There are few people I have more respect for today than Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel. Senator Hagel has proven that he can rise above partisan divide to do what he feels is right in spite of partisan politics. The Vietnam War veteran stated yesterday in the Senate foreign relations committee:
”There is no strategy. This is a ping-pong game with American lives. These young men and women that we put in Anbar province, in Iraq, in Baghdad are not beans. They’re real lives. And we better be damn sure we know what we’re doing – all of us – before we put 22,000 more Americans into that grinder… I think all 100 senators ought to be on the line on this. What do you believe? What are you willing to support? What do you think? Why were you elected? If you wanted a safe job, go sell shoes.”
The issue of our strategy in Iraq and whether or not to escalate our involvement in the Iraqi civil war and put more American lives at risk is a fundamental question for our country, a question on which all of our representatives must vote their conscience, no matter what the political consequences. There are many good reasons to have a two party system, but I deeply hope that our leaders can overcome the pressures of partisanship to make the right call for the country.