Thursday, January 11, 2007

"Hagel Statement on President Bush’s Plan to Increase U.S. Troops in Iraq"

Here is Chuck Hagel's statement regarding President Bush's speech last night:
“I am opposed to the escalation of American involvement in Iraq, including more U.S. troops. This is a dangerously wrong-headed strategy that will drive America deeper into an unwinnable swamp at a great cost. It is wrong to place American troops into the middle of Iraq’s civil war. It is not in America’s national interest to increase our troop presence in Iraq. The President’s strategy will cost more American lives; sink us deeper into the bog of Iraq making it more difficult to get out; cost billions of dollars more; further strain an American military that has already reached its breaking point; further diminish America’s standing in the Middle East; and continue to allow the Iraqis to walk away from their responsibilities. The fate of Iraq will be determined by the Iraqis—not the Americans. We have already given four years, thousands of lives, and hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to Iraq.

“We cannot escape the reality that there will be no military solution in Iraq. The Iraqis are the only ones who can stop the sectarian and inter-sectarian violence that is now consuming their country. Iraqi leaders must understand the stark choice that they face between widening anarchy and violence and a concerted Iraqi effort toward political reconciliation. We cannot want success for Iraq more than they want it for themselves. More American troops, treasure and casualties will not change this reality. It will make it worse. General Abizaid testified to this point in November before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“Instead of increasing our troop presence in Iraq, we should be focused on helping the Iraqis find a political solution and creating a policy that allows us to leave Iraq honorably, has the sustained support of the American people and does not further destabilize the Middle East. This will require redefining our mission and our involvement in Iraq. A new American strategy for Iraq should include:

moving our troops out of the cities to Iraq’s border areas, allowing us to help secure the territorial integrity of Iraq which will be seriously threatened and is critical for the future of Iraq;

begin turning over internal security of Iraq to the Iraqis;

engaging all nations in the Middle East to develop a regional internationally sponsored peace process;

accelerating training of Iraqi troops.

“We are all trying to find a workable strategy and policy to address the disaster in Iraq. This should not be a partisan political issue. Congress will now begin the serious work of examining the President’s plan through oversight hearings and debate. Ultimately, the Congress will have to make tough decisions about the President’s plan. However, it is the Iraqis who must reach a political accommodation and find a political resolution. It may take years, but it is not the responsibility of the U.S.”


Anonymous said...

I'm a Democrat...but am really starting to like Hagel more and more...he's much more independent-minded than McCain if you ask me. (and it seems genuine, not a persona that he tries to put on)

deadissue said...

I think you were over on my site - and I appreciate your comment. I'm linking to your site, and will vote for Hagel against any Republican or Democrat. I too am a Democrat, and his genuine, consistent leadership is a joy to witness in this day and age.

I'd be glad if you were to post my article on, the three paragraphs I wrote last night, as I think it would help to bolster your cause here.

Great site - great idea - let's keep our fingers crossed!

militarymom said...

It's a good thing that you guys are crossing party lines because Hagel is more loyal to the democrat party than he is to his own constituancy. He used to be more independantly thinking like Bob Kerry but he is now driven by polls and his future presidential run. Again..I'm sure he's thrilled that he will get your votes..because he's losing the Republican votes. He's not only deserted his party, he's deserted my son in Iraq and has helped to discourage our troops rather than encourage them.

Ima Pinionated said...

He does seem to appeal to Democrats! I'm a registered Dem., and love the way he has offered us honest, steady leadership. He really seems to be trying to avoid another entanglement like Vietnam. Much more trustworthy and moderate than the current administration, whose members have not served in the military .

Chip Peterson said...

It looks like Hagels in the wrong party

Charlie said...

Chuck Hagel clearly has disagreements with the President about foreign policy, but there is no question that he is in the right party.

"The ratings of presidential support and “party unity” votes were compiled by Congressional Quarterly.

Hagel supported Bush’s position 95.5 percent of the time, even more often than Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., who finished fourth at 92.8 percent."

Check out the full article at the Lincoln Journal Star.

mw said...

Militarymom does not know what the hell he/she is talking about. If the only test to be a Republican is to support the Bush position on the Iraq War, then the Republican Party is going to be one very small minor party by the time of the 2008 election. By that criteria the Republican party is down to only about 33% of Americans now and continuing to shrink.

It is because of Republicans like "militarymom" that we are on a hell-bound train for single party democratic control of the government in 2008.

deadissue said...

military mom - - - turn off the talk radio.

Hagel isn't talking to the polls, he's being HONEST! If you can't recognize honesty when you see it, then...

Wait, you think George W. Bush has your son's best interests at heart, so I guess you wouldn't know honesty when you saw

deadissue said...

One of my writeups on Hagel

Anonymous said...

Military Mom is on neocon crack! Chuck Hagel has a more consevative record when it comes to spending and social issues than President Bush. I can't stand people like Sean Hannity and military mom who say Hagel deserted his party because he's not for this neocon driven war. Hey look, I am sorry your child is bogged down in a mistake made by President Bush. Senator Hagel has been to war he knows the conditions and I trust his word. I am a Conservative and I will be supporting Senator Hagel. Military Mom, it must suck when about 70% of the country wants out of Iraq. Ouch!

Anonymous said...

WOW, I'm a little afraid to leave a message on this board. Some of you guys are come across as jerks in your responses (is that becuase your a democrat?). The problem is that Chuck Hagel has no real viable alternative to what President Bush is offering. If you cut military troops, then the country will be over run by terrorists. Remember the quote by Osama Bin Laden " all I can remember is the USA turning around and leaving samolia" You see its in their mind frame that the USA is gonna cut loose and run. What then? We got Iraq into this situation, so we need to see them though until the end. That doesn't mean cutting troops and leaving it up to them, it is our responsibility. So all you wimps out there who have no idea what honor and commitment means (the old quote "finish what you started") take a minute and think what the middle east will be saying about the USA (maybe "its ok to attack the USA, they won't put up a fight for long") in 5 years if we do not finish what WE started.

Charlie said...

Senator Hagel has been advocating specific policy steps since late 2002 (before the war began). Most currently, the Iraq Study Group Report advocated many of the positions that Chuck Hagel has been supporting for some time. I would suggest that the 79 specific policy recommendations proposed by The Iraq Study Group represent a specific, viable alternative plan to the one the President has chosen (and was presented to the President prior to his decision).

We are going to have to leave at some point, the question is merely when; we will not have a permanent force in Iraq.