Monday :: Jul 31, 2006

Hagel Breaks With White House - Calls For Immediate Cease Fire

by Steve

Chuck Hagel becomes the first GOP senator to break with the White House and call for an immediate cease-fire. And for all you fire-breathing fighting keyboardists on the right, tell me again how war veteran Hagel is a terrorist sympathizer.

"The sickening slaughter on both sides must end now. President Bush must call for an immediate ceasefire. This madness must stop," Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, a possible candidate in the 2008 presidential election, said on the Senate floor.
Hagel, the second-ranking Republican on the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee and a critic of Bush's war in Iraq, said the US link to Israel was a "special and historic one" but also coming at the cost of relations with Arab states.
"It need not and cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relationships," he said.

Hagel said it was neither in US or Israeli interest to isolate themselves from Europe and the Arab world by pursuing the Lebanon campaign in the face of mounting criticism of its mounting civilian toll.

"The United States and Israel must understand that it is not in their long-term interests to allow themselves to become isolated in the Middle East and the world," Hagel said.
He argued the military campaign will do little to weaken either Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas in the Gaza Strip -- both recognized as terrorist organizations by Washington.
"Military action alone will not destroy Hezbollah or Hamas," said Hagel.
And he urged Bush to revise his policy of isolating Iran and Syria for their support of Hezbollah, saying a meaningful political settlement was unachievable without engagement of both countries.
"Both countries exert influence in the region in ways that undermine stability and security," Hagel argued. "Both Damascus and Tehran must hear from America directly."

Why is Hagel the only GOP senator with such far-sightedness? Why doesn’t John McCain think of the big picture like Hagel does?

(Hat tip to reader Eric)

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