Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
"We should start figuring out how we get out of there," Hagel said on "This Week" on ABC. "But with this understanding, we cannot leave a vacuum that further destabilizes the Middle East. I think our involvement there has destabilized the Middle East. And the longer we stay there, I think the further destabilization will occur."
"We're past that stage now because now we are locked into a bogged-down problem not unsimilar, dissimilar to where we were in Vietnam," Hagel said. "The longer we stay, the more problems we're going to have."
As I mentioned, Senator Hagel has been far from a strident supporter of Bush's policies in Iraq; he's been highly critical of both the White House and the civilian leadership in the Department of Defense. However, it's a whole new ballgame when a prominent Republican like Hagel at last dares to make the comparison that we liberals realized a year ago: Iraq bears a striking resemblance to Vietnam and none of the comparisons are positive.
I'm too young to remember Vietnam, it was largely over by the time I was born. So I can only imagine the frustration and anger that folks who lived through Vietnam must feel while seeing our country go down the same tragic road yet again. Still, I have to ask: Where is the outrage? Where are the demonstrations in the streets? Why is such a large chunk of the U.S. population seemingly unconcerned and uninterested in the disaster our government is perpetrating on both the Iraqis and us?
It took over 50,000 dead to end Vietnam; how many will Iraq take?
One is too many...