“I don’t know how many times we would be assigned to go out for a search-and-destroy mission, and we’d pass South Vietnamese villages with South Vietnamese solders lying around sleeping in hammocks. They’re doing easy duty while we were out doing the hard part. You cannot win somebody else’s independence. They have to do it for themselves.” Tom Hagel.
Tom Hagel is the brother of conservative Republican Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel. According to a recent profile in Newsweek, the brothers skirted military rules in order to be able to serve together in the army during the Vietnam War. Tom Hagel’s comments are relevant to the war in Iraq. The Americans cannot win someone else’s freedom. The Iraqis have to do it for themselves.
Commenting on the President’s recent plan for a “surge.” Chuck Hagel said “I think this speech given last night by this president represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam if it’s carried out.”
The Hagel brothers have obviously paid their dues and have first hand knowledge of what it is like to fight for a citizenry that may not want to fight for themselves.President Bush would be wise to invite the Hagel brothers for a visit to the White House.