Chuck Hagel was on the Today Show. The Washington Post has a story. “Hagel Ponders White House Run as War Criticism Raises His Profile — His Republican colleagues regard him warily. The White House barely speaks to him. He is reviled by his party’s conservative base. Looks as though Sen. Chuck Hagel is on a roll.” What a conclusion! “Both parties have their Iraq war contrarians. For the Democrats, it is [Lieberman; for the Republican it’s] Hagel, a career maverick from Nebraska and the only GOP senator to call for an end to the war.” Want to listen to a little bit of this? The Washington Post is holding this — and the rest of the Drive-By Media holding this — guy out as a legitimate, genuine presidential contender! I told you yesterday: everybody in the city of Washington DC, is so woefully out of touch, it is striking! Chuck Hagel has launched himself to the top of the Republican presidential list with this stance that he is taking on the war in Iraq? Let’s go Meredith Vieira on the Today Show today. “Senator, at this point do you believe that we are fighting and dying for nothing?”
HAGEL: Congress needs to take a look at it, and each member of Congress needs to go on the record and need to address the issue in a very clear way so that they can go back to their constituents and say, “Yes,” I either support an escalation of putting 22,000 more American troops in the middle of a sectarian civil war, or I don’t. Take a stand. That’s why we’re here.
RUSH: Go ahead and take your stand, but you are not a commander-in-chief and neither are the other 98 or 99 members of the US Senate. This is unspeakable, to undermine the war effort here — and, of course, all of this fawning coverage is exactly the point. Senator Hagel, I’m sure, would love us to believe that this is his principled position, and if it is, we’re in even bigger trouble than I thought. But part and parcel of this is getting precisely this kind of adoration from the Drive-By Media. It is a classic Republican script. They live in Washington. They are dominated by the liberal social and political class structure there, and they don’t like it, and they want to be considered important and big, and they want to be big men on campus, so to speak. The only way to get fawning coverage is to come out against your own party, your own president, particularly on an issue so wired like this that all of the media will love you for it because it’s their position, too. I.E: America must lose. Meredith Vieira says, “Senator, do you believe that we are fighting and dying for nothing at this point when you answered the question?”
HAGEL: When you say “dying and fighting for nothing,” well, what are the parameters? What’s the definition? What is it that we are seeking? Men and women are dying, and when men and women are dying, the American people require, they expect, us to do these kinds of things. That’s part of our job. We’re not trying to hurt the president. Nobody wants to defeat America. That’s not what we’re trying to — to do here.
RUSH: If he really means that, then it’s worse than I thought. We’re not trying to defeat America? We’re not trying to hurt the president? That’s not what we’re trying to do? If you were trying to secure defeat for America, senator, and if you were trying to hurt the president, tell me what you would be doing differently. I dare say, it wouldn’t be much! So, he can go out and try to negatively impact the war effort and victory, and he can go out, and he can undercut the president as commander-in-chief in his own party, and then he can say, “That’s not what I’m trying to do. No, no, no, no! People are dying.” Yeah, 7,000 a year die from faulty prescriptions that the pharmacists couldn’t read. They give the wrong medicine to a patient and they’re pushing up daisies a short time later. Seven thousand! How many people die in automobile accidents?
This business of death in Iraq… I guess automobile accident death, that’s okay, and I guess these 7,000 deaths every year because of faulty prescriptions, that’s something we can put up with. We can put up with that because we’re not doing anything about it. But somehow a number of deaths involving US military in the middle of what they say is an “insurgency civil war,” somehow that’s just not tolerable! Why, we cannot put up with that! We must change this! I’m telling you, there’s a whole sense of proportion missing here. The next sound bite, Vieira says, “Senator, let me tell you what Senator Hatch had to say about you recently. He said, ‘I really don’t understand Senator Hagel but playing around with resolutions when we all know we gotta stay and get the job done doesn’t make any sense. Most Republicans want us to win over there?”
HAGEL: What do you mean, win? This is not a matter for the US to win or lose. This is not a prize. Are we going to just blindly continue to feed more troops, uh, into this situation, a sectarian civil war, that American troops cannot win? We put these young men and women in situations, uh, where — where — where they can’t win. So somebody better ask some questions.
RUSH: Keep asking them, senator, and if your presidential perspirations will continue to evaporate. Can’t win? There’s nothing to win? Let me ask you, folks, do you think a defeat of the insurgency and securing of Baghdad and an end to all of these explosions and burning cars on TV at night would be considered a victory? Would you consider the US military effectively stomping the insurgency a victory? Senator Hagel does not! He doesn’t even think that victory is possible! This is the United States of America. This is a man now being lauded as a potential great presidential candidate. It’s embarrassing, folks. What are you people in Nebraska eating or smoking the last ten years or so?
RUSH: Matt in Norfolk, Virginia, welcome. By the way, we had quite an interesting guy from Norfolk yesterday. He sounded like a New York cabdriver.
CALL: Well, that’s definitely not me. I’m a veteran, Navy veteran, conservative, and I must say I agree with you on almost every issue except I am kind of seeing where Senator Hagel is coming from, and the reason isn’t so much there’s never deaths and everything, but I think if you look back at American military history, you always have to have some type of viable policy. So like when we did the D-Day invasion, we saw an exercise — you know, we saw the possibility or chance of victory. They’re always saying before that you needed, like, four or five hundred thousand troops do the population to really bring stability over there. So I think one of the things he’s wondering is: What is an extra 20,000 troops going to do? That said and done, I mean, I think it’s worth giving General Petraeus a chance, but I think… I’m just leaving the question open is… If people, generals in the past have been saying that we need 500,000 troops to do the job over there, why are we talking about an extra 20,000 here and thinking that there’s going to be, you know, a different outcome?
RUSH: Well, I find it interesting that here you have the commanding general who says 20,000, 21,500 works fine. The commanding general you don’t want to listen to. You want to come up with all these generals who aren’t there, these armchair generals who throw about all these different numbers out: four or five hundred thousand. The minimum wage is, what, 5.15 an hour? It’s going to go up two bucks an hour. I could easily say that increasing the minimum wage a couple bucks an hour isn’t going to make any difference. To hell with it! Let’s not do it. And of course the same people would have the same reaction, “What do you mean? It would be a huge difference! Two bucks an hour increase from five dollars!” No, it’s not going to make any difference in people’s lives, a couple bucks an hour phased in over two years.
RUSH: But that’s a defeatist attitude. The whole point here, to me, is that we have a plan, and the commanders have put it together with the president, and this is what they think they can do. We’ve got a commanding general who’s done this in Mosul and a couple of other Iraqi cities, and it’s worth the effort. You want to call here with defeatism and so forth and talk about D-Day and World War II. I’ll guarantee you, if Chuck Hagel had been around during D-Day with the same kind of media we have today, he would have demanded that the invasion stop after the landing because there had been so many deaths. War is not something you put on a timetable! You don’t say, “We’re going to start at this date and we’re going to quit this date no matter what happens.” War is something where you have an objective called victory, and you keep going until you get it — at least that’s what we used to do, and at least the majority of the American people used to understand that, but they don’t anymore. The idea that people didn’t even want to give this a chance, that they don’t even want to try it, leads me to ask, “What else in their lives do they give up without achieving anything?” Maybe that’s why they’re miserable: because they themselves are personal failures and they want a lot of people to join them.