Tuesday, May 6, 2008

General Shelton

In case you didn't see the following endorsement, it is prety powerful. Before I get to that, though, in general, the MSM has been HORRIBLE about reporting Clinton's endorsements. She has had a LOT of endorsements from a number of Native American tribes - bet you haven't heard SQUAT about those. And why has she received their endorsements? Because she has a proven track record of working on behalf of Native Americans. She has a LONG history of working on behalf of Native Americans, and they know she will continue to do so once she is president.

Now - onto General Shelton's endorsement:

Published May 05, 2008 09:33 am -

After five years, an opportunity for an honorable conclusion

Hugh Shelton

Five years ago this week, President Bush landed aboard an aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, and announced the end of major combat operations in Iraq. He spoke that day beneath a banner that read “Mission Accomplished,” but many of us knew at the time that the mission was far from accomplished.

Five years later, despite the brave efforts of our men and women in uniform, the mission is still far from complete. We need a president who will end this war honorably. An opinion piece deserves a frank opinion, and I want to explain why I believe Sen. Clinton is the best person for the huge challenge we still face in Iraq.

Having spent 38 years in uniform, I have deep and abiding concern for our national security and our men and women who served. Sen. Clinton has gotten to know our military during her time as first lady and as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Unlike any other candidate, she knows that maintaining a highly-trained military and alert military goes beyond throwing dollars at the Pentagon or giving upbeat speeches. She understands the impact of endless commitments on the service families who also serve our country.

She has already worked hard to build the morale, training and ultimately the capabilities of our armed forces, and she uniquely understands the importance of remembering those on our forgotten front line in Afghanistan.

We need a president like Sen. Clinton, who understands that a successful foreign policy combines equal parts of economic strength, military readiness and diplomatic persuasion. We need a president who will work with allies and partners to bear the burdens we know are coming and to prepare for any other contingencies. In short, we need a president who will return America to its rightful place as the leader of all nations. Freedom is too important – and our men in women in uniform too precious – to ask them to bear the entire burden of its success in the world.

There are many benchmarks we can use to measure our progress in Iraq, but the simple truth is that progress has been too slow. Five years later, the situation has improved by only a modest margin. Political progress by the Iraqi government is uncertain. Sectarian and intra-sectarian fighting continues and there has been a spike in violence in recent weeks, despite the heroic efforts of our matchless young men and women in uniform.

We need a president who will bring this war to an honorable conclusion, and bring our troops home responsibly. And we need that president to be ready on day one. I believe that Hillary Clinton will be that president. Throughout these five years, she has been fighting in the Senate to improve the way we fight this war, and to get our troops the supplies they need. As a candidate, she has pledged to convene the Joint Chiefs of Staff, her Secretary of Defense and her security advisors to draw up a responsible plan to begin bringing the troops home. Importantly, she knows that we will need to rebuild our military, reduce the strain on our troops, and take care of our forgotten veterans. For years, she has been a champion for veterans, fighting to get all members of the National Guard and Reserve access to TRICARE and helping provide for service members with Traumatic Brain Injury. If elected, she has promised to enact a new GI Bill of Rights for the 21st Century to provide our service members and veterans with expanded education, housing and entrepreneurial benefits.

The next administration will also need to do everything within its power to work with the Iraqis and the international community to stabilize Iraq. The United Nations will need to play a greater role in reaching accommodation between the political parties in Iraq. A regional stabilization conference should be called that invites key allies, global powers and the states bordering Iraq. Far more attention should be paid to the more than 4 million refugees and internally displaced persons who have lost their homes during this war. And the expensive reconstruction of Iraq will have to be paid for out of Iraqi oil funds instead of the savings accounts of American taxpayers.

After five years, we now have the opportunity to bring this war to an honorable end, with Sen. Clinton as our next commander-in-chief.

Gen. (ret.) Hugh Shelton was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1997 to 2001. He is an Edgecombe County native.


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