Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wow! Video of Chuck Hagel in the Senate

This is a stunning video of Senator Hagel today in the foreign relations committee.



This video is a must see.

45 comments:

Chip said...

Chuck - You can scream and bang your hand on the desk all ya want. President Bush is the commander in chief of the U.S. military. Your not. Behind all the anger, Chuck Hagel is absolutely clueless over what to do in Iraq. He voted for the war in Iraq, now opposes. He's against a troop surge, but the only why to stop a surge is to cut off funding for our troops, which he's against. This man is not a creditable voice.

\\wbw said...

Chip - I couldn't agree more. Senator Hagel is embarrassment to the Republican Party. He was the only "Republican" on the committee to side with the Democrats on this resolution.

You see the problem is that our politicians lack the moral back bone to make a real stand. The "Republican Leadership" in the Congress feels like they have to abandon the President or be effected by the his poor popularity. What they don't seem to realize is the approval ratings for the Republican lead Congress in 2006 were lower than the Presidents.

While I don't agree with President Bush on everything... at the end of the day he is the Commander in Chief and he has proven he is willing to make the hard decisions and not waver. THAT, in itself is an example of how other Republicans should behave - not go off and be part of the Band of 14.

mw said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Republicans better hope that Chuck Hagel runs for president and gets some traction in the party.

It is going to be tough road. The President has now put us on a path that insures that the War in Iraq will be the only issue that matters in 2008. The Republican right is now so out of step with the majority of Americans over the War in Iraq (as exemplified by comments in this thread), that I cannot see how Republicans can nominate an electable candidate. Fortunately this ragged right is becoming marginalized (although over-represented in the blogosphere)and is now a small minority of the Republican party and and even smaller minority of American opinion overall.

Chuck Hagel is a rock solid conservative in the Goldwater tradition. He is more conservative than McCain, Giuliani, Romney, and certainly more conservative than Bush. He has been on the right side of this war since 2002 and that makes him the only electable Republican in the field. It'll be too bad if he can't make it through the gauntlet of Republicans who have redefined being a Republican with a single litmus test of blind support of the President's policies on Iraq. You don't have to be a fiscal conservative to get their support. You don't have to be a social conservative to get their support. You just have to put on your blinders and march lockstep on a flawed war strategy.

If Republicans like chip and wbw carry the day, it will be the end of the Republican Party as relevant political force for a generation.

Chip said...

mw - you seem to have a very ahistorical view. In 1991 George H.W. Bush had a 90% approval rating. When he ran for re-election in 1992 he received 37% of the vote. In 1994 the Republicans took back the house and the Senate, and Bill Clinton's approval rating's were in the low 30's. In 96 he won his re-election in a landslide. After the 2004 election pundints were saying that the Democrats will never win an Election again on the track there going down. But look what happened last year. Republicans can win in 2008 by nominating a strong conservative like Mitt Romney. I don't care that Chuck Hagel is Conservative on taxes and abortion. If I cant trust him on the most important issue of my generation, then I cant trust him to be my President.

Alex said...

Chip -- I appreciate your comments, but I think you are missing the point. First, you say that Hagel is "absolutely clueless over what to do in Iraq." On what do you base you claim? Did you see his interview with Charlie Rose? He specifically said that we need to move our troops out of Baghdad to patrol the border. Iraq is in the middle of a civil war, and Americans aren't even on one side of it! Bush keeps complaining about Iranians and Syrians helping the "insurgency," but what are we doing to secure the border? Nothing. Hagel has called for something to be done. What is Bush's plan to secure the Iraqi border? Answer: he doesn't have one.

Second, Hagel has said that we need to start withdrawing some American troops w/in 6 months. He realizes that the American military is in trouble, and if you don't believe it, just ask anyone over there right now. Plus, the future of Iraq will only be determined by Iraqis -- not by the American military.

This Iraq War has taken longer than it took us to defeat the German and Japanese Empires of World War II. Why should we continue to trust Bush? The only "embarrassment" for the Republican Party is the man sitting in the White House (and, no, I'm not a "liberal" -- I voted for Bush twice).

Third, MW is right -- Hagel is hardly an "embarrassment" to the GOP, but is the only Republican who can win in 2008. Chip, this is not 1992 or 1994 -- we are in the middle of a friekin' unpopular war, in which we have implemented a failed policy for four and a half years! 70% of the nation opposes Bush's "surge." 60% want the troops home within 6 months. Hell, even the troops themselves are opposed to an indefinite committment to Iraq. In 2006, the GOP lost for one reason -- Iraq. And, if things get worse in Iraq, which they will if this President continues to escalate our involvement in the Iraqi Civil War, then 2008 will be MUCH WORSE for the GOP -- unless, of course, the GOP forges a new direction.

Mitt Romney? You've got to be kidding me. Romney ran as a pro-choice candidate for Senate and Governor, but now is changing his mind on that for the presidential primary. Plus, he has ZERO foreign policy experience. You think a flip-flopper from Massachusetts with no experience or record on foreign affairs will win in 2008? No way.

Hagel championed Bush's tax cut (unlike McCain), voted against federal funding for embryonic stem cell research (unlike McCain), voted against the Medicare Plan of 2004, against No Child Left Behind, and dissented from the farm bill too. You tell me who's more conservative, Chip. Plus, is a traditional realist in foreign policy -- like Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, and Bush I. Bush II is more like Wilson and LBJ than any conservative, realist leader in the past.

