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Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:18 PM

What Senator Chuck Hagel Said To Himself Decades Ago As A Young Soldier In Vietnam

He said he told himself in Vietnam: “If I ever get out of this and I’m ever in a position to influence policy, I will do everything I can to avoid needless, senseless war.”

I know that there are some here on DU that may have legitimate concerns about Chuck Hagel being the next Defense Secretary, but beyond that, what we are witnessing is an all out smear against a member of their own who wasn't so blinded by partisanship and ideology to the point where he not only challenged the Iraq War, but also endorsed President Obama in 2008.


I think this quote by Chuck Hagel when he was a young soldier in Vietnam shows the depth of understanding he has when it comes to sending young men and women into war.

28 replies, 2046 views

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply What Senator Chuck Hagel Said To Himself Decades Ago As A Young Soldier In Vietnam (Original post)
PennsylvaniaMatt Jan 2013 OP
Cha Jan 2013 #1
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #2
PennsylvaniaMatt Jan 2013 #4
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #8
PennsylvaniaMatt Jan 2013 #12
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #14
PennsylvaniaMatt Jan 2013 #15
sheshe2 Jan 2013 #21
PennsylvaniaMatt Jan 2013 #22
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #25
MannyGoldstein Jan 2013 #24
Bandit Jan 2013 #3
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #5
denverbill Jan 2013 #9
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #11
denverbill Jan 2013 #16
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #26
denverbill Jan 2013 #27
PennsylvaniaMatt Jan 2013 #7
TwilightGardener Jan 2013 #18
madokie Jan 2013 #6
Angry Dragon Jan 2013 #23
rug Jan 2013 #10
pansypoo53219 Jan 2013 #13
freshwest Jan 2013 #17
iandhr Jan 2013 #19
Mustellus Jan 2013 #20
SteveG Jan 2013 #28

Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:23 PM

1. Thank you, Matt..

Excellent quote from Hagel to bring some vital perspective to his nomination by Pres Obama.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:33 PM

2. And yet he voted for the Iraq War Resolution.

He was in a position to influence policy and his choice was to invade Iraq to look for WMD.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:40 PM

4. There were a number of Democrats who voted for the same Resolution

One of them is the woman who is being heralded as our potential nominee in 2016.

I think it is pretty substantial that he, as a Republican, in 2007 called the troop surge the "most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam."

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:50 PM

8. I voted for that guy Obama because of that vote she cast. So what's your point?

Care to comment on the juxtaposition of your OP to the fact that Hagel, when in a position to influence policy did in fact vote for a war Obama called 'stupid'? You posted his words, I posted his actual actions. Which has more impact on the physical world, Iraqis and US military, upon the financial security of our nation, the rhetoric or the rush to war that he took part in?
You claimed the words matter. I say the actions should weigh in as well. Don't you? Or is 'Hillary did it too' all you have got on the matter?

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:03 PM

12. I never said I supported his actions in 2003 when he voted for the Resolution...

I posted Hagel's comments because I thought that this was a substantial quote, especially coming from a REPUBLICAN, who has faced unbelievable opposition from both sides. The fact that not only did Hagel challenge the troop surge in 2007 AND the fact that he supported President Obama in 2008 shows that when he saw a war which he felt had become "needless" and "senseless", he had the courage to stand up to his own party on the matter and influence the policy.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:12 PM

14. I did not say you said anything, I asked you questions.

Hagel, when in a position to influence policy, voted to invade Iraq. So the quote you posted is not supported by his actions. The vote to invade was the worst decision ever made by our Congress in terms of war. I asked you what you thought about that apparent contradiction, you said he was a deep thinker about war. How is that deep thought reflected in his vote for invading Iraq?
If your answer is 'he got it right 5 years later' that is really not impressive for such a post as the one he seeks.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:14 PM

15. "That is really not impressive for such a post as the one he seeks"

For a Republican who endorsed President Obama in 2008 and ascribed to his foreign policy, I would say it is impressive.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:45 PM

21. Ah, Matt you are going to well in law school!

You make a good case!

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:47 PM

22. Haha! Thanks sheshe!

Hope all is well with you!

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:16 PM

25. Voting for the stupidest war of our history impresses you? Wow. Easy to impress.

Sorry, but those who voted for the Iraq invasion showed very poor judgment and to place such Republicans in charge of the very area in which they made such poor decisions does not impress me.
'Woops, we killed a bunch of innocent people for no actual reason....let's promote the folks who did that!'

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:06 PM

24. Most Democrats voted against it

But all of the would-be presidential candidates, in full Third Way mode, voted for war.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:38 PM

3. I am sure Hagel meant exactly what he said and might even be a real nice guy ...but

Democrats for quite some time now have been sucking hind tit on Defense matters. Republicans have claimed, with absolutely NOTHING to back them up, that they are the "experts" on defense and foreign policy. I don't know why we have to reinforce that fallacy by nominating a Republican to a position that many Democrats could fill and do as good or better job...Just because he is Obama's pick does not mean I personally believe he is the best choice or even a good choice.. I am sure he will get the job but it won't be a plus for Democrats...

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Response to Bandit (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:42 PM

5. 16 years with a Republican ass in the Sec of Defense's seat. Some think that's peachy.

I am not exactly sure why. I like elections to have consequences.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:52 PM

9. Elections had consequences. John Bolton is not Secretary of State nor McCain defense secretary.

The vast majority of the tax cuts for the wealthy have expired and those for the middle class and poor have been extended permanently. Medicare is not going to be turned into a voucher program.

Obama is nominating someone they hate, not someone they love.

