General Hugh Shelton's "Dover Test". General Shelton opined that military action "must be subjected to what I call the 'Dover test.' Is the American public prepared for the sight of our most precious resource coming home in flag-draped caskets into Dover Air Force Base in Delaware -- which is a point entry for our Armed Forces? This is an issue, I think, that should be raised early on. It should be discussed, and it should be decided by our political leadership before any operation begins." In the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Bush administration chose instead to duck Shelton's 'Dover test.' The scene so familiar to older Americans -- of the military honor guard in white gloves, respectfully accompanying from the aircraft to the waiting loved ones the remains of the fallen warrior in the coffin covered by Old Glory, often with a military band offering an appropriately solemn piece -- was simply banned. George W. Bush's war against Iraq could not flunk the Dover test because there would be no Dover test. "
We had a very informative and productive meetup last night at the Brounshidle Hall in Kenmore. As we gear up for petitioning, which runs from 11/26/03 - 1/2/04, we hope to have the actual petitions in our hands earlier that week. We, therefore, plan to hold a large meetup/rally on the Monday or Tuesday before the 26th to distribute petitions, discuss the campaign's progress, introduce new people to the Clark movement and organize for petition gathering. Also - we agreed that all future meetups and organizational meetings will be held at the Brounshidle Hall, regardless of what meetup.com decrees. I do, however, urge everyone to continue participating in the meetup.com process, including voting, and vote for the Brounshidle. We hope soon to have contact information for New York State-wide coordinator Mark Benoit, and when we do, I'll post it here and on the new website, Buffalo/Niagara for Clark.
MEETUP TONIGHT! Please try to bring a friend or two. We have lots of news to discuss, as well as the upcoming petition process. We will meet at 7pm at the Brounshidle Am. Legion hall at 3354 Delaware Avenue, Kenmore. The Brounshidle is immediately adjacent to, and North of, Jim Doyle Ford. If you enter using the main entrance, please make your way downstairs via the stairwell to your left. You can also enter using a parking-lot level entrance on the North side of the building. There will probably be signs posted. Hope to see you there.
Monday, November 3 will be an exciting day on Clark04.com. Enjoy two great online events in one day, without leaving your house! And don't forget to attend your local Meetup Monday night! 1) WIRESIDE CHAT WITH GENERAL CLARK -- 5:00 pm ET / 2:00 pm PT on Monday. Do you have a burning question that you would like to ask the General? Now you can! General Clark will answer questions from his supporters online. You can participate by logging onto: http://action.clark04.com/ctt.asp?u=1694076&l=7703 As always, thank you for your support and commitment! 2) CONVERSATIONS WITH CLARK WEBCAST -- 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT on Monday General Clark will be speaking with students at Keene State College in New Hampshire. This town hall event will be webcast live from our website. If you're attending Meetups that night, don't worry -- the webcast will be archived and available on the Clark04 website for several days after the event. You can catch all the action at: http://action.clark04.com/ctt.asp?u=1694076&l=7700 Your support is vital to this campaign! To help propel the movement forward, check out some new tools on our website: TAKE ACTION CENTER Find out specific steps you can take to help elect Wes Clark at: http://action.clark04.com/ctt.asp?u=1694076&l=7697 DOWNLOADS Download flyers and posters to blanket your community with information about Wes Clark and his policy positions: http://action.clark04.com/ctt.asp?u=1694076&l=7702 And remember, every e-mail you send can be an advertisement for Wes Clark by adding the following text to your signature: Wesley Clark for President! www.clark04.com