Hagel Explains Reality of Iraq to Lieberman


I’ve been reluctant to go along with those who wanted to throw Joe Lieberman out of the party as it is worth putting up with him if this is the cost we must pay to have the Democrats in control of the Senate. Maybe we can arrange a swap. While I disagree with Chuck Hagel on most positions, he has two virtues that Lieberman lacks–an accurate view of the Iraq war and integrity.

Today on Meet the Press  Lieberman fell back on 9/11 hysteria to justify the war saying, “we’ve been working in the larger context of the war on terrorism, the war against the Islamic radicals who attacked us on 9/11.” He went on to claim “ultimately, there are two exit strategies.  One is called victory; the other is called defeat.” It took Republican Chuck Hagel to set the record straight:

First, as I said before, I am not, nor any member of Congress that I’m aware of, Tim, is advocating defeat.  That’s ridiculous, and I’m offended that any responsible member of Congress or anyone else would even suggest such a thing.  Senator Lieberman talks about his children and grandchildren.  We all have children and grandchildren.  He doesn’t have a market on that, nor do any of my colleagues.  We’re all concerned about the future of this country.  But we have an honest disagreement here, and that’s what democracies are about.

Now, the fact is we can talk all we want, and we can go to all the specialists in the world, the fact is, the Iraqi people will determine the fate of Iraq.  The people of the Middle East will determine their fate.  Now, when we continue to interject ourselves in a situation that we never have understood, we’ve never comprehended, and I think after four years it’s becoming quite clear of that, that tells us something very, very clearly.  And we now have to devise a way to find some political consensus with our allies, especially the people in the Middle East, that is going to require to find a political framework for some progress with the Israeli-Palestinian issue.  It’s going to require listening to our allies in the Middle East.

You know, Tim, I hear this talk about generals and military involvement.  The two top American generals in Iraq in November and December, the last 60 days, both in open testimony and interviews took exactly the opposite approach of what President Bush was talking about on Wednesday night.  Now, someone is, is not listening here.  There is a major disconnect.  And we talk about the future for our country.  The future of the Middle East as a region is in play now at a very, very defining time.  That’s what we should be thinking about.  We need to get out of the bog of where we are of tactical thinking.  Of course 50,000 troops in Baghdad are not going to turn that around.  That is a tribal sectarian civil war, and we need to do everything we can with some smart thinking.

Let’s just take one thing.  Why not take American troops, put them on the border?  I hear a lot from this administration about this border being porous, all the terrorists leaking in there.  The terrorist problem isn’t the biggest problem today in, in Iraq.  Are terrorists there?  Yes.  It is Iraqis killing Iraqis, Tim.  It’s Shias killing Shias.  That’s the biggest problem, that’s not going to be solved by the American military.

Video available at Crooks and Liars.


  1. 1
    K says:

    I really hate seeing people use what they know to try to justify crap. Yes, its Iraqis killing Iraqis. Yes, its Sunni killing Shiites. But that does NOT necessarily mean that our involvement is hopeless and that we should let them all go kill each other. If that were true, why’d we ever get involved in Bosnia?

    The Iraqis who truly want the violence to stop are supporting the new plan. The ones who support militias or sectarian agendas are the ones complaining about it. Says something about what they think will happen, doesn’t it?

  2. 2
    Mark Robert Gates says:


    Contrary to what George W. Bush, claims, our’ Congress’ can take the war in Iraq, and any further warfare away from him, and it is in fact our’ responsibilty, as Americans, to do so. As, George W. Bush’ and company, are presently the persons, really running a war by committee, as just because, you call it, a cabinet, instead of a committee, does not mean it is not still, as it is yet: a group called a committee, of which, attempts to run a war, on information, not gathered, by themselves, on a battlefield.

    From, now on we need to let our’ Congresss’ give any warfare needs directly to our’ military to handle, as they see fit, directly, at the source: the battlefield.

    Also, we need to do this, giving the military, the warfare issue in Iraq, as we need to end this left-right, up-down, in-out, black-white, wrong-right and liberal-conservative divide, in our’ Congress’. As, there are a million things needing handling, here at home, going unattended, whilst’ those in our’ Congress’ argue politics, instead of governing their territories, and metting the needs of thier contituency. Trying to straddle this divide and cover only extreme left-right positions, leaves all middle ground open, as if it does not exist. By, keeping political debate focused only on these extreme left-right positions, in debate, these pseudo-Christian, lame-duck, right wing conspiracy, Bush’ league people keep any needs, and wants, of all people from being met. Remove, the illusionist’s veil from your’ eyes, and take notice, we are a country, of a lot of people, and there is a lot going on, we need to deal with as a whole, you, me and they, and our’ entire government and Congress, need to take back the land, so we Americans, can once again live off of our’ own land.

    We’ need to make sure, as many American’s, as possible, no longer face a tomorrow, as they do today, as, involuntary crime victims, not just as involuntary terror victims. It is, successfully, argueable, all crime is a terror attack, no matter how much more fun being Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, seems, compared, to fighting on foreign soil, as like, was done is, Iwo Jima. I no longer watch movies that glorify and romanticize crime, as having done the crime, and done the time, I tell those still thinking Butch is a fun guy, “You are wrong! I met him, in jail, and trust me Butch, is not a fun guy, and neither is commiting crime and doing time.”

    Copyright 2007, Mark Robert Gates

    please my blogs:


  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:


    The underlying issue is that we went into the situation without a plan to prevent such violence from occuring when this situation was widely predicted before the war. The presence of American troops further inflames the situation and escalating the war is counterproductive.

    The situation in Bosnia was quite difference and your analogy does not hold up.

    This is not just the opinion of opponents of the war. As Hagel pointed out, “The two top American generals in Iraq in November and December, the last 60 days, both in open testimony and interviews took exactly the opposite approach of what President Bush was talking about on Wednesday night.” Other posts here have also cited others who also agree that Bush’s current policy is as bad a folly as his initial policy in Iraq.

  4. 4
    Probus says:

    There is a key difference between the Bosnian conflict and the Iraq war. In the Bosnian war, we went in with our allies to stop ethnic cleansing. Our presence didn’t escalate the civil war. In Iraq, we launch a preemptive attack on a country that didn’t attack us. There was no threat to our national security and Hussein had nothing to do with 9-11. Also, our presence in Iraq is fueling the insurgency and the civil war which didn’t exist before we went in. Contrary to what Vice President Cheney said the insurgency was not in its last throes.

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