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Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:56 PM

Chuck Hagel Iraq Opposition Encourages Generals Who Revolted

President Barack Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense elevates a man who made his reputation as an unabashed critic of the war in Iraq.

To some, Monday's nomination of Hagel, a combat-wounded Vietnam veteran and former Republican senator from Nebraska, is a provocative move that threatens to further alienate Republicans in Congress. But for members of one group, the pick is a welcome signal of the Obama administration's embrace of a worldview they once put their careers on the line to advocate.

They were the generals who revolted: a half-dozen retired senior military officers who risked relationships with their colleagues, and their own sense of propriety, to speak out against the war in Iraq, and to call for the resignation of then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

"I am driven to action now by the missteps and misjudgments of the White House and the Pentagon, and by my many painful visits to our military hospitals," wrote one of the officers, retired Maj. Gen. Gregory Newbold, in an April 2006 op-ed in Time magazine that called the war "a mistake."

"The cost of flawed leadership continues to be paid in blood," Newbold wrote. "The willingness of our forces to shoulder such a load should make it a sacred obligation for civilian and military leaders to get our defense policy right. They must be absolutely sure that the commitment is for a cause as honorable as the sacrifice."

In 2002, Newbold was a top official on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Today, he is a partner at Torch Hill Investments in Washington. The nomination of Hagel, Newbold told The Huffington Post in an interview Monday, is a sign of the triumph of a more thoughtful approach to American military force than the one argued by the Iraq war's early proponents.

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http:// www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/07/chuck-hagel-iraq_n_2427986.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:17 PM

1. Was Churck Hagel one of the first to attract attention to poorly armored vehicles & no

body armor after Shock & Awe in Iraq?

I'll go see what I can find.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:57 PM

2. Isnt he a Republican? Do I need to say more? Who did he support in the last election? nm

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:15 PM

3. Wasn't Robert Gates also another Obama nominee? Perhaps you have a problem with the Presidents

judgement you wish to share?...

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:58 PM

4. I just dont understand why he seems to choose so many Republicans.

Republicans, you know the ones that nominated and supported Mitt Romney. Republicans that have brought this country to it's knees. Are there no Democrats that the president believes can handle these jobs?

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:26 AM

5. I don't, either. It's not like anything he does is going to make any points with them

And now he doesn't have to. But it seems as if more Republicans than Democrats oppose this nomination. But if he's anti-war, that's certainly a step in the right direction.

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:11 AM

8. Hagel voted for Iraq War, Afganistan War and every other military action he voted on.

If you can call that 'anti war' that's amazing. He voted 'Yes' to the Iraq Invasion. Has any politician ever been more wrong than those who invaded Iraq?

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 05:02 PM

10. You're absolutely right

But even my own senator here in NY voted for the Iraq war. My candidate since 2003 has been Dennis Kucinich, but I've had to lower my expectations.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:45 AM

6. It's politics. Drives the Wingnuts, well, nuts.

Divide and rule works both ways.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:18 PM

9. He was one of the only Republican Senators who voiced opposition to the Iraq War while

many Democrats were supporting it.



In July 2007, Hagel was one of three Republican Senators who supported Democratic-proposed legislation requiring a troop withdrawal from Iraq to begin within 120 days. He told Robert D. Novak "This thing is really coming undone quickly, and Maliki's government is weaker by the day. The police are corrupt, top to bottom. The oil problem is a huge problem. They still can't get anything through the parliament—no hydrocarbon law, no de-Baathification law, no provincial elections". In 2008 along with then-Senator (and presumptive democratic nominee for president) Barack Obama, and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Hagel visited Iraq in a congressional delegation trip, meeting with U.S. service members, General David Petraeus, and the Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki. While talking to reporters in Iraq, Hagel said “Each one of us who has a responsibility of helping lead this country needs to reflect on what we think is in the interests of our country, not the interest of our party or our president.”



He was a frequent critic of Bush/Cheney



On August 18, 2005, Hagel compared the Iraq War to Vietnam, and openly mocked Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that the Iraqi insurgency was in its "last throes". In November 2005, Hagel defended his criticism of the Iraq war, stating "To question your government is not unpatriotic — to not question your government is unpatriotic." In December 2005, in reference to Bush, the Republican Party, and the PATRIOT Act, Hagel stated "I took an oath of office to the Constitution, I didn't take an oath of office to my party or my president."

