This is me commenting on American politics again. Sorry.
I am somewhat amazed at the furore over Wesley Clark’s comment that being a prisoner of war doesn’t automatically make one qualified as Commander in Chief of the armed services, a position that the President fulfills. Not only is that true, it raises the matter of what it is that does make one qualified to be CiC. As I read American history and the Constitution, the answer is plain and simple: representing the popular will.
The president has advisors with military expertise, presumably those whose merit got them to that position in the Joint Chiefs. The President has one major qualification the military advisors do not have: The President is a civilian!
Yep, the single qualification that the President has to run the armed forces of America is that the President is not a member of the armed forces, and that is how the constitutional framers wanted it. They did not want a military dictatorship or a puppet government run by the military in the back rooms. The former is exemplified by Burma and the latter by Zimbabwe: is that what Americans want their nation to be like? Fundamentally, the constitutional writers knew that the military is good at doing one thing and one thing only – running the military in campaigns. They absolutely suck at running a country, let alone one with freedoms.
So Clark’s comment ought to be expanded: being in the military doesn’t make someone qualified to be CiC either. It amazes me that American political discourse doesn’t get this basic fact.