To the editor:
"Tell me I was right on Iraq!"
Essentially, that's what Sen. McCain said during most of his time in today's confirmation hearing for Chuck Hagel. And that sums up why the die had been cast on the Hagel nomination, before we even got to these hearings today, which I am currently at. This vote, I believe, is a referendum on neocon policy, not on Chuck Hagel.
Chuck Hagel, one of the first Republicans to stand up to President Bush on Iraq. Chuck Hagel who opposed the surge in Iraq, and in Afghanistan, and is against preemptive wars as a first option. Chuck Hagel being confirmed would put a nail in the coffin of neocon military policy. And that drives senators on the right insane.
That's why instead of looking ahead to issues we urgently face, in terms of a readied military that can meet commitments, McCain tried to bully Senator Hagel into saying McCain was right on the war in Iraq, and on the surge there. Of course, McCain wasn't right on the war, and wasn't right on the surge. Iraq stabilized not because of our increased military presence, but because of the Sunni awakening. In short, Iraq stabilized when Iraqis finally wanted that.
In short, Republicans have made a farce of these hearings. We know most of them are neoconservative, and therefore will vote against Hagel as a means to preserve their own influence and the influence of other neocons over our military. More reasonable senators making up a majority, will vote for Hagel. Chuck Hagel will be confirmed, and neoconservative influence over our military policy will finally, and thankfully, be dead.