Hagel Lays It On The Line
"I don't know how many United States senators believe we have a coherent strategy in Iraq. I don't think we've ever had a coherent strategy," said Hagel. "In fact, I would even challenge the administration today to show us the plan that the president talked about the other night. There is no plan."
"I will not sit here in this Congress of the United States at this important time for our country and in the world and not have something to say about this. And maybe I'll be wrong. And maybe I have no political future. I don't care about that.Here's the video of a good part of what Hagel said:
"But I don't ever want to look back and have the regret that I didn't have the courage and I didn't do what I could to at least project something.
"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. We better be as sure as you can be.
"And I want every one of you, every one of us, 100 senators to look in that camera, and you tell your people back home what you think. Don't hide anymore; none of us.
"That is the essence of our responsibility. And if we're not willing to do it, we're not worthy to be seated right here. We fail our country. If we don't debate this, if we don't debate this, we are not worthy of our country. We fail our country."
Go here to see an even longer version of Hagel's remarkable statement that I would have appreciated even more if it had come from a Senate Democrat. I hope they took note -- especially the Democrats running for president.