Hagel is a true conservative who knows war all too well. Why the GOP treats him so poorly, but rallies to a failed President is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to the Bush-bots, Senator Hagel. Run in '08! Romney, a Massachusetts conservative? I guess there are firsts for everything. Hagel is more conservative than McCain, Rudy and Romney. Wish Senator Hagel was a little stronger on our border but McCain doesn't even acknowlege the illegal alien invasion as a problem.

We live in serious times and we need a serious leader. Senator Hagel displayed leadership yesterday. Leadership that America hungers for.

"Hagel, an embarrassment to the Republican party..?" He stands for what the Republican party used to stand for. Currently, the GOP is rudderless far from Reagan, far from conservative values. They've lost their way, out of touch in their DC bubble.

So, here's hoping Senator Hagel runs for President. My only other option would be to write in Ronald W. Reagan.

-- NJ

Anonymous said...

chuck hagel is the man!!!! he has courage to stand up to this clueless administration and congress, he has my support for the GOP nomination in 2008, best wishes Chuck!

Anonymous said...

I'm from Nebraska. We have been conservative since day one. Most people don't like Hagel because we all think that he is too "Democrat". I've voted for Bush once and would've voted for him twice had I been old enough to vote. Beyond all of my allegiance to the Republican Party I do realize that we are in a lot of trouble. Democrats are going to rule the country soon if the Republicans can't find a suitable candidate to run. I think Hagel is this person. I don't agree with everything he says, but having a conservative who is actually willing to work with the other side would do great for the country.

The caring middle eseastern/american, pacifist. said...

I enjoy your perspective Sen. Hagel. Especially, because you are one of the few senators who has been at war before. You have an honest account of issues facings America and the world, and you shed much needed light on the extent of mis-information that has led to decrease in constitutional liberty and image of this great nation.

I'm a middle eastern/US citizen who have seen the devastation of war and has experienced lack of liberty and freedom first hand. My house has been raided through the night by so-called revolutionaries that had only one view of what was right (much like President Bush's team) and were looking for smallest reason to imprison us. I am proud and very fortunate to live in the US and to call myself an American. However, as you have bravely and correctly pointed out in various interviews, war is not the answer to the middle east. We need diplomacy and economic stimulation so that the jihadists don't get recruited by radicals while they are in desperate socio-economic needs. Above all, we need to preserve liberties so eloquently placed in the constitution. Did you know our founding fathers were required to study Cyrus the great, the ruler of Persia? It is better to rule by love than to be feared. Find out more below:

http://www.spentaproductions.com/cyruspreview.htm

Thanks again Mr. Hagel. I appreciate your honesty and courage to speak the truth.

Scipio said...

Peggy Noonan had a pro Hagel article today in the Wall Street Journal. Noonan went wobbly long ago. She (like Hagel I suspect) has a strange fondness for Arab dictators and is drawn to the pro Hizbollah Hagel because he believes we should adequately address Muslim concerns about Israel. Hagel would trade Israel as Chamberlain traded Czechoslovakia, for promises of peace from dictators. Don't you just love the way the Hagels of the world pat themselves on the back for their courage, when it's really cowardice? If Hagel wants to be "courageous" let him vote to defund the troops.

Alex said...

Scipio -- Your allegations are ridiculous. First, Senator Hagel does not want a sudden withdrawal of troops from Iraq, so defunding the effort wouldn't make much sense. He wants our troops out of Baghdad, instead of patrolling the borders. He also wants to begin a gradual withdrawal. Defunding the war would prevent this strategy from being implemented. Just because we recklessly went into Iraq doesn't mean we recklessly leave.

However, unlike most Democrats and Republicans up to this point, Chuck Hagel is genuinely angry about the absolute disaster in Iraq. Men are dying, and Senators talk and posture and call each other names. Hagel is man enough to cut through the crap. Remember, he was critical FAR BEFORE it was popular to do so.

Second, I have no idea what you are talking about re: Israel. Has anyone advocated ceding Israel to Hizbollah? What the hell are you talking about? That's a strawman fallacy.

Vote Hagel in 2008. He's a true conservative who also happens to be on the right -- and now popular -- side of the foreign policy debate. If the Republicans think they can win with the neoconservative foreign policy platform, they are nuts. Message to the GOP: the people don't give a damn about your "democratic revolution" in Iraq. If the GOP squanders the entire conservative cause for a Wilsonian foreign policy, the GOP will be dead. Chuck Hagel is the obvious choice.

Anonymous said...

Dear scipio'ites: You are sadly missing the point. 3/4 of citizens couldn't be wrong! Think about this. The ultra-right wing people, like you, play to sense of patriotism of good people of America to progress the destruction of goodness. This is exactly what the fundamentalist in middle-east are doing. So you are not much different than those whom I escaped from. It will take another war and many billions of dollars more to perhaps make you more wobbly. The only ones who benefit from war are the corporations. Don't mistake support for troops with trying to stop this madness which was started by mis-information by warmonger with hidden agenda. Imagine how much good could have been done with $400+ billion that has been spent in a region where the average salary of a teacher is $10/month...

Anonymous said...

Senator Hagel along with most of the libs in this country are in denial that the "peace loving Muslims" either want our conversion or our death. Pick the first to stay alive and take the world back to the 7th century like the "peace at any price" buffoons. Or choose the 2nd tougher choice and be proud to eliminate them or go down trying.

Jack

Scipio said...