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Response to denverbill (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:00 PM

11. A Repubican has been Sec of Defense for 12 years so far. 12 shameful and dishonorable years for

the most part. I think a Democrat in that chair would be better. One who did not make the stupidest decision in the history of our military would be good.
Why do you oppose a Democrat in that office so strongly?

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:18 PM

16. Exactly what in my post suggests I 'strongly oppose' a Democrat?

Don't put words in my mouth.

Would you prefer Democrat Joe Lieberman? Maybe Democrat Zell Miller?

Hagel beats Lieberman and Miller, and he beats the snot out of John Bolton or John McCain.

Elections do have consequences. John Bolton is not coasting to Secretary of State. John Kerry is Secretary of State.

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Response to denverbill (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:25 PM

26. Strong advocacy for a Republican is favoring the Republican over all the Democrats in the world.

Joe Lieberman is no longer a Democrat. Has not been for years now. Miller is just one of many Democrats, it is not 'Hagel or Miller'. The choice is not binary.
Why not just state the aspects of Hagel that you support, which of his views and past actions caused you to admire him? Can you do that? State in the positive the reasons a person should support Hagel, a Republican, over every Democrat on the planet? Persuade me. Sell me some Hagel. What's the pitch? What are the features and benefits of Hagel?

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #26)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 09:20 PM

27. Well, I would suggest you not vote next election cycle because you are right.

Elections mean nothing. Bolton=McCain=Leiberman=Hagel. Palin=Biden. Extending all of the Bush tax cuts = extending the tax cuts for people earning less than 400K. Letting GM go bankrupt would have been the same as not letting them go bankrupt.

I voted for Obama. I think Obama is doing a SHIT ton better than Romney and the Republickers. You CLEARLY think Obama is a moron, since he's stupid enough to nominate an extreme right-winger to be Secretary of Defense, an extreme right-winger who McCain, Imhofe, and every 'moderate' Republican, not to mention AIPAC and Bibi, don't want to be Secretary of Defense, for some odd reason. The same clan of Republickers who had no problem putting Rummy and Gates into office.

So go ahead, I'll give you the last word on this. I own a copy of Mein Kampf, if that helps.

But I'd suggest you give Obama the benefit of the doubt.

Here are a few things from Wikipedia, that make me think Hagel is the type of person I could support, aside from the quote in the original post in this thread:

In 2011, after he left office, Hagel stated that President Obama needs to start “looking for the exit in Afghanistan”, and that “We need to start winding this down.”

In response to the Bush Administration’s intentions to permanently keep Guantanamo Bay open, Hagel said the military prison is why the U.S. is “losing the image war around the world,” and that "It's identifiable with, for right or wrong, a part of America that people in the world believe is a power, an empire that pushes people around, we do it our way, we don't live up to our commitments to multilateral institutions." I guess he is to the left of Obama on this one.

In November 2007, he rated the Bush administration "the lowest in capacity, in capability, in policy, in consensus—almost every area" of any presidency in the last forty years.

Hagel did not endorse McCain for President in 2008 in the primaries or the general election.

According to a SurveyUSA poll, in August 2006 Hagel had a 10% higher approval rating among Nebraska Democrats than Republicans.

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Response to Bandit (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:44 PM

7. I agree that Democrats need to stop letting the GOP get away with their ''expert'' status

One thing that I think will be a plus for us Democrats is the fact that, with a Republican in charge at the Defense Department, we might finally be able to shrink the outrageous size of the defense budget without it being labeled "Democrats gutting our defense."

Plus, I like anyone who angers Lindsey Graham as much as Chuck Hagel has!

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Response to Bandit (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:01 PM

18. If you actually watched the hearings, you'll see that being a Republican is one of the less

important things about him. There is no Democrat who is his equal right now who is available, and able to bring what he brings to the table, AND has a close and comfortable relationship with the President, Joe Biden, and John Kerry.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:43 PM

6. Thats the man I want in charge of our military

I made the same promise, 'course I'm not and never have been, in a position of making a difference

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Response to madokie (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:54 PM

23. Being a politician is not the only way to make a difference

I am sure during your life you have made a difference in many lives

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:54 PM

10. I'm sure serving as a republican Senator made that dream come true.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:03 PM

13. i know EXACTLY why the GOP is against hagel. because he is WILLING TO CUT BEYOND all others.

he will bring RATIONALISM to the dept. the GOP fears w/ be shown as a canard.

OMG! a peace dividend! obama can pump up DOMESTIC SPENDING!!!!

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Response to pansypoo53219 (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:49 PM

17. +1,000

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:17 PM

19. What we need a DOD

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:18 PM

20. If possible... leave room for your enemy...

.. to become your ally.

Its so rare that wingnuts learn from experiance. When it happens, we should be there smiling.

His position on the "next" needless war is already out there, which is why the right is going nuts...

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 10:35 PM

28. Hagel shares a trait with Biden

that I think Obama knows he needs. Obama does not need yes men, he needs people like Biden, Hillary, and yes Hagel, who will tell him what they really think, not what they think he wants them to tell him, but he needs them to also be people he respects, and that means they think on their own and they don't think in binary terms. That was quite evident today at the hearing. The Republicans, especially Lindsey, McCain, Cruz and Inholf all think in yes/no, black/white terms. Hagel thinks in nuanced terms. That became clear when he refused to say whether his vote against the Iraq Surge was right or wrong. History will be the judge, yes it calmed things down a bit, but on the other hand it may, in the long run drive Iraq into the Iranian sphere. Even though he voted to authorize Bush to go into Iraq, he was one of the first Republicans to also come to the conclusion that our war of Choice against Iraq will go down as one of the worst foreign policy blunders in U.S. history.

To put it simply, I look at those who oppose Hagel, and I have to conclude that Obama has made a good choice on this nomination.

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