Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Don't take my Word for It

I mentioned him in I Miss Republicans, but it's worth saying again -- I don't agree with all his policy positions, but Chuck Hagel is the kind of guy you want sitting across the aisle.

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) strongly criticized yesterday the White House's new line of attack against critics of its Iraq policy, saying that "the Bush administration must understand that each American has a right to question our policies in Iraq and should not be demonized for disagreeing with them."

With President Bush leading the charge, administration officials have lashed out at Democrats who have accused the administration of manipulating intelligence to justify the war in Iraq. Bush has suggested that critics are hurting the war effort, telling U.S. troops in Alaska on Monday that critics "are sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy. And that's irresponsible."

Hagel, a Vietnam War veteran and a potential presidential candidate in 2008, countered in a speech to the Council of Foreign Relations that the Vietnam War "was a national tragedy partly because members of Congress failed their country, remained silent and lacked the courage to challenge the administrations in power until it was too late."

"To question your government is not unpatriotic -- to not question your government is unpatriotic," Hagel said, arguing that 58,000 troops died in Vietnam because of silence by political leaders. "America owes its men and women in uniform a policy worthy of their sacrifices."


BenDavid said...

Holy shit. That was impressive.

jay in oregon said...

My only problem is, why wasn't he saying this two years ago? He wants to say 58,000 soldiers died in Vietnam because people wouldn't speak out, fine. Where was he when the first 2,000 were dying in Iraq?

And for anyone who missed it; between Hagel's speech and Rumsfeld's assertion that the war in Iraq was "not [his] decision or even [his] recommendation," I believe that when Bush wasn't looking, the rest of the GOP had a vote and named him Official Fall Boy for the past 5+ years.

2006 will be an interesting election year...

1031 said...

I'm a Democrat in Nebraska. I loathe Republicans (the elected ones, not, say, my brother-in-law) more than anyone I know (although my father is starting to come around). And I think Chuck Hagel is a good and decent man. One whom I feel would do a pretty good job at running the country.

And the reason he didn't make these same remarks two years ago is the same reason the vast majority of Congressmen didn't say anything: fear of White House reprisal. Same reason the media kowtowed to the administration and fell largely silent during the first few years of this war.

I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying that's why they didn't speak out. Thankfully, both Congress and the media seem to be coming out of their stupor. Better late than never.

Vlad said...

Holy crap. It's weird to see a Republican saying the exact same things I've been saying.

Highlander said...

As long as we all understand that 'fear of White House reprisal' is an utterly bullshit reason to do or not do anything, I think we're all on the same page here.

A fear of White House reprisal is also a pretty damning statement about who's running the White House. This is America. We're not supposed to be afraid of the people running the country unless we're breaking the law.

Of course, I guess a great many of our elected representatives break the law, so I suppose they could justifiably live in 'fear of White House reprisals'... but, nah... they should live in fear of the media, or the FBI, instead. Fearing the White House is just... well, it's not the country we're supposed to be living in, that's all. It's like fearing the Kremlin, or the Reich Chancellory.

Anyway, bottom line... it's no excuse. Republicans are speaking up against the war now because Bush's approval rating is plummeting and all the opinion polls are telling them this is a hot issue they are trying to get out in front of. In short, they are running for re election, and running scared at that. I have no respect for it. People of character speak their minds when it costs them something, not when it gets them something.

RogerRmjet said...

If you really want to show support to our troops, find the name of someone serving (if you don't already know one) and send them some stuff. Magazines (even if they're a few months old, that's okay), coffee, toilet paper, skin lotion, CDs, anything like that. It's a bitch working in the desert in 114 degree heat every day. They'll really appreciate it.

Stephen Benson said...

One of the disturbing things I see is the concept of separation between political people and the military. The military needs to be controlled by and accountable to a civilian authority but when did our political leaders start taking a pass on service? If Bush, Rove, Wolfie, et al had been shot at like I was, been shot, like I was, I reckon they would be less enthusiastic about war as an option. I think it was Socrates, or another of the wise Greeks who said "When men of action are not involved with policy and our men of policy are not involved in action we have policy made by cowards and our battles fought by idiots."

Rogers said...

rogermjet is right, and although I personally have done some "Support a Platoon" stuff, I haven't brought any of it to the site. I think I'll pop some of those resources onto the blog in the next few days.