Hagel's view on the recent war in Lebanon (tell me which side he was favoring democratic Israel or Fascist Hizbollah).
"Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) offered a sharp critique of U.S. Mideast policy yesterday, saying the United States must engage Syria and Iran and warning that a close alliance with Israel must not come at the expense of relations with the Arab and Muslim world."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/29/AR2006072902146.html

Anonymous said...

3/4 of the people want us out??

Have you forgotten about the libs in CT. They had a choice between cut/run/quit Lamont and Victory Lieberman. Take your pick 1 or 2 (see my previous post)

Jack

Scipio said...

Anonymous wrote about me
"The ultra-right wing people, like you, play to sense of patriotism of good people of America to progress the destruction of goodness."
1. You have no idea what the bleep you are writing about. I am not a right winger - I am pro choice, support limited affirmative action and am indiferrent regarding gay marriage. So much for being an "ultra right winger."

Having written all this, I at least want to commend the owner of this site for allowing dissenting opinions to be published - something you owuld not see on The Daily Kos,Smeocratic Underground or the Huffington Post.
2. I don't give a rat's ass about Hagel's "fiscal conservatism" or his feelings on balancing the budget etc. His positions on the most important threats facing our Western Civilization which is coming from Islamofascism are shall we say weak. All I know is that he seems to be oblivious to the fact that there are real evil people out there, people under the name of Hizbollah, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc. who want to kill us and Hagel's ideas would make Neville Chamberlain seem like Winston Churchill. If he would stop posturing and political grandstanding and think for one nanosecond that he is giving aid and comfort to the forces that would destroy all of us. Yes I know he served in Vietnam but George McGovern was a decorated bomber pilot in World War II and he would have been a disastrous President in defending our friends and the freedoms we take for granted.
3. Hagel has to remember (or be reminded)that he is not yet Commander-in-chief. I think that if this was 1864 he would be with the Democrats just as he is now.

4. The true men of courage were Rick Santorum and George Allen who took an unpopular position for freedom and victory and lost their Senate seats because of it.

Anonymous said...

I don't deny that there are really bad people out there, and appreciate the dialogue. However, my point in all this is war will never be the answer to islomofacisit = neocons, etc... It only provokes more of the same.

Let me do the math for you...
$400 billion / $100 month (much more than I quoted before)/12 months = over 330 million families, supporting USA. 330 million X 4 average family size = 1.3 billion people. That is what Hezbollah is doing in the poorest parts of the world. I'm not implying to feed the world either. But if my tax dollar are being spent on war, I would much prefer it to be done to make peace.

People of Middle East (including Muslim, whom you are so scared of) love to live a life with liberty, democracy and dignity. The occupation of Iraq over false pretense does nothing to improve Middle East, nor will it reduce the treat of terrorism. It only lines the pocket of corrupt people with no remorse for human dignity.

Scipio said...

"People of Middle East (including Muslim, whom you are so scared of) love to live a life with liberty, democracy and dignity. "
Yes we have all seen what the Palestinians have done to advance, freedom, liberty and dignity in Gaza. They destroyed the greenhouses that were bought for them by outsiders, are now engaged in a violent civil war and still have time to commit acts of
agression against their Jewish
neighbor. It's all about jihad
isn't it? As far as being scared of Muslims well all I can say is that my definition of Islamophobia is
"a fear of people who want to kill you." As for "neoconservatism" whatever that means - be careful or you will be sounding like Chwissy Matthews and Pat Buchenwald.

Anonymous said...

Scipio... I hope you are not offended by my genuine interest to give you another perspective about the "others". Hope this helps.

The Palestinian issue is yet another feather in the cap of extremist on all sides to polarize Muslims, Jews and Christians. i.e. so that Ahmadinejad and his brutal company can remain in power and Dick and company can rob the bank while raping us of our civil liberties. The thing that bothers me the most about this debate is that I sense a great sincerity and passion in all the comments you've made. I try very hard to understand your point. However, please understand that your rhetoric -whatever you use- "islomophobia, islomofacism, islomo-etc..." is exactly the ammunition that the extremist use to infect minds. You just need to open your eyes and keep a more open mind, ignore what you hear from your unfair and unbalanced media.

Do you have an answer to my $400 billion + question? How many billions to destroy and how many more to put the pieces back together? And how many more innocent lives and families? Everyone has the same needs, dignity and liberties my friend. All men are created equal.

best regards,
your anonymous/pacifist friend

Anonymous said...

Jack: "Or choose the 2nd tougher choice and be proud to eliminate them (muslims) or go down trying."

Isn't this what Hitler and SS tried to do with the Jews? We need people like Chuck Hagel to stand up to bigots like you.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - me a bigot? I think not.
You, my dear friend are the bigoted one. It is folks like you that are willing to sell out your country, family, friends, etc for peace. You are bigoted because you and your ilk are so afraid of violence that you would completely knuckle under to any type of oppression. If you thought that I include all Muslims in my last post you are mistaken. There are millions of good and faithful Muslims in this world. Unfortunately, like you, they are afraid to shut down the ones of their faith (Islamofascists) who would take us all back to the 7th century. That is why I will stand and fight. Had there been more of you folks around 66 years ago we more than likely wouldn't be having this conversation. At least not in english.

Have a nice day,

Jack

Anonymous said...

Jack...

