While I wish Sen. Hagel was correct that: "We are once again learning a very hard lesson in foreign affairs: America cannot impose a democracy on any nation--regardless of our noble purpose." I truly doubt this because it will only be true if a coherent criticism of the authoritarian pseudo-conservative 'tough' foreign policy position can be systematically countered by an organized articulate opposition. This takes numbers of people, an articulated position and, most of all, guts. The fear-mongers of the right have the easiest sell and too often there are 'liberals' who join them in advocating a combative, militaristic, crusading foreign policy. Reasonable critics of the 'bully' theory of foreign policy must have the courage to stand for what they believe even in the face of being called names like 'soft' and 'appeasers'.
The time for more U.S. troops in Iraq has passed. We do not have more troops to send and, even if we did, they would not bring a resolution to Iraq. Militaries are built to fight and win wars, not bind together failing nations. We are once again learning a very hard lesson in foreign affairs: America cannot impose a democracy on any nation -- regardless of our noble purpose. We have misunderstood, misread, misplanned and mismanaged our honorable intentions in Iraq with an arrogant self-delusion reminiscent of Vietnam. Honorable intentions are not policies and plans. Iraq belongs to the 25 million Iraqis who live there. They will decide their fate and form of government.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Chuck Hagel's Views on Iraq
Senator Chuck Hagel Republican of Nebraska has written an excellent article for the Washington Post outlining his latest assessment of the Iraq war. Here are a few of his comments: