Dont be the fool
The Feb. 9 edition of The Times Argus reported the confirmation hearing of Sen. Hagel to be the new Pentagon chief. At the confirmation hearings, I noticed he has some hard-core right wing enemies who are trying to hold up his appointment by unprecedented standards and rules that were not used in any previous appointments for defense secretary. His enemies, both Democrat and Republican, are known to be right-wing militants.
Some of them championed the Bush and Cheney doctrine of pre-emptive wars. They were raring to go into Iraq in order to grab the weapons of destruction that didn’t exist. Now they are raring to rush into Iran. This group turned down the chance to be warriors in the Vietnam war. Now they are against Sen. Hagel and calling him an “oppressor” who is too hesitant to charge into war.
Unlike them, Sen. Hagel fought in Vietnam and knows something about war. He has been there, not as an advisor or visiting official, but as an enlisted man. He believed the lies his government used to send troops into battle. He enlisted to go to Vietnam, into the thick of battle. He came away with two Purple Hearts, a chest full of shrapnel and bad burns. He also gained a unique outlook on the use of military might. Wounded in 1968, Hagel says he told himself, “If I ever get out of this and I’m ever in a position to influence policy I will do everything I can to avoid needless, senseless wars.”
Sen. Hagel deserves a fair hearing for his insight into the problems of the past. There is an old saying, “Fool me once and shame on you; and fool me twice and shame on me.”
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