Saturday, February 16, 2013


Republican Senator John McCain joined his buddy Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham and other Republican Senators in blocking the confirmation of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense all because Hagel spoke out seven years ago against the Iraq war and was opposed to "the surge."

The filibuster by Republicans puts on hold Hagel's appointment as Secretary of Defense for at least ten days.

Hagel was right seven years ago when he said the cost in blood and treasure was not worth going to war with Iraq that didn't have any weapons of mass destruction and the capability of making a nuclear bomb.

Hagel also was opposed to highly touted "surge" and again he was right because it was the tribal members of the Sunni element in Iraq who drove Al Qaeda out of several provinces in Iraq while U.S. troops were used as backup.

The Iraq war, which was sold to America and Congress by Vice President Dick Cheney, eventually cost the lives of over 4,700 young Americans as well as over 70,000 American troops seriously wounded, including some with wounds that will leave them disabled for the rest of their lives.

It is also estimated that upwards of one million Iraqi citizens were killed during the course of the Iraq war.

And to add insult to injury, the Bush administration never added the cost of the Iraq war, estimated to be nine billion dollars a month, to the deficit and was only discovered when the Obama administration moved into the White House.

There are still 66,000 troops in Afghanistan and "the grudge" by McCain, Graham and other Republicans leaves them high and dry without Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense over what amounts to a petty and childish grievance.

The Huffington Post reported the following on Saturday:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that Republican opposition to defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel can be traced back to the former Republican senator's attacks on George W. Bush over the Iraq War.

McCain, who voted to delay a final vote on Hagel's confirmation, told Fox News' Neil Cavuto that Hagel's old colleagues haven't forgotten his criticism of former President Bush.

"To be honest with you, Neil, it goes back to-- there's a lot of ill will towards Senator Hagel because when he was a Republican, he attacked President Bush mercilessly, at one point said he was the worst president since Herbert Hoover, said the surge was the worst blunder since the Vietnam War, which is nonsense, and was anti his own party and people," McCain said.

"People don't forget that," McCain continued. "You can disagree, but if you're disagreeable, people don't forget that."

McCain also cited concerns with Hagel's experience as well as his "troubling" answers on Iran.

The Arizona senator is one of 40 Republicans who voted against invoking cloture and ending the GOP filibuster on Hagel's nomination. Despite the hold up, Hagel appears likely to be confirmed once Congress returns from a 10-day recess.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday that the Republicans' filibuster was "really unfortunate."

"This isn't high school getting ready for a football game," Reid said. "We're trying to confirm somebody to run the defense of our country."

Bill Corcoran, Chicago

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