In an interview with Der Spiegel, Senator Chuck Hagel takes credit for Senator Barack Obama’s isolationist rhetoric. Hagel laughingly says Obama “has accepted my position and my direction.” True, there are differences. But, looking at the quotes below, can you determine who said what?
• “We went into Iraq based on flawed judgment, based on dishonest motives, based on flawed intelligence, and we have a very, very big problem today.”
• “If you engage a world power or a rival, it doesn’t mean you agree with them or subscribe with what they believe or you support them in any way…What it does tell you is that you’ve got a problem you need to resolve. And you’ve got to understand the other side and the other side has got to understand you.”
• “This administration was hell-bent on going to war in Iraq.”
• “No, I wasn’t wrong about [the surge]. We’ve lost over 900 dead Americans since the surge. Now if you want to dismiss that as “success,” that’ll be your interpretation.”
• “That’s right, this is a–this is a civil, sectarian war. Yes, al Qaeda’s there. Yes, terrorists are there. But they are not the predominant aspect of this. And I’m really sorry to see some of the administration continue to say that this is the [central] front [in the war] on terrorism, this war. It’s not. This is a sectarian, civil war.”
• “We are eroding our military power at a time when our country faces an increasing arc of challenges and threats across the globe. We are abusing our all-voluntary force in a dangerous and irresponsible way.”
Answer: All of the above quotations are Hagel’s–even if each sounds like Obama.
Since becoming an outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and, more famously, the Iraq war in Iraq, Hagel has become the Left’s favorite Republican. But do the similarities between the two senators–specifically on foreign policy–mean that the Democrats have merged with the paleocons?