However, that is separate from our obligations to them as voters and citizens. Insanely, I think the best way to support the troops is to support the troops: make sure they have the right equipment (which these bums have not done), make sure you are asking them to accomplish a well-defined mission (not) with measured, accomplishable goals (not) which you stated up front (er, no), and you take care of them when they come home (the Republican House and Senate have voted against Veteran's Administration increases no less then three times).

I don't think it is necessary -- admittedly beneficial, but not necessary -- for political leaders to have served. But I never, ever understood why anyone whould confuse criticizing the guys in suits with the guys in uniforms. This may well be because the first bit of history I really dug my teeth into when I was younger was World War One. The whole concept of "Lions, led by Donkeys" was one of the first fully formed political ideas in my skull.

A century later, it has lost none of its relevance or resonance.

Stephen Benson said...

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

"Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star", 149
May 7, 1918

Then again, we knew that this all-hat-no-cattle Yalie from Maine pretendin' to be Texan was No. Teddy. Roosevelt

The Dark Avenger said...

During its' 1st term, this malAdministration was able to get former 'insider' critics except for Clarke to backtrack on their remarks about how things were/are run at the WH.

Now, the elected officials are showing lots of daylight betwix themselves and Chimpy, the Rove meat grinder has been monkey-wrenched courtesy of Fitzmas, and all the Repubs got out of it was a sham vote that didn't fool anyone with two brain cells to rub together.

Pass the popcorn, the holidays are going to be unusually cheery this year.......

Sean said...

Support a soldier helps. Even better is to support one of the seriously injured who have come home with their lives upended forever. They are the forgotten ones. Improved body armor, vehicles, and medi-vac efficiency has greatly reduced the casualty figure. But instead of us having 10,000 dead, which is closer to what the figure would be if we still had the same equipment as Vietnam, we have 2,000 dead and 8,000 that will never function to full capacity again.

All thanks to an unwarranted and incompetently managed war.

Well, actually the profiteering was brilliantly managed, to within the slimmest degrees of criminality.

I don't lift a fingernail of support for this administration, but I do send my support and volunteer for the disabled soldiers coming home.

And Chuck Hagel has always been a voice of moderate thought amongst the Republican ranks. Thank god there's still a few of them left out there. Nothing wrong with Republicans, but these borrow and slush ideologues will be the dearth of us all.

THEdave said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
THEdave said...

You know though, Jay in oregon, Hagel was saying the opposite at the time.

If he really felt that way, he wouldnt of said anything at all, for fear of reprisal.

THEdave said...

going by the date on my works file, I wrote it on april, 21st, 2004.

I assume that was when it was qouted in AP.

" During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing you said, "Why shouldn't we ask all of our citizens to bear some responsibility and pay some price?"

Mr. Hagel, perhaps you're not aware of this fact, but my life, and my appendages are not currency. I would like to remind you, Mr. Hagel, that you are asking people to submit their lives for something some of us can't completely trust. I will pretend for this letter that you are encouraging to get people such as President Bush, who are wealthy and can avoid combat, into the field to stand alongside the man from the projects who is trying to get into college. But that young man had a bullet tear through his flesh, bury itself in his skull, and caused his head to hemorrhage. Now that we're done pretending, how many of those who are not middle class or underprivileged are really going to see the fears of war? If anything you will force men such as myself, who is of lower middle class standing and who did not opt to join the military, to go to war. I believe that we are free and kept free by men like Thomas Jefferson and men of ideas who birthed the bill of rights and the constitution. Not by the bodies of the poor young men dying for what one can ONLY HOPE is not so I can pay 40 cents less for gas. I may be the only one, but I would rather pay 5 dollars for gas than to see another one of those men die. Or as you would say, pay their debt."

www.sofas.nom.es said...

This will not work as a matter of fact, that's what I consider.

Riyan Cilacap said...

Thank You Verry Much, Ijin nitip gan dan trimaksih atas infonya

Obat Sakit Kelamin De Nature
Pengobatan Kutil Kelamin
Cara Mengobati Kutil Kelamin
Kutil Kelamin
Obat Kutil Kelamin
Obat Condyloma
Obat Jengger Ayam
Obat Sipilis
Obat Gonore
Obat Raja Singa
Obat Kencing Nanah
Obat Chlamydia
Obat Herpes
Obat Herpes Genital
Obat Herpes Kelamin
Obat Herpes Zoster
Obat Herpes Badan
Obat Jengger Ayam
Obat Kutil Kelamin
Obat Kondiloma
Obat Condyloma Accuminata
Obat Jengger Ayam Pria Dan Wanita
Obat Kutil Kelamin Pada Pria Dan Wanita