The excellent blogger Extreme Mortman, who I highly recommend, posted this about the op-ed:
Hagel blasting Iraq policy isn’t newsworthy, of course. What is significant about this piece is that he doesn’t name any member of the Bush Administration. He says “we” 12 times — but never mentions President Bush.
Perhaps this line will be his rallying cry for his presidential campaign: “Congress has abdicated its oversight responsibility in the past four years.”
Another blogger, Just Dahlia, had this to say:
In this already-started presidential election season, it is often hard to find anyone who not only knows what they are talking about, but also respects voter intellect. Chuck Hagel is that kind of guy...Originally an economist, my inclination is to reach for a Republican answer, but when they went off the reservation with W, one had no choice but to go left. Hagel offers a hope.... He has a moral center that is informed and he does not fear speaking his mind.Technorati tags: Chuck Hagel, 2008 Election, Iraq
I was elated this morning when I opened the Post and saw that he had an opinion piece. I read it with excited anticipation, wanting to know what would make this mind speak out... and I was not disappointed.
How often have we heard a Republican senator (other than Lincoln Chafee) point to Iraq as a colossal mistake? More interesting, he reminds us that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In other words, "America cannot impose a democracy on any nation..." He chastises the policy of the US for taking its eye off the ball. "And our effort in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, partly because we took our focus off the real terrorist threat which was there, and not in Iraq." Not that it actually matters, but that is coming from a Vietnam vet.
For those who wonder why we even bother to have a Congress in view of its rubber stamp status these past years, Hagel seems to agree. After funding over $500 billion in Iraq and Afghanistan "dishonestly, mainly through supplemental appropriations," it is time for Congress to fulfill its obligation. As Hagel states, "Congress has abdicated its oversight responsibility in the past four years."
That is refreshing! Now, how can we get him to run??