“Not bad”

David Hackworth interviews Wesley Clark in Maxim(?!). Not much new in the way of substance. But you have to admire the sheer style of this answer:

Q. OK, in Vietnam you were wounded and nearly discharged. How bad was it?

Not bad. I walked into a base camp and got greased. The guy emptied an AK magazine at me, and I turned just as he fired, so he stitched me up the right side of my body instead of taking me in the throat and gut. He shot the M-16 out of my hand and put a hole in my leg and another one through my shoulder. I was lying on the ground bleeding and yelling [to my men], “Get on your feet and assault now.” When I got back, the doctor said, “You got the million-dollar wound.” I said, “No!” I thought the million-dollar wound was when you lost your you-know-what.

My other favorite bit was Clark’s best brief exposition yet of what he’s “about” as a politician:

Q. Any revolutionary ideas? A $2 gas tax? Privatize Social Security? Buy Canada?

In the 19th century, we were motivated by manifest destiny. In the 20th century, it was the idea that it was our duty to contain the spread of Communism and keep open the door for freedom. Today there is no substantial challenge to American ideals. The question is this: Where can we, with all our wealth and capabilities, lead mankind?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com