quinta-feira, 1 de fevereiro de 2007

O outro candidato republicano: Chuck Hagel

Chuck Hagel is hot, John McCain is not And the recipient of media blessings these days is Chuck Hagel, senator from Nebraska. (...)After all, nobody is surprised anymore when a Democrat opposes the war, but it's notable when a Republican breaks ranks with his own party's president - especially when he uses such punchy language, referring to the Iraq surge as the "most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam." Such hot talk has earned Hagel a place of honor in the pages of GQ's January issue, under the headline "The Angry One." And the object of much of Hagel's anger, of course - to the media's obvious delight - is Bush and his neoconservative coterie.

Chuck Hagel and the return of the Old Right The coming battle for the soul of the GOP : Just as the Midwestern Republican progressives such as Borah opposed the National Recovery Act, so Hagel and a growing number of conservative and libertarian Republicans oppose the PATRIOT Act and the rise of the surveillance state. In his GQ interview, Hagel replicates not only the positions but also the essentially libertarian sensibility of the Old Right in its opposition to authoritarianism, centralism, and war:

"We have always been able to protect national security without sacrificing the liberties of the individual. Once you lose those rights, it's very hard to get them back. There have been arguments made that if we just give up a few rights, it will be easier to preserve our national security. That should never, ever happen. When you take office, you take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. That is your first responsibility."

Hagel's analysis of the "surge" – and, by implication, the entire Iraqi project – is sheer incredulity. He's asked if the 20,000 or so troops being sent will be enough to "secure Baghdad," and you can almost hear his bitter laugh:

"It's not ours to secure. We have never understood that! We have framed this in a way that never made sense: 'Win or lose in Iraq.' Wait a minute! There is no win or loss for us. The Iraqis will determine how this turns out. We can help them with our blood and our treasure and our standing, but in the end they have to deal with the sectarian problems. That is what's consuming that country. It's not al-Qaeda. It's not the terrorists. That's not the main problem over there. It's a civil war!"

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