You take a stand for what? selling Saddam WMDs to to use against kurds and Iranians (not), sending my children and others to war to find the remnants of WMDs over fabricated intel (yes)? making money off of your Hal stock (yes)? reinvigorating extremism (yes)? You are correct about only one thing. This is not 66 years ago, the information is out there for you to find. And is much harder to fool people to blindly follow unnecessary wars.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous -


You take a stand for what? selling Saddam WMDs to to use against kurds and Iranians (not),

Allies come and go overtime. At least you admit the WMDs exist.

sending my children and others to war to find the remnants of WMDs over fabricated intel (yes)?

Same intel that was available to previous admin. they chose the easy road. Hans Blix and Co. apparently missed the convoys going into Syria.

making money off of your Hal stock (yes)?

Ah yes! - the "no bid" Haliburtin deal. Haliburtin is one of 2 companies in the world that is capable of doing what they do. The other is a French company - Ah yes our good friends the French.


reinvigorating extremism (yes)?

The Islamofascists feed on their own extremeism. If it weren't for Iraq it would be somewhere else. I assume you are ok with the coalition that went into Afganistan? They didn't attack us, nor did the Taliban. Everybody was on board after 9-11 when Pres. Bush said "We will track down and eliminate terrorists whereever we find them" (or words to that affect)


You are correct about only one thing. This is not 66 years ago, the information is out there for you to find. And is much harder to fool people to blindly follow unnecessary wars.


Sounds like you weren't on board for WWII. Yes the info is all out there to find. Even now you can be selective in what you believe.
I see you posted at 755PM last night. Did you leave the "Peace Rally" in DC early?


Jack

Anonymous said...

Jack. I will selectively read MLK, Ghandi and Mother Theresa's teachings over Fox news. I only watch Fox to see how the mis-information machine infects the mind of genuine people of America.

Also, I did rally for peace. I did hug the one soldier who, with pure intention, was standing against the crowd and I told him I was proud of him.

I'm glad I "knuckle" to create a better life for my children. I'm sorry that I didn't have a better solution for my country when I left. That is what the pilgrims did when they sailed form their oppression to a new world and built this nation. I am a parent, doctor, humanitarian and a pilgrim. And I'm a proud American. I consider myself fortunate, blessed and free from oppression.

America is still the most revered country for billions more like me whom I hope taste a nanosecond of my blessings. My message is that I hope we don't kill the hope of a billions more by our blindness to the truth.

Best of luck to you in searching for the truth. My advise for you is to remember that two wrongs don't make a right. This is what I hear from Sen. Chuck Hagel, whom I appreciate again for drawing me to this conversation.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Anonymous,

I'll assume you are not drinking your kool-aid out of a Rush Limbaugh mug. The folks you mention are all great people to be sure. Their methods certainly did work then, no doubt. However, how do you peacefully protest an enemy that reveers death more than life? How do you protest an enemy that is childlike in their dispostion? i.e. riots after unflattering cartoons are published in a Danish newspaper! Riots because of a made up story of Kurans being flushed down toilets by a so called jouralist - Isikoff (sp), who amazingly enough is still kept in high esteem by the mainstream media - especially MSNBC. I fear that it is you who is blind to the truth. There is also not much doubt about what is actually plattered up for us to see and hear by the media. In their eyes it is all bad, so naturally that is what alot of you believe and want to believe. You are being fed an agenda that is not realistic.

Jack

Dr. Anonymous said...

Jack:

I agonize with you when I see the childish behavior of the blind supporters of our mutual enemy (extremist). I, along with millions more around the world, have shed tears for the victims of extremism in Israel, Palestine, Iraq and USA. I am a Muslim, Jew and a Christian. I am a human.

The answer to your questions, my friend, is that unless we teach by our good example, as did MLK, Ghandi and Mother Theresa and many other good people before and after them, the extremist will always thrive. The time for their ways is NOW.

Two wrongs, don't make a right.

Dr. Anonymous said...

Jack please study the following teachings of MLK that hope will shed some light on the answer to your questions. I have taken this from:

http://afroamhistory.about.com/od/martinlutherking/a/mlks_philosophy.htm

King believed that there were six important points about nonviolent resistance. First, he argued that even though nonviolence may be perceived as cowardly, it was not. In fact, it was a method that did resist. According to King, a nonviolent protester was as passionate as a violent protester. Despite not being physically aggressive, "his mind and emotions are always active, constantly seeking to persuade the opponent that he is mistaken.”(2)

Second, the point of nonviolent resistance is not to humiliate the opponent, but instead to gain his friendship and understanding. Further, the use of boycotts and methods of non-cooperation, were the "means to awaken a sense of moral shame in the opponent.”(3) The result was redemption and reconciliation instead of the bitterness and chaos that came from violent resistance.

The third point King advanced was that the battle was against the forces of evil and not individuals. Tension was not between the races, but was "between justice and injustice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. And if there is a victory it will be a victory not merely for fifty thousand Negroes, but a victory for justice and the forces of light.”(4) Thus, tension only existed between good and evil and not between people.

Fourth, nonviolent resistance required the willingness to suffer. One must accept violence without retaliating with violence and must go to jail if necessary. Accordingly, the end was more important than safety, and retaliatory violence would distract from the main fight. King believed that by accepting suffering, it led to "tremendous educational and transforming possibilities" and would be a powerful tool in changing the minds of the opponents.(5)

King's fifth point about nonviolent resistance was that the "universe was on the side of justice." Accordingly, people have a "cosmic companionship" with God who is on the side of truth. Therefore, the activist has faith that justice will occur in the future.

You may also find the entire paper in "A Testament of Hope" edited by James Melvin Washington.

Best regards,

kimberly said...

