by John Hawkins | February 21, 2003 4:55 pm
Fisking Chuck Hagel: Chuck Hagel, who I put right up there with John McCain, Trent Lott, & Howard Coble in the “annoying elected Republican” category, weighed in on the war at Kansas State University. Hagel starts things out by waffling on his war stand, which incidentally is a big pet peeve of mine…
I’m not sure at this stage if I am in the camp of the hawks or the doves. I prefer to be a wise old owl.”
At this late date, waffling on the war doesn’t make you a “wise old owl”, it makes you a dancing weasel. The reason Hagel and the other people who use variations of this obvious line of bull (I’m willing to go to war to get rid of Saddam, but not right now) is because they want to have their cake and eat it too. If things go well they’ll claim they were with Bush all along, if things go poorly then they’ll claim they warned us things could go wrong. Come on, grow a backbone and take a stand! Hagel continues…
“We are wrecking coalitions, relationships and alliances so we can get a two-week start on going to war alone?”
That’s such an incoherent comment that I hardly know how to reply. We’re not going it alone no matter what happens and it’s hard to figure out what Hagel is even talking about in the, “two-week start on going to war alone” half of the sentence. Maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt here and assume that the paper took this sentence out of context.
That being said, Hagel like Bill Bradley, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, etc, is one of these internationalists who believes that having everyone like us is more important than protecting our country. These guys all think that the United States should act like a nerdy teenager with a pool who is thrilled to have people pretending to be his friend as long as he invites them over when it gets hot. His “friends” don’t have to actually like him, help him, or do anything for him, they just have to avoid sneering at him while they’re swimming in his pool. But, he better not ask his “friends” to do anything for him or they might not be his “friend” anymore. Who needs friends like that and who needs one-way alliances with nations that are only with us as long as we don’t need their help?
Now for a moment of levity in the article…
“Jon Wefald, president of Kansas State, suggested that those in the audience will hear more from Hagel in 2007 and 2008, when the Republicans nominate a successor to Bush.”
So this guy thinks Chuck Hagel has a shot in 2008? Uh-huh, Hagel and I both have the exact same chance of being the GOP nominee in 2008 — and I’m not running. The article points out that Hagel supports Bush’s policy on Iraq (see what I mean about waffling) and then this anti-war cliche is tossed out…
“Allowing a rush to war in Iraq to create divisions in those institutions and alliances that will help sustain American security and world stability is shortsighted and dangerous.”
Take it from someone who would have been THRILLED with a rush to war, this is not a rush to war. Bush has been talking specifically about Iraq for at least 13 months now, he has gotten a Congressional Resolution, and he has gone to the UN. Heck we could even go back to his 9/20/2001 speech when he said, “From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.” If you really wanted to, you could go all the way back to the Gulf War since we’ve supported a policy of regime change since then. How can anybody talk about a “rush to war” at this point with a straight face? Now, let me skip to the concluding comment from Hagel…
“Instead of contributing to stabilization and democratization in the Middle East, just the opposite could occur. A war in Iraq could intensify the radicalization of the region’s politics.”
Great, another heaping helping of lukewarm weasel soup. What is Hagel even trying to suggest here? That it’s like a flipping a coin and that “radicalization” is just as likely as “stabilization and democratization”? Does he think one is more likely than the other? Which one? If he doesn’t have any opinion at all, why is he even giving a speech? Oh, it makes my head hurt.
Hagel like a lot of the people out there who are trying to be, “wise old owls” is anti-war. Fine, but he and the rest of the people in the anti-war movement should have the guts to say what they really think. Come on Chuck, say that you think, “We should for all intents and purposes end the war on terrorism here, we shouldn’t invade Iraq, we should let Saddam develop nukes, and then we’ll just hope things work out OK…somehow.” Right or wrong, Hagel and the rest of the people who are waffling should have the guts to tell people the truth about what they believe.
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