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Senator Hagel's Critique Of Iraq

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katrina

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Nebraska News - Government


Nebraska senator villified, praised for his analysis
Media Missed The Most Telling Comment In Hagel's Critique Of Iraq Involvement



By ED HOWARD
August 23, 2005



Missed it. Reporters and commentators of all stripes missed it.

Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel’s critique of America’s situation in Iraq has been on every kind of news and talk show, in most of the country’s newspapers and a great number of news venues throughout the world.

They all missed it.

The one thing Hagel said which best captured the situation in Iraq, that made one of his points with greater clarity than any other, was not to be found during our search of news, analysis, blogs and blabber via the Internet.

When asked on ABC’s This Week about what might represent progress in Iraq, Hagel noted that if the road between the Baghdad airport and downtown Baghdad could be made safe, that would be progress.
Rush Limbaugh

Not one of those who heaped venom on Hagel – and he was soaked in it – addressed the truth of Hagel’s statement. No one, however, failed to mention Hagel's interest in the GOP nomination for president.

The mainstream media did nothing with it. Nor did the “right wing,” the “left wing” or any proclaimed news outlet easily found via Google and an extensive amount of clicking and then clicking on links and more clicking.

If someone other than Jon Stuart made something of the Baghdad airport-to-city situation, it was missed by us. The guy who runs The Daily Show ran the video of Hagel's businesslike observation that – no matter what anyone says about progress being made in Iraq – insurgents still enjoy open season on anyone who even tries to get to the Baghdad airport!

Hagel was praised by some and condemned by others in the microphone and keyboard crowd. Hagel told a national audience that the U.S. was not winning in Iraq, that American policy was destabilizing the Middle East, that the situation was a mess and that an exit strategy (which Hagel did not specify) was needed.

[The Editor would note here that in Feedback posted on the StatePaper.com story that ran Monday, Hagel received far more support than criticism. To see that story and access the Feedback click here.]

The most vicious criticism of Hagel came from Joe Scarborough and Republican strategist Mark Burkman on MSNBC. A portion of their conversation, best described as a world-class celebration of tag-team bashing and rhetrorical high-fiving:

BURKMAN: He‘s helping the insurgents. What he‘s doing is selling out our troops, undercutting their morale undercutting the war and undercutting the president. For what? For airtime. He...

SCARBOROUGH: That‘s a strong charge, Jack. How can you say that he‘s helping the insurgents?

BURKMAN: Joe, he‘s made a career of this. He‘s made a whole career of this.

His political ideology is to be above the fold in “The New York Times”, and he will sell out—I knew he would sell out the president. That doesn‘t shock me. But when you start selling out our fighting men and women in Iraq for the purpose of getting yourself 15 minutes on ABC News, who—you know, Stephanopoulos is sitting over there.

SCARBOROUGH: So, wait a second. Are you saying, Jack, that he‘s so cynical that he would, in your own words, sell out U.S. troops simply so he could play this down-the-middle moderate that would get good play in “The New York Times”?

BURKMAN: Oh, without question, without question. If anything, that‘s an understatement. I think he would sell out that and more.

[To ensure your access to the context of these remarks, the entire Scarborough/Burkman exchange is reproduced at the end of this piece]

_____

Here are some links to reports and commentary on Hagel’s assessment of the Iraq situation. Some are acidic in their criticism, some praise Hagel as courageous. This is only a sampling of news and analysis. There is lots more for you to find on the Internet.

Some commentary centered on the media itself. One author said Hagel’s speaking out would set the tone of future reporting.

Hagel's increasing criticism of the administration and dire predictions help create a new "conventional wisdom" among the media. It'll influence media coverage in the sense that'll it'll shift some of the "givens" the media believes exist on the war to a newer perpsective — to the war being a parallel to Vietnam and the turbulent 60s. Joe Gandelman on The Moderate Voice.

____

Hagel, the second-ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a prospective presidential candidate in 2008, was among several senators from both parties who used the Sunday talk shows to express mounting frustration over the administration's handling of the war and the occupation. The Los Angeles Times. Analysis.

