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Sunday the 21st of August 2005

11:51 AM

Being insulted again

Here we go again, only this time it isn't that drunken lout Senator Kennedy, but a Republican Senator who is trying for his weekly soundbite by claiming we are "bogged down" like Vietnam. First of all, Senator Hagel needs a history lesson ... we lost no battles, we lost nothing in Vietnam except our self respect at the hands of a bunch of hippie anti-war agitators who captured the country during a Presidential crisis caused by a completely different set of facts than the war in Vietnam. I am only a former military wife and not a combat veteran, but it makes my blood boil to hear any American trying to draw analogies between today and the agony we who were connected to the military sufffered during the final years of the Vietnam conflict. I believe I have the full support of hundreds of thousands of Veterans when I say to you, Senator Hagel, you are full of of it and an insult to all of us who are old enough to remember what the same crowd who are part of the Cindy Sheehan brigade did to this country and to the pride of our military men and women. This Senator supposedly has presidential aspirations for 2008 ... is he living in some dream world? If I sound mad now, you should have heard me during this broadcast. Perhaps if Senator Hagal spent less time preening for the news media and more time talking to real people ... nah, he's made his choice and I hope that veterans make their's and let Senator Hagel know how you really feel. You can contact him through his website at: hagel.senate.gov. And while you're at it, you might consider writing a quick thank you to Senator Allen for being a stand up guy on the same show. You can contact Senator Allen through his website at allen.senate.gov

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Influential Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said on Sunday the longer the United States stayed bogged down in Iraq, the more it looked like another Vietnam.

"What I think the White House does not yet understand and some of my colleagues, is the dam has broken on this (Iraq) policy," said Hagel, a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee and possible presidential candidate in 2008.

Hagel's comments in an interview with ABC's "This Week," coincide with President George W. Bush's new offensive to counter growing public discontent over U.S. involvement in Iraq and calls for a pull-out date.

Bush is taking his message on the road this week when he will invoke the September 11, 2001, attacks to contend that the United States must stay the course in Iraq, warning that an early withdrawal would put the country's security at risk and destabilize the Middle East.

The public is showing more discontent with Bush's handling of Iraq, with high-profile protests during his Texas ranch vacation and new poll results showing growing concern over the outcome of the war.

Hagel, a Vietnam war veteran, said there were growing similarities between Iraq and U.S. involvement in Vietnam and he predicted the longer the United States stayed in Iraq the more unpopular it would become.

"We are locked into a bogged down problem not unsimilar or dissimilar to where we were in Vietnam. The longer we stay the more problems we are going to have," he said,

But Republican Sen. George Allen of Virginia, speaking on the same program, strongly disagreed with Hagel's assessment and said there were huge differences between Iraq and Vietnam.

Allen backed the president's view that Iraq was a focal point in America's war on terrorism, which began after the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

"It is absolutely essential that we win it. We cannot tuck tail and run (from Iraq). We have to prevail. We must win. If we lose, that will destabilize the Middle East," said Allen.


And on another Senatorial front ... kudoes to Senator Diane Feinstein for being a standup gal. We don't agree with her politically very often, but the woman definitely has class.


Feinstein blazes after supes sink bid for battleship
She calls board vote a 'petty decision' in light of war effort


Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sen. Dianne Feinstein said, "This isn't the San Francisco... The Iowa was accompanied through Carquinez Strait by a fi...




Washington -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a former mayor of San Francisco, blasted the city's Board of Supervisors for its 8-3 vote against a resolution supporting a bid to move the historic battleship Iowa to the city as a floating museum.

"This isn't the San Francisco that I've known and loved and grew up in and was born in,'' Feinstein said Wednesday in Washington.

"I was very surprised,'' added the senator, who served as mayor from 1978 to 1989 after eight years as a supervisor.

Referring to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and efforts to defend the country against possible terrorist attacks, she added, "I thought that in view of what's going on and in view of the loss of lives of our men and women, it was a very petty decision.''

The supervisors' Tuesday action made it much more difficult for those working to bring the 887-foot-long, 45,000-ton Iowa to San Francisco, said Feinstein. The senator secured $3 million several years ago to move the decommissioned ship to California. