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Karmadillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:30 PM
Original message
Chuck Hagel: Opposition Senator
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0803-29.htm

Who is the most outspoken and through-provoking Senate critic of the Bush administration's misguided foreign policies?

Hint: The boldest opposition voice is not that of a Democrat.

Over the course of the past week, Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, a maverick conservative Republican from Nebraska, has scored the administration for its misguided approaches in language far wiser and bolder than the empty stream of rhetoric that continues to pass the lips of his Democratic colleagues.

Here's Hagel on Iraq: " an absolute replay of Vietnam." The Vietnam veteran deplored the fact that U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq had become "easy targets" in a country that he told the Omaha World Herald had descended into "absolute anarchy." Hagel condemned the decision of the Bush administration and its rubberstamping Pentagon to suspend military rotations and add new troops in Iraq -- increasing the size of the occupation force from 130,000 to 135,000. "That isn't going to do any good. It's going to have a worse effect," argues Hagel. "They're destroying the United States Army."

More significantly, here's Hagel on the failure of the United States to use its influence with Israel to end the killing of innocent Lebanese men, women and children and the destruction of that country's civilian infrastructure: "How do we realistically believe that a continuation of the systematic destruction of an American friend -- the country and people of Lebanon -- is going to enhance America's image and give us the trust and credibility to lead a lasting and sustained peace effort in the Middle East? The sickening slaughter on both sides must end now," Hagel said on the Senate floor. Delivering the message that should be coming from the opposition party, the senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee declared: "President Bush must call for an immediate cease fire. This madness must stop."

more...
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Twist_U_Up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hagel the Hack.
Hes a nazi like the rest of them occupying seats in our Goverment
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kurth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. Hagel supports Bush 94% of the time, and the GOP 93% of the time
Another "independent maverick" looking at 2008.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
3. It says more about our "leaders" than Hagel.
Although they do heroically speak out against the dangers of video games and soda-pop in schools. If the polls show it's safe.
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GAPeace Donating Member (314 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:39 PM
Response to Original message
4. He's wrong on most things but right on this.
He's right to speak out here; damn right.

It's best to remember that Denis Kucinich was speaking out on the Lebanon shit long before him, though. He's the proudest Democrat we have.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Dennis should get the
credit that's going to Hagel.
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rep the dems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
5. Eh
I guess he's better than most republicans, who are completely oblivious to what's going on in Iraq, but let's not forget his views on other issues. He voted AGAINST the Stem Cell Research Bill, FOR the Flag Burning Amendment, and didn't even bother to vote on the gay marriage amendmant. We should appreciate what he's saying in regards to the war, but other than that he ain't worth jack shit.
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DURHAM D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
7. Chuck Hagel will be on the Repug ticket as V-P in 2008
no matter who is at the top of their ticket.
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
8. Why can't our leaders do the same on foreign policy?
Look at the current ME crisis. Only Hagel and Leahy have challenged Bush/Rice/Olmert/Netanyahu/PNAC. Where are the other 43 Democratic Senators? They aren't silent because they all agree with Bush/Olmert/Netanyahu/PNAC...

Hagel is a conservative and I would never vote for him but he deserves credit for being one of the few in the Senate with a spine on foreign policy. It is much easier to criticize the government on domestic issues than foreign affairs issue, due to the common charge of anti-Americanism/lack of patriotism and in the case of Israel, the charge of anti-Semitism. It takes more spin to speak out on foreign policy IMO than, say, Ted Steven's bridge to nowhere.
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Justice Is Comin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
9. Hagen is a marshmallow republican
like Lieberman is a Democrat. Whenever he says anything it doesn't resonate much because he's a renegade oddball anyway 10% of the time.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
10. Kerry's floor speech on Iraq today also spoke of the ME
It dealt with what needs to be done - it is most definitely not Bush, Rice or PNAC. Unlike Hagel's comment it is more long term.

"Mr. President, even as we consider the way forward in Iraq, we must not lose sight of the war raging on the other side of the Middle East in Lebanon and Israel. Watching the news from the Mideast these days is an exercise in continual heartbreak. As Israel continues military operations to defend itself against the grave threat from Hezbollah in Lebanon and missiles still rain on innocents in northern Israel, our hearts go out to people suffering all across the Mideast.



We all want peace, and the death of every childLebanese in Qana or Israeli in Haifais an unspeakable tragedy. But we know from the hard lessons of the past that lasting peace will not come easily and it will not come without the type of sustained involvement at the highest levels of the U.S. government that we have not seen from this Administration.



In fact, the violence we are seeing now is in part the bitter fruit of years of U.S. neglect in the region, yet another disastrous byproduct of being distracted and bogged down in Iraq. Our inattention to diplomacy and failure to disarm Hezbollah and stop the flow of weapons from Iran and Syria -- as required by UN Resolution 1559 -- left Israel to respond to this terrorist organizations provocations with a bloody war that threatens to spread into a larger regional conflict. In fact, just a few hours ago General Abizaid testified that if that Resolution 1559 had been fully implemented, we wouldnt be in this situation today. And its clear that our compromised position in Iraq, combined with our diplomatic isolation in the region, has reduced our leverage and undermined our ability to bring about the lasting resolution that is so desperately needed.



Make no mistake about it: Israel has every right to defend itself against these terrorists. The people of Israel can count on the stalwart support of the United States during these difficult times. At the same time, the Lebanese people must know that Americans also care deeply about protecting innocent civilians and preserving their fragile democracy.



Thats why we must work urgently to achieve a viable and sustainable peace agreement that includes an international force capable of ensuring Israel's security and Lebanons complete territorial sovereignty, the return of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers, and the permanent removal of the threat posed by Hezbollah. Given the dire circumstances, its imperative that we do everything in our power to accomplish this as soon as possible and we shouldnt be afraid of talking to any country that will help us advance this objective.



But that cannot be the end of our involvement in fact, it must be the beginning of a new era of sustained diplomatic engagement in the region. The unmistakable lesson here is that we need more much than just crisis diplomacy we need preventive diplomacy that addresses the underlying problems before they explode. That means putting an end once and for all to state sponsorship of terrorism by Iran and Syria. And that requires a renewed commitment to work ceaselessly to achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East. "


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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:12 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Good--for a presidential contender
No mention of the "P word"...
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. Palestianian - I assume
He actually did mention it in the remarks actually given - at the risk of faulty memory - he spoke of having been on the West Bank with Abbas and that we had not done enough to help him. (Kerry was there in January.)

Need to wait for Thomas to have the real transcript - Kerry always seems to add a lot to the released prepared remarks.
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Wow, then very good, aside from no call for a cease-fire nt
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ConsAreLiars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:32 AM
Response to Original message
12. Nichols apparently watches Corporate media only, and uses their
"reporting" to decide who is "most outspoken and through-provoking Senate critic." The gibberish in that phrase might be a clue to the author's limitations on other counts as well. The fact that you chose to post this barely coherent puff piece for Hegel without question might say something about your standards also, but the fact that Hegel gets boosted as the an alternative by the Corp Cons is hardly news. And it is certainly not proof that he is "most outspoken and through-provoking Senate critic." The fact that the Corporatists are pushing him as the un-Monkey should probably be taken as evidence that he is thoroughly on their side. The real critics don't get air time.

If you think real hard, you might come up with some names of a few Democrats who are far more honest, explicit, and insightful. This particular Con is just one more wannnabe, like McCain or Giuliani or
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:36 AM
Response to Original message
13. Rethugs desert the ship to continue to fight...
the American middle and working classes, until our wages crap and the treasury is looted.
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