_____

The terrorists haven't convinced the Iraqis to give up. They've convinced Chuck Hagel to give up. The terrorists have convinced the left in America to give up. They haven't convinced the Iraqis to give up. They haven't been able to provoke a civil war … . But how you can say that by any measurement, by any standard we're not winning, how can you possibly say that, Senator Hagel, given the recitation I just put forth? The terrorists, the insurgents, whatever you want to call them have failed in their efforts to derail anything. The only area the terrorists have not failed is in their propaganda efforts with the American media and the American left. The terrorists' biggest successes are with the American media and the American left, both of whom are joined at the hip in their opposition to George W. Bush and the Republicans in this country. Rush Limbaugh. To access the full transcript of Limbaugh’s remarks, click here.

_____

Several Hagel critics also criticized the Associated Press article that referred to Hagel as a “leading Republican Senator.”

What exactly makes Chuck Hagel a "leading Republican senator"? Not seniority; he is a second-termer. Not any official responsibilities .... It is hard to escape the conclusion that for the Associated Press, any Republican who attacks the Bush administration and claims that we're losing in Iraq is automatically promoted to "leading Republican senator" status. Nah, Hagel is a "leading Republican senator" because he says stuff in public. He appears on the Sunday shows. He's famous.

So it is a misleading description. Hagel doesn't lead any Republicans; in fact, it could be argued that the Nebraskan follows Joe Biden around like a puppy. John Hinderaker on Powerline.org, republished on Redstate.org

_____

Another Republican calling for an exit strategy. Clearly Hagel didn't get the talking points. Now, the White House is going to have to develop a smear strategy to deal with Hagel. He's a decorated war veteran, just the kind of target this White House loves. Americablog.org {Rush Limbaugh calls these guys “A bunch of wackos!”)

_____

Why does Chuck Hagel Hate America? Actually this piece notes that Hagel should expect to get smacked from the right wing; it notes how he is has been smacked by its minions previously. From Crooked Timber.org

_____

Here is the transcript from the Joe Scarborough broadcast Monday night:

Scarborough: Now, friends, let me tell you, obviously, right now, we have some late-breaking developments in Iraq. They are moving toward approving a constitution, finalized a draft that‘s going to be voted on within the next three days. But the president is not focusing on that right now. The administration is not focusing on it. They have got to be focusing on what Republican senator—that‘s right—Republican Senator Chuck Hagel said about Iraq yesterday, when he said it was turning into another Vietnam and it was time to bring our troops home.

Here‘s Senator Hagel in his own words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “THIS WEEK”)

SEN. CHUCK HAGEL ®, NEBRASKA: Now we are locked into a bogged-down problem, not unsimilar, dissimilar to where we were in Vietnam. The longer we stay, the more problems we‘re going to have.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH: Here to respond to that shocking turn of events on Capitol Hill is Republican strategist Jack Burkman.

Jack, I‘ll tell you what. When you have Republican senators starting to compare Iraq to Vietnam, especially a guy like Hagel, I believe, who served in Vietnam, that‘s nothing but bad news for the president, is it?

BURKMAN: Joe, I will tell you, it‘s bad news for the president. But now Chuck Hagel really boils my blood. To compare Iraq to Vietnam, first of all, it‘s absurd and he knows it‘s absurd. His...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH: Wait a second, now. Ted Kennedy—Ted Kennedy has also compared it to Vietnam. So, you got Ted Kennedy and Chuck Hagel. I‘m sorry. I couldn‘t do that with a straight face.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH: What‘s going through Chuck Hagel‘s mind here? He sounds like Ted Kennedy.

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN: It shows you the company into which Senator Hagel has fallen and found himself now on the intellectual level at which he is at.

I will tell you, first of all, 51,000 dead in Vietnam, a completely different war, probably four times the cost if you look at the GDP now and then, totally different conflicts.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH: Jack, what is Chuck Hagel up to? Why is he doing this? He‘s got to know, he‘s got to know that, when he says that about Iraq, what our men and women are doing over in Iraq, and everyone I talk to tells me that they‘re proud of what they‘re doing, that they‘re on their way to making this a success, that it‘s going to be a success in two years.