I believe anyone who accuses Chuck of not having a "clue" as to how to proceed in Iraq is a CAMEL. Get your head out of the ground and learn before you start juding...you clearly know very little about him. How did you even find this site? I have sat feet away from Senator Hagel and I had not for a moment the a doubt that he was extraordinarily confident and honest. Bush will say things he doesn't know for PR. Hagel will say the honest to goodness truth. And maybe you should research why he changed tides on Iraq. It is commendable. Peace out!

Anonymous said...

Dr A.

There is hope! I see that we do have a few ideals in common. I did read the article of MLK's principals. Given time (and it did take him a long time), they might work with the extremists. I fear however that there is not much time left. There is a meglomaniac in Iran who will soon have his finger on a nuclear trigger. His belief is that he needs to resurrect the 5th Imam (sp) by bringing great chaos to the world. Is there any doubt in your mind that he is not bluffing?

Jack

P.S - Kimberly - I believe the animal you refer to is an Ostrich.

Dr A. said...

Jack,

He is not bluffing about the 12th Imam, just as Bush is not doubtful that 21,500 more troops will solve the issues of Iraq. We are dealing with hard-liners everywhere.

I have seen his footage on utube, when he had returned from his UN trip and was giving the other mullahs the account of his trip. Not only he was later mocked by his fellow hard-liners, but this was so ridiculous that millions like me pass the the footage to each other as a joke.

Even if he gets the nuke, Iran is not going to be a more danger to us than USSR during cold war. That is, unless we make this a bigger issue than it is. Hence, my stance and others to start negotiating instead of escalating this into a much larger regional/global issue. The reason for Iran's nuclear ambitions is the cleric regime feels threatened. They (correctly) feel nuclear weapon is the only safe way out of a conflict with USA. This goes back more than 50 years (Persian Puzzle is a good resource book to read more about this).

Sadly for Iranians, their future by noncooperation with the rest of western world is continued economic and social stagnation (much like Russia during the cold war). This will not change until the Iranians feel the need for a perestroika. That day will come only if we let the process work from within.

Dr. A.

Although I wish to be called just "a" :-)

Anonymous said...

Hello A,

Thank you - I couldn't remember if it was the 5th or 12th.

Again, we agree on some issues. The problem with making the assumption that the clerics will never allow the use of a nuke is they very likely will not have control of them. That is really the crux of the problem of the "War on Terror", we are not NOW at war with legitimate governments. That as you know is the fundamental issue with granting detainees POW status.

Just last week they caught some idiot with 2 lbs of weapons grade urainium in his possesion (presumeably from the USSR). If the Putin government can't safegaurd their nuke material, it is a long stretch of the imagination to believe that the Iranians will be able to control theirs. There is also the underlying fact that the North Koreans have been assisting the Iranians with their project. We do know that NK is nuclear capable now. I agree that there is quite a bit of dissention within Iran, however time is of the essence.

Regards,

Jack

a. said...

Thank you Jack.

The time is now to put an end to violence, otherwise, there is no doubt that Osama and co. have accomplished their mission. It would be a tragic insult to the constitution of America and dignity of a mankind to incite hate further than this.

I am not certain that I agree with your view regarding detainees without first giving them a fair trial. Perhaps, again I am worried about the day that my children or I be put in a prison because of our background or names. Do you know when the camps are going to be set up for us and when McCarthy is going to call us communists? And are you going to promise me that you are going to remember your non-violent american/iranian friend in shackles, who studied constitution , Franklin and Jefferson and once consider changing his name to Franklin before all this mess got started?

I apologize to you for over dramatizing this but these are the thought that go through my mind when I am reminded of names such as Detainee, enemy combatant, communist, etc... I've kept my middle-eastern-Arab sounding name, so that hopefully people see me as an example of hope from middle-east. There is so much hope.

Jack, I truly enjoy this discussion and appreciate you to write me back.

Best Regards, a.

Anonymous said...

Hello A,

If only it could happen - ending violence. Alas, I think that Allah/God (listed alphabeticaly) has his hand on the plug and will soon pull. I think the violence will end when Jesus and Muhammad (again alphabeticaly) come and say in unison
"MAY WE HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE!!"

I can't, nor can anyone in this country say what might happen in the future. What you are fearful of certainly did happen
during WWII. I personally wouldn't want that to happen and there are millions more in this country who would agree.
Unfortunately there is a perception in this country (I'm included) that good and decent people like you are allowing your
religion to be hijacked. I honestly don't know what can be done, but there are millions more good people then there are the extremists. Here of course I'm making an assumption that you are Muslim. I am a Roman Catholic, the church
has not been the best it could have been over the centuries - the Spainish Inquisition and the ignoring of the Jews in
Europe during the Hitler days come to mind and I'm sure there are many other instances. More recently the pedofile
priests that were hidden for awhile - but now being taken care of and removed and or jailed and rightly so. This leads me to a more on topic rant.

I can't believe that Sen. Hagel would want to be in the position of being in the same camp with the Dems/Libs. The Republicans aren't the pure and holy men of American politics, but there isn't one in office right now who is SUSPECTED of any improprities or corruption. They either resign or are removed from office immediately. The one exception might be Trent Lott, who, if you remember made a benign joke that the Libs and the Media front paged for weeks before he stepped down.
On the other side of the aisle - Ms. Pelosi - questionable realestate deals with member of her family on local zoning board
to enhance value. Harry Reid - questionable land deals - land bought from friend for pennies on the dollar and earmarked appropriations to build a bridge to said land to enhance value. Robert Byrd - doddering old fool - former member of KKK.
Ted Kennedy - Chapaquidick. Jack Murtha - on tape contemplating taking a $50K bribe. Wm. Jefferson - on tape taking bribes and actual cash found in his freezer. Granted - most unproven, but it is sickening how the Libs and the media in this country idolise these clowns.

You mentioned Pres. Jefferson - he was a an advocate of a representative government where someone from the general population would run for office, work in the government, then return home after a few years. "Term limits" if only it were so. If I had the time and the resourses I'd like to see how many assets our elected officials had when the got elected and see what their assets are now. I bet it would be very enlightning for us common folk.

A - I do enjoy this banter and I sincerly hope that you and your family will be safe from what may come. I will add you to the list of people in my prayers.

Best Regards to You A,

Jack

a. said...

Hello Jack:

Something very profound happened to me last night, and I want to share this with you...

My elementary-age daughter asked me out of blue, "Dad, do you count your blessings?" I told her I sometimes forget, but yesterday at lunch I had done so, coincidentally. (FYI, I normally forget to.) Then she asked, "Dad, suppose you are the owner of coffee shop in a city where there has been numerous tornadoes and your shop is the only one that keeps standing among your neighbors. Then supposed you are told that a tornado is coming; do you stay in your shop or do you go to a shelter?" I had to think about the answer for a few minutes. My response was, " It is nice to have faith that you are so loved by God that he will protect you, but God also gave us the ability to think and he demands from us to take precautions/action to take care of ourselves...so my answer is that I would go to a shelter." I also told her, rather confidently, "In fact, this is why they tell us when there is a fire, stop, drop and roll - and don't stand there praying to God." She told me, "Dad why don't they teach us not to start the fire in the first place?!" Later last night, before bed, we counted our blessings. And I prayed to God to help me not start any fires and help those that are putting out the fire.

I appreciate your prayers for me and my family sincerely. And no, I don't count our conversations as a banter. But I hope by now you have realized how much we have accomplished in this blog...that we understand that we have proven a fundamental point to each other - and perhaps others who have read this blog (hint to our leaders):

We started from vastly different points of views yet we share so much in common that we pray for each other's well being. My conclusion from waisting so much of your time and others who may be reading this, was to just get a mutual understanding that dialog and mutual respect may be the only method to come to a peaceful outcome.

As for my view about Sen. Chuck Hagel affiliation, who I admire so much for his courage to think and act differently, I would say... it is not our party affiliation that define us, it is our humanity that bonds us.

Best Regards, and thank you again.
a.

Anonymous said...

Charlie,

Anyway to post pics or attachments on thie Blog?

Thanks,

Jack

Anonymous said...

Hello A,

The story does ring true - very often people wait for God to intervene, not realizing he already has by giving us the tools and resources to survive.

You and I have come closer in our opinions, mainly because we are not fanatical in our beliefs. We are fortunate to live in one of the places in the world where free expression and freedom to dissent is not USUALLY questioned. However, I still think that you are missing the main point of my involvement.

The weak in this world, who most deserve peace are the least likely to attain it. Since the world was created it is nature’s way and now man’s way to prey on the weak or the perceived weak. In nature it is instinct, in man it is learned. The US has always been a beacon for the oppressed and a protector of the weak. We have been attacked through the years, maybe even before Pres. Carter, and I believe that our restraint was perceived as weakness. This philosophy, of course lead to more attacks. It is sad that we are vilified around the world for doing what we have always tried to do. Please understand that I do not think that we are infallible with what we try to do, but can you imagine a world without us?

I go back to mans learned hatred - in this country, hatred of others is not now institutional. The learned hatred in this country comes from the ignorance of family and peer groups. There are many places where children are institutionally taught hatred almost as soon as they are born. If you are taught right from the beginning to hate, you are not likely to have a differing opinion.
Especially when the differing opinion would mean your elimination from the planet. These are the folks that you would attempt to negotiate. I hesitate to mention this but I will. Have you seen the documentary "Obsession”? I have, and I believe it to be true. I also would like you to look at a picture that was recently sent to me. One of the things I thought of was "My God, this is what this country is about". Would there ever be a picture like this from the armies of those who you would negotiate? How much longer would a soldier from that army keep his head? Hopefully you will see the picture and its caption at the following link.

http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s6/jack83405/sol.jpg

The caption is not large enough to be viewable, I'll retype it here.

"Air Force Chief M. Sgt. XXXXX of the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group at Balad Iraq, cradles a young girl as they both sleep in the hospital. The girl's entire family was executed by insurgents; the killers shot her in the head as well. The girl received treatment at the U.S. Military hospital in Balad, but cries and moans often. According to the nurses at the facility, M.Sgt. XXXX is the only one who can calm down the girl, so has spent the last several nights holding her while they both sleep in a chair."

Again regards,

Jack

Charlie said...

I can post pictures and video, but not in the comments. If nothing else you can just post a link to them.

a said...

Hello Jack:

I strongly agree with the principle of your points, especially what America means to us ("Beacon of the oppressed and protector of weak"). I'm a living example. This is what I called preservation of Hope in my previous entries in this thread. Furthermore, I support the heroes of this country serving in the military around the world. They volunteered to uphold the values that so many good people have fought for: to make America a "beacon" of hope and land of Independence. And thank you for the touching picture.

