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Fri Dec 28, 2012, 01:32 PM

Chuck Hagel Broke Party Lines on Iraq. Is He Now Being Punished?

Here’s the record. Beginning in early 2002, shortly after President Bush declared in his State of the Union speech that America must take on the “Axis of Evil” consisting of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, Hagel began speaking his mind about the increasingly errant course of the administration’s “war on terror,” which even then was losing sight of the real quarry, al-Qaida. "Iran actually has been quite helpful in Afghanistan," Hagel, then a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Congressional Quarterly on Feb. 1, 2002, in his initial act of apostasy. "They pledged twice what the United States did to the interim government. They have found some common interests with us that have been helpful.... We're giving them the back of our hand.” Presciently, Hagel added: "We're not isolating . We're isolating ourselves.... We ought to be a little more thoughtful. That comment only helps the mullahs."

Hagel’s reading of the situation was dead-on. As it turned out, Bush’s “Axis of Evil” conceit backfired disastrously--first, in losing whatever positive ground America had gained with Iran; and second, in beginning to sow serious doubts among U.S. allies about what had been, until then, a united global front against al-Qaida. As some of us have previously reported, immediately after 9/11, U.S.-Iranian relations grew closer than at any time since the fall of the shah. Washington wanted Iran's help in Afghanistan, and Iran gave it, partly out of fear of an angry superpower and partly to be rid of its troublesome Taliban neighbors next door.

.......

The truth about Chuck Hagel is that he saw before most that America was embarking on an unparalleled strategic disaster by diverting its attention from al-Qaida a decade ago. He saw, and had the courage to say, that his own president and party were failing to anticipate the enormous cost of going into Iraq and of losing focus in Afghanistan. He saw that Bush was isolating himself by inventing an entirely new war that both defied world opinion and—in another enormous strategic misconception—gave al-Qaida new life by vindicating Osama bin Laden’s once-unheeded warnings to his fellow Islamists that the real peril was the “far enemy,” the United States. As Hagel divined, by invading Iraq, Bush displaced the dictatorships in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other “near” regimes as the bogeyman in the jihadi imagination.

We are still paying dearly for that mistake in blood and treasure, and yet very few people who supported it--senators, pundits, editors--have shown the integrity thus far to admit that they were wrong. And that Hagel was right.



http://www.nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/chuck-hagel-broke-party-lines-on-iraq-is-he-now-being-punished-20121227

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Reply Chuck Hagel Broke Party Lines on Iraq. Is He Now Being Punished? (Original post)
Redfairen Dec 2012 OP
leveymg Dec 2012 #1
octoberlib Dec 2012 #3
octoberlib Dec 2012 #2
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #4
SunSeeker Dec 2012 #5
bemildred Dec 2012 #6

Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 01:41 PM

1. Israel is allied with the Saudis against Iran. Both want the US to take out Iran. Hagel thinks

that's not in the US national interest and not in Israel's, either.

Therefore, because Hagel is opposed to US involvement in the Sunni Jihad against Sh'ia Iran, AIPAC and the neocons oppose him and spread libelous message that he's an anti-semite.

The fact that this doesn't get discussed more openly really makes me worry for the world.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 02:21 PM

3. I didn't know this. Thanks for posting nt

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 02:20 PM

2. It was the first thing that popped into my head

when I heard they were going to oppose it. The Repubs want perpetual war because it's profitable for defense contractors. They will never get behind a Secretary of Defense who doesn't want to rush headlong into war at every opportunity.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 02:37 PM

4. I think it's less that he's being punished for past "sins", and more

that they (Repubs, neocons, and the defense business) are afraid that he will have an influence on Obama's defense policy that will run counter to their future interests. They also know he will likely not bow to pressure or be coerced into taking actions or positions he doesn't agree with--that sort of shit doesn't work on Hagel. For example, he quit the VA (under Reagan) as protest against his boss's shitty treatment of veterans. The neocons and the defense industry are throwing a fit precisely because he is a known quantity. Has little to do with revenge, more to do with fear.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 09:37 PM

5. K&R

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:13 AM

6. They do not like Hagel's policy views, it has nothing to do with anything else.

If he had the right opinions, everything else could be overlooked.

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