October 13, 2005

Senator Hagel in the Cairo paper and more

I like to look for references to Nebraska in the foreign press. Today I find Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel in the Cairo paper. Al-Ahram's weekly on-line edition just came out, and reprints Immanuel Wallerstein's recent article "Exit Strategy", which quotes Hagel:
"I think the strongest sign of a change in mood in the US is that one of the candidates for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 2008, Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, says the US is getting "more and more bogged down in Iraq", that the president should meet Cindy Sheehan, and that the White House is "disconnected from reality and losing the war". It does not matter whether Hagel is right. The important thing is that he's running for the Republican nomination, and he must think that there are Republican voters who will respond to the validity of his analysis. Hagel is in fact moving faster than the leading Democratic politicians, except for Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, also a candidate for a presidential nomination, who has called officially for a withdrawal from Iraq by the end of 2006."
Wikipedia's article on Immanuel Wallerstein says he has become "a grey eminence with the anti-globalization movement within and without the scientific community, along with Noam Chomsky and Pierre Bourdieu." It irks this Nebraskan to see Hagel's words used to undermine President Bush's foreign policy on the 'Arab street'. And quoted for support by a Marxist nut whose mantras include such gems as "Pax Americana is over."
Meanwhile, at The Nation, McCain and Hagel, are named as colleagues in the "attempt to corral Bush" into being nicer to terrorists. How can one cat come down on the losing side of so many issues? Examples of Hagel's questionable judgement calls are popping up all over the place this week.

USA Today has a puff piece on "strange alliances" in Washington, D.C. which pairs up Senator Hagel with Hillary R. Clinton. "You often end up working with people with whom you have a good, positive personal relationship, even though you don't agree on many issues," says Senator Clinton. What about this good, positive personal relationship with that nasty skank, Senator Hagel? I don't like the sound of it.

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