Chuck Hagel: A Man for All Seasons
Despite the title of this blog entry, a veiled reference to the senator from Nebraska's flip-flop on the war, I welcomed him to the anti-war side of the debate. I was glad to see a such a strongly conservative voice see the error of his ways and realize that this war in Iraq represents the worst imperialist arrogance, which is hardly a traditional conservative value.
But one thing I will not tolerate from these anti-war-come-latelys is illustrated by one of Hagel's quotes in his recent interview in Esquire magazine:
"Congress abdicated its oversight responsibility," he says. "The press abdicated its responsibility, and the American people abdicated their responsibilities. Terror was on the minds of everyone, and nobody questioned anything, quite frankly."
Screw that noise, senator. The president and his abettors in Congress (meaning you), along with a healthy portion of the American populace, dragged me kicking, screaming, punching, biting, and thrashing into this war. So don't dare try to lay even a shred of the blame for this crap at my feet. I recall watching Colin Powell's horseshit speech before the U.N., in which he tried to pass off cartoons and grainy photos as proof positive that the Iraqis had chemical and biological weapons. I remember thinking, once the speech ended, "Well, that oughtta sink this stupidity." And yet, when Wolf Blitzer came on, he was falling all over himself to commend the open-and-shut case Powell had just laid out. It was as though we had seen two separate speeches.
No doubt, Senator Hagel, you saw the Blitzer version.
Later in the interview, Hagel goes on to say:
"There were two reasons I [voted for the Iraq War Resolution]. I believed what the administration said, that war would be a last resort, and the second thing is, at a critical time like this, the president needs a strong hand, and to some extent, you've got to trust him, until he lies or screws up or something."
Well, if that's the case senator, then you were both foolish and naive. I agree that you should have some level of trust in your leaders until they "lie or screw up or something." But by the time of the resolution, Bush had already done that many times over. And did you honestly believe that a vote for the Iraq War Resolution would not be used by Bush to go to war? Don't patronize me. For someone as blunt as yourself, it's even less becoming that it is the typical silver-tongued snakes of Washington.
Senator Hagel's uttering of the word "impeachment" is the part of the Esquire article that was spread far and wide after it hit the stands. But, while I welcome Hagel's joining those of us who have always employed reason and critical thinking to our opinions of the Iraq War, I will not let him drag me, and everyone else who saw through the lies and manipulations of the Bush administration's casus belli, through the mud in a vainglorious attempt at revisionist history.
We have always been here, senator. From the moment the first drum beats of war began. Welcome. Pull up a chair. But don't believe for a second that you were the first one to the party.