However, what I think I disagree with you is on:
1. how we could best preserve this hope, and
2. whether our current role in the middle east is helpful in protecting America or is fueling extremism to the determent of both our American values and the hope of the oppressed.

And for goodness sake, please let's call it what it is...Our principle mission in Iraq was not to help the oppressed. Otherwise, Darfur would have been a much more suitable place to send our heroes. Our mission was to get rid of WMDs we supplied to Saddam and to destroy the regime we were told had aided the terrorists of 9/11. We were wrong on both accounts and this was a big lie which is costing unnecessary casualties and over $400 billion. Sadly, in this process we've created 1000s times more oppressed-fanatic people who idealize the disgusting monkey-Ahmadinejad many times more than our president.

I agree with you that hate is a learned process. Sadly, our strategists have missed this point; or perhaps this is their point, they just aren't letting us know.

Some thing is wrong with this picture, Jack. We need to fix it. My elementary-school daughter believes we should stop making fires. I think she is right.

I urge you to review the Declaration of Independence and draw similarities to our current day world.

http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

Regards, a.

Anonymous said...

Hello A,

1st – thanks for the response Charlie.

2nd – thank you Sen. Biden for backing up the point I made a couple of days ago. May we expect your resignation anytime soon?

3rd- Sen. Hagel, are you watching?

Ok A, hello again,

I’m sure that our current role in the Mideast is probably recruiting more extremists. I know that you
are of the opinion that the whole mission this time around was ill conceived. You weren’t a citizen of
Kuwait were you? I think that they were quite pleased with the 1st Gulf war. There was a large coalition
behind that action. Many Arab countries were also included (forgive the history lesson), they were more
than likely on board fearing that they might be next. Do you agree that the 1st Gulf war was necessary?
Well if you remember – that war never ended! It was stopped by a truce, and Saddam agreed to certain
requirements to prevent further hostilities. The always-competent UN was also part of the truce. I’ll cut
to the chase here and say the US made a mistake in listing the reasons for the 2003 invasion. All that was
necessary was to site that we were enforcing UN resolutions.

I agree – we should have gone to Sudan a long time ago. We were there, but we got beat up pretty badly so we ran away. (Perceived weakness). BTW did we have anything to do with the problems in that area? While we are on the subject of trouble spots, what about Kosovo – The US and NATO finally got in there,
as a matter of fact, if I’m not mistaken, we are still there in some fashion. I have always been troubled by that – where was the help from other Muslim countries when their members were being ethnically cleansed
in Kosovo. I don’t think we ever got a thankyou from any Muslim country for saving all those people. Is it possible that in order to be a real Muslim you must also be of Arab decent? I don’t mean that as a jab, but as a question.

I do agree with you and your daughter about making fires. It is usually not the US that starts them. What
do you suppose would happen if we disbanded our military and threw our weapons into the ocean?
In your world – we’d be safe – nobody would hurt us because we are now at peace. Another scenario,
What would happen if all the extremists surrounding Israel gave up their rockets, bombs, guns, suicide
vests, etc.? There really would be peace. Now, suppose instead, Israel dumped their military and weapons.
Israel would be annihilated!

If we were isolationist because there was the possibility that someone would hate us, the world would be an entirely different place. Quite possibly you and your family would not be here now. You see, A, we are still very far apart in our philosophy of what the US should or should not do. It is unlikely that you are going to turn me into a pacifist and I’m not going to turn you into a hawk. But that’s ok – there are plenty of both of us around and at least for a time there will be more.

Regards,

Jack

a. said...

Dear misguided:

Throughout this thread I have given you first hand (very personal) account of my experiences, not my party affiliation, religious bliefs or blind support for an ideology. You can scream, mock and ridicule my differing opinions all you want. But I hope I have given you something to think about. Instead of trying to defeat me and top my words, please listen to what I'm saying and why I'm a pacifist.

Next time you are reading or attending a hawk meeting; please remember another first hand account of war from Dr. A's experience:

When I was a child (please refer to the picture you sent me) on the receiving end of the scuds, mirages and exoset(sp) missiles that the hawks had provided saddam, we used to all stay/sleep in the same room at night. Our biggest PRAYER was "GOD if we are going to die, please take us all at the same time!”

You see, Jack, the human aspect of war, is something I doubt very much that 99% of the hawks have ever experienced. That is why we are so far apart in our believes. I'm afraid many people in America have not ever experiences this. The closet we may have encountered recently is Katrina, which is a speckle in comparison to constant barrage of missiles fired in Middle East everyday.

The picture of M. Sergeant X. was a nice beginning (tip of the needle) for you and I to come closer together in this experience. I could only imagine what sad thoughts are going through his mind as he is embracing the little girl shot in the head. I think his biggest question is WHY? I don't believe any answer we give him is going to be 100% satisfactory, especially if he was sent to battle over a big lie and for spreading of the doctrine of hate (or another four letter word starting with H).

I wish you peace my friend and keep you in my prayers.

BTW- Don't forget we gave saddam the green light to invade Kuwait so we can spread our bases in the Middle-east. Did you see Exon's financial report (the largest profit in history of any American corporation)? BP, etc.. are soon to announce record profits from the bloodshed happening overseas.

Question WHY! and pray for peace on earth.

a.

a said...

Jack:

I need to make one clarification to my previous entry, so that it is not misconstrued out of context. I would like to remind you again that I am passionate about American values and human dignity. That is why I'm hoping my speaking here will aid in their preservation-and not the opposite. My intention is to convey to you a potentially peaceful alternative (through dialog and mutual understanding) to counteract the forces of evil around our globe, it is not meant to be personal or disrespectful. I do apologize in advance if some of my comments may have appeared this way. My only intention is to be part of solution.

