Chuck Hagel Forged Bond With Obama on Iraq

Across-the-Aisle Friendship Blossomed With Opposition to War

By Reuters

Published January 06, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

Since he left the Senate, Hagel has been a big critic of his own party. He told the Financial Times in 2011 that he was “disgusted” by the “irresponsible actions” of Republicans during the debt-ceiling debate.

In 2012 he endorsed a Democrat candidate for Senate from Nebraska - former Senator Bob Kerrey - instead of Republican Deb Fischer, who won.

Hagel would not be the first Republican to serve Obama as Pentagon chief. Bob Gates, Obama’s first defense secretary, was a holdover from the years of Republican President Bush.

AS A SENATOR, CLASHED WITH OTHER REPUBLICANS

While he was in the Senate as a senior member of the Foreign Relations, Banking, and Intelligence Committees, Hagel often clashed with his party’s leaders on foreign and defense policy.

He co-sponsored legislation to ease U.S. trade restrictions with Cuba, and voted against trade sanctions on Iran and Libya.

In 2002 Hagel said the U.S. should try to improve relations with the countries Bush had branded an “axis of evil” - Iraq, Iran, and North Korea.

The same year, when Hagel expressed doubts about the Bush administration’s buildup to war in Iraq, the conservative Weekly Standard magazine branded him part of an “axis of appeasement.” But Hagel did vote to give the president the authority to carry out the March 2003 invasion.

Later Hagel said he regretted that vote and became a persistent critic of the conflict. In January 2007, he was the only Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to support a non binding measure that criticized Bush’s decision to send more troops to Iraq.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.