BURKMAN: Yes.

SCARBOROUGH: And yet, Hagel steps forward, compares it to Iraq. Let me ask you, Jack, who is Hagel helping when he calls this another Vietnam? Who is he helping here?

BURKMAN: He‘s helping the insurgents. What he‘s doing is selling out our troops, undercutting their morale undercutting the war and undercutting the president. For what? For airtime. He...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH: That‘s a strong charge, Jack. How can you say that he‘s helping the insurgents?

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN: Joe, he‘s made a career of this. He‘s made a whole career of this.

His political ideology is to be above the fold in “The New York Times”, and he will sell out—I knew he would sell out the president. That doesn‘t shock me. But when you start selling out our fighting men and women in Iraq for the purpose of getting yourself 15 minutes on ABC News, who—you know, Stephanopoulos is sitting over there.

SCARBOROUGH: So, wait a second.

Are you saying, Jack, that he‘s so cynical that he would, in your own words, sell out U.S. troops simply so he could play this down-the-middle moderate that would get good play in “The New York Times”?

BURKMAN: Oh, without question, without question. If anything, that‘s an understatement. I think he would sell out that and more.

SCARBOROUGH: Is he running for president?

BURKMAN: I think he is.

I certainly will work to defeat him. I know most conservatives will work to defeat him. I don‘t think he will have any—you know, there is this sense out there, Joe, that just because somebody is a Vietnam veteran, he thinks that he can distort the truth and distort facts and make any comparison he wants. He can‘t. He can‘t do that.

SCARBOROUGH: Well, Jack Burkman, let me tell you something. Even though this is an opinion show, from time to time, I try to stay above the fray.

But I‘m with you. If this guy runs for president of the United States and I have not written a check to a national candidate since I have had my TV show. I don‘t think it‘s right. But I‘m telling you right now, if Chuck Hagel or anybody that says anything that undercuts our troops as much as he did yesterday runs for president of the United States, I will do everything I can to try to defeat him. I would vote for Hillary Clinton before I voted for Chuck Hagel, because you know what? Hillary Clinton has never compared Iraq to Vietnam.

He‘s a disgrace. And he needs to go back home, because we don‘t need his type in Washington, D.C.

Jack, do you have any final words to say? Because I have got—I feel a lot better.

BURKMAN: Joe, I do as well. I‘m just shocked and...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH: It was a rhetorical question, Jack, a rhetorical question.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH: I‘m telling you, I‘m angry. I‘m—you know what? I‘m going to have to go. I‘m going to go hose myself down and come back for the next segment.

Jack Burkman, thanks a lot for being with us.

BURKMAN: Thank you, Joe, so much.

SCARBOROUGH: But, seriously, friends, I have got to tell you this. Seriously, friends, when somebody goes on the air like Chuck Hagel—I‘m telling you this—I‘m telling you, this is exactly why he did it. He went on the air because he wanted to gain favor with the editorial page of “The New York Times.”

He went on the air like that yesterday because he wanted to gain favor with other moderates. He wanted to be above the fray. Listen, you above be the fray on domestic issues if you want to. But when you leave our troops out to dry, like Senator Hagel left our troops out to dry yesterday, that is shameful and he needs to step back from that comment, because he‘s dead wrong.



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Disagreeable

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I can only assume you made this up since you didn't provide a link? But if true, it's pretty typical. They can't disprove Hagel's comments, so they attack him personally. And, if they think he's making these statements because he's running for President, they must understand that Americans are deserting George W. on this issue.
 

Steve

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Lets see Hagel is a republican,

Hagel says military is bogged down, ect,

he offers no solution other then to exit (surrender)

Republicans tend to lean heavily in support of the military.

Hagel is viewed as saying the military is lossing,

can't see him getting elected to a higher office...no more then hillery would if she said abortions were bad...

but if you would like to offer a poll to registered republicans to see if he gets thier nod, feel free,,,because his running needs thier support ,not yours.....
 

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