Regards,
a.

Anonymous said...

Hello A,

I may appear to scream, but to mock and ridicule you? No – you do not deserve that type of treatment. There are those that share many of your views that I woudn’t hesitate to mock or ridicule. They are the hypocritical libs in this country that are holier than thou and want to protect us from ourselves and want to redistribute the wealth from those that produce in this country to the parasites that don’t. You mention the obscene profits from the oil companies – well, they are in the business to sell oil. They owe it to themselves and their shareholders to make as much as possible, they charge what we will spend. There are very few capitalistic companies in this world who would not charge market price for their product. Soon you’ll be paying a fortune for oranges – don’t buy them – the price will go down. Sadly, we don’t have that choice when it comes to oil. You indicate that the oil companies profits are obscene, well you say you are a doctor, I think that when I pay $80 for a 4 minute visit to a doctor – that’s pretty obscene too!

Oil is the lifesblood of this country, we can’t live without it. I wish I had $1 for everytime I heard “blood for oil” or “war for oil” This country imports 58% of its current consumtion. 24% of that 58% comes from the Mideast. We could function without that oil if the libs allowed us to drill for our own reserves, allowed us to build more refineries and build nuke plants so that we could use less oil. Golly, they have coniption fits about putting up windmills because of migrating birds or blocking a view. Do I think that we would go to war if the supply was threatened? In a heartbeat! The alternative would be like living in the 18th century. Even the hypocritical libs wouldn’t stand for that.

I am sorry about your childhood memories. I was 21 when I spent 1968 in Viet Nam, I’m not unfamiliar with explosives coming from the sky. I was scared all the time. I was fearful for myself and my friends. Luckily my family was safe here. But I can honestly say that it must not have been anything at all like what you went through. You are here because you saw value in the idea of America, maybe you are here to find the answer to the WHY? that you keep mentioning. There is not likely to be an answer that we’d both be satisfied with.

I am familiar with most of the conspiracy theories but I honestly haven’t heard of the one where we gave Saddam the “green light” to go into Kuwait.

Your apology was not necessary, although I did detect a little hypertension (what I learned for $80) in your last post.

Regards,

Jack

a said...

Good Morning My Friend:

I think we are making progress... You and I both agree that protecting the vital oil supply is a fundamental aspect of this war. It is in our national interest to have a control in the region, not only for the reasons you correctly listed in your comments, but also, to control supply to other allies and potential foes (Western Europe, China, India, etc..). There are other reasons, but I think this is one of the key points of our contention in the region, which is not openly discussed in the media.

Jack, without understanding the WHY, it is most difficult to formulate a HOW. We, humans, often chose the easiest/most convenient WHY, which unfortunately often leads to more confusion, and requires our multiple attempt at HOW. As Sen. Hagel points out, "our soldiers are not beans to be put in harms way", I have gone one step further and said that no innocent life is a "bean". I agree with him strongly in that we need a new strategy based on discussion and understanding of the WHY. This is a fundamental aspect of my support for Sen Hagel's view. This nation is at war, we should not accept the WHY by just scratching the surface; mistaken/misunderstood WHYs has led and will lead to a worse outcome. Bagdad is not Berlin in WWII. Bagdad is becoming the hub of extremist with no prospect for future. When members of the same country/religion are willing to kill one another by strappings bombs to their bodies, we have to pause and question if our HOW is working to address the WHY. Or if we need to re-examine the WHY.

I appreciate you, once again, for caring enough to listen. And sorry for the $80 visit.

Best Regards,
a.

Anonymous said...

Hello A,

I think that regrdless of the HOW or WHY one of our intentions was to bring freedom to another 25 million people, which was somewhat accomplished. WHY there are so many that don't accept the gift they were given is indeed puzzling. I'll assume that centuries of hate and mistrust are part of the WHY. I'll also assume that a few people in power think that their interpretaion of the Kuran is worth all the misery that the interpretation causes. There are many different versions of the bible, but none of them goto such
extremes of belief that is inherent in the interpretation of the Kuran. The part that we are most familiar with is the topic of "Jihad" Most Muslims believe that it is a battle within oneself to resolve issues to make onesself better. We all know of the other interpretation. I could be totally wrong here, but that's what I understand. That's the part of the WHY that results in the current HOW. What a jumble this is getting to be.

We are in Iraq, this might be the last chance to make things better. I would hate to see it get worse, but it could. Sen. Hagel and most of the Dems want to vote on a non-binding resolution expressing their displeasure with this last attempt. Do you think the "beans" are going to feel "supported" with this worthless piece of legislation?
The "beans" are going in no matter what. Let's not have them feel like we think they will fail and that their mission is useless.

Who should we be talking to? There seems to be a few hundred self interested groups over there.

Regards,

Jack

Anonymous said...

Hey A,

Hope you are ok. Haven't heard from you in awhile. Did you catch
Sen. Hagel on "meet the Depressed" yesterday? What bags of wind he and his dem buddies are. More importantly did you see Sen Durbin on Cspan reading the article about the Sudan? Had he not mentioned Darfur you'd have thought he was talking about Iraq. I tell you I can't imagine a more hypocritical bunch of losers. Have you given up on our negotiations? Like talking to a wall isn't it?!

Regards,

Jack