Sunday, August 21, 2005

Note to Senator Hagel: Stop encouraging the enemy in Iraq

Senator Chuck Hagel may have some valid concerns about the strategy behind the war effort in Iraq, but he keeps voicing them in ways that only encourage the enemy.

Again this weekend, he compared Iraq to Vietnam and said we should "get out" instead of defeat the roadside bombers and al Qaeda terrorists there.

A decorated Vietnam veteran, Hagel's words have heft, but he seems to be suffering still from Vietnam syndrome. The terrorists' strategy is to wear us down with constant small attacks, hoping that we become demoralized and go home.

Senator Hagel has fallen into the trap.

The senator is showing the terrorists that their strategy is working: he's proving that their constant roadside bombings are causing people in Washington to lose heart and quit. Recently al Jazeera trumpeted Hagel's comments that the US was "losing" the war.

As a United States senator of the president's own party denouncing the conflict the way he has been doing, Hagel is giving political cover to the defeatists here at home. (Meanwhile Joan Baez is down in Crawford, celebrating the "huge" antiwar movement in formation.)

Chuck Hagel likes to think of himself as a thoughtful guy. Instead of sowing defeatism, he should be suggesting ways to accelerate a US-led victory in Iraq. That way our troops will come home more quickly - and triumphantly.


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