During an appearance earlier today in Des Moines, retired General Wesley Clark suggested President Bush will have to re-institute a military draft if he’s elected to a second term. “If (Bush) continues with a foreign policy that is based on use of force as a kind of a first choice rather than as a last resort, if he keeps the 140,000 troops that he’s got in Iraq and the 20,000 in Afghanistan and we look at problems in Syria and Iran and elsewhere in the region, there’s no telling what our military requirements are going to be, and then all bets are off,” Clark said. Clark was a democratic presidential candidate at this time last year but since spring he’s been actively campaigning for party nominee John Kerry. President Bush said during his debates with Kerry that the draft would not be reinstated. Kerry last week said Bush’s policies might lead to a draft, and Clark drew applause from a crowd of about 150 Kerry backers when he suggested the same thing. “I think that the President’s word is as good as his record,” Clark said. Clark called Bush a “negligent” leader. Clark said the captain of a ship that runs aground will be fired for not performing his duty, and a president who Clark said has taken the country in the wrong direction in Iraq should be fired, too. Clark said he and other military officers and veterans have “special obligation” to speak out. Clark campaigned just once in Iowa before deciding not to actively compete for support in Iowa’s Caucuses, and today he called that the worst decision of his campaign. Another presidential candidate of the past was in eastern Iowa today. Elizabeth Dole, wife of 1996 republican presidential candidate Bob Dole and a candidate herself in 2000 when George Bush won the party’s nomination, met with G-O-P workers in Scott County.
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