I'd also like to point you to his answer to Chuck Hagel's pronunciamento that the war in Iraq has come to ressemble the Vietnam War in which the Senator fought.
Last Thursday Hagel said: “The longer U.S. forces remain in Iraq, the more it begins to resemble the Vietnam War.” While this kind of thinking has become dogma to the left, it is unusual and unhelpful coming from a Republican senator. According to Hagel, increased casualties means we can’t be winning, we must be losing. By that definition, every war becomes a losing proposition on day one.As Byrnes points out, Senator Hagel wants to criticize the President but still afford him him the flexibility to figure out when we should pull out from Iraq. He wants to support the war and wants us to pull out. He says that we should be pulling out within six months but he doesn't want to set a date certain for pulling out.
Hagel’s one good point is that the longer this goes on, the greater the risk that casualties will erode public support. This is of course particularly true when American politicians choose to become the propagandists of enemy forces. While the war is certainly not won, it is far from lost.
What is required to win is that we sustain our will. The will to defeat the hardcore former regime Baathists who fight to restore a state modeled on Saddam’s, Baathists who would resume oppression of Shiites and Kurds. The will to defeat foreign fighters, also called terrorists pouring into Iraq to face off with our forces.
Hagel not only voted in October 2003 to authorize military force, but as a member of the Senate Foreign Relation’s committee, helped pass the bill. He acknowledges the need for Iraqis to step into the security role in their own nation. He also said, on Thursday, that it is un-wise to set a timetable for withdrawal, allowing that: “You must always have flexibility in these things, and a judgment call by the president.”
Is that the same president he is calling disconnected from reality?
You can’t have it both ways Senator. If this is another Vietnam, you voted to put us there. If the president is out of touch, why are you allowing him judgment calls? What are you really after?Of course, Hagel knows that the surest way for him to get publicity and to get his face on the Sunday shows is to offer criticism of the President and the way we're conducting the war. And sure enough, he was awarded with a berth on the This Week with George Stephanopolous. Because few things are more predicatable than that a Republican senator criticizing Bush will get an invitation to media interviews.
Are you just making noise? Seeking publicity? Are you ginning up publicity for a 2008 presidential run. Or are you just thinking out loud? Whichever it is I wish you could remember a few things. With rights comes responsibility, and the duty of a Senator is not only to weigh in, but to weigh the facts first.
For anyone thinking of supporting Hagel in his sure-to-be-futile run for the presidency, picture having a president who says that we're in a war that he originally supported, but now thinks is a quagmire and losing public support. He wants to pull out and thinks we'll start pulling out within six months but he won't name a set date for pulling out because that would not be wise. Oh, and he makes it clear from the beginning that he wouldn't take any military options against Iran but wants to sit down and talk with Iran's new hardline President. He criticizes Bush for letting European leaders conduct the diplomacy with Iran and seems to think that we would do better with face-to-face talks now that he's made clear that if it comes to the carrot and the stick approach to Iran, we've just agreed not to use the stick. Sure, and Iran, looking at a boom in oil prices, is going to help us in all ways possible. Picture Hagel as president when he'd have to do more than criticize the current president. It isn't an inspiring picture.