Senator Chuck Hagel arriving at Camp Ramadi, during a 2008 visit to U.S. Service members in Iraq
In January 2006, Hagel took issue with Karl Rove, saying "I didn't like what Mr. Rove said, because it frames terrorism and the issue of terrorism and everything that goes with it, whether it's the renewal of the Patriot Act or the NSA wiretapping, in a political context."

In July 2006, Hagel criticized the Bush administration on its handling of the Israel-Lebanon issue, saying "The sickening slaughter on both sides must end and it must end now. President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop." He also said "Our relationship with Israel is special and historic... But it need not and cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relationships. That is an irresponsible and dangerous false choice."





In Hagel's 2008 book, America: Our Next Chapter: Tough Questions, Straight Answers (with Peter Kaminsky), he suggests that the United States should adopt independent leadership and possibly another political party. He also believes that the Iraq War is one of the five biggest blunders in U.S. history. Hagel is critical of George W. Bush's foreign policy, calling it "reckless." He has been a major critic of the war since it started, and has stated that the United States should learn from its mistakes in the Vietnam War. He considered Bush's foreign policy a "ping pong game with American lives".



He has endorsed 2 Democrats running for Senate



In 2010, Hagel endorsed Democratic Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak in his run for the United States Senate. In 2012 he endorsed Democrat Bob Kerrey in the race for an open U.S. Senate seat in Nebraska.



He didn't endorse any candidate for President in 2008 and 2012.

His wife endorsed Obama.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:56 PM

14. You mean there isnt a decent candidate available that didnt kiss George Bush's ass? nm

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 05:49 PM

11. I obviously do not know how he voted, but

I am willing to bet anything that he did not vote for Romney. He did not formally support anybody in the last election, nor in 2008

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:09 AM

7. Hagel's 'opposition' only came after Hagel's support. He voted to Invade Iraq. 23 Senators voted no.

Hagel along with his fellow Republicans made the decision allow Bush to invade a country that had not WMD and did not attack us. Worst decision about war in American history.
the 23 Senators, 21 Democrats, 1 Republican (not Hagel) and 1 Independent actually had the commons sense and moral center to vote NO on that invasion. It is sad that they are all forgotten for being courageous and correct when others are rewarded for being craven and hideously wrong.
The Senators who REALLY opposed the Iraq War:

21 Democratic senators : Sens. Akaka (D-HI), Bingaman (D-NM), Boxer (D-CA), Byrd (D-WV), Conrad (D-ND), Corzine (D-NJ), Dayton (D-MN), Durbin (D-IL), Feingold (D-WI), Graham (D-FL), Inouye (D-HI), Kennedy (D-MA), Leahy (D-VT), Levin (D-MI), Mikulski (D-MD), Murray (D-WA), Reed (D-RI), Sarbanes (D-MD), Stabenow (D-MI), Wellstone (D-MN), and Wyden (D-OR).

1 Republican senators voted against the resolution: Sen. Chafee (R-RI).


1 Independent senator voted against the resolution: Sen. Jeffords (I-VT)

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 05:59 PM

12. Can you look at more than one piece of information?

Can people make mistakes that they regret? Hagel has said that he deeply regrets his Iraq vote a long time ago.

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Response to Inuca (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:55 PM

13. Yes of course people make mistakes. But they still should be held accountable.

Invading Iraq was the biggest mistake this country has made in probably a century, maybe forever. Possibly a million innocent died and maybe as many as 5 million lives were ruined. Now that's one big fucking "mistake". Especially when many of us were screaming "Dont do it, dont believe Bush".

George Bush's evidence to justify invading a SOVEREIGN NATION was pathetic. Any idiot could see it. Any fucking idiot could see it. But many in Congress voted to believe Bush the idiot son. Either that or they were afraid to be called non-patriot. Which excuse did Hagel use? Did he trust Bush???? Or was he afraid of political consequences of voting for sanity.

I get very emotional about this subject. Especially when people try to blow the invasion off. We murdered almost a million innocent people. We murdered approx 200,000 Iraqi children. We destroyed the country because people like Hagel trusted an idiot. I hope he rots in hell with the others that, for whatever justification, voted to let George Bush, the idiot boy kill Iraqis.

He made a horrible mistake. Isnt there anyone else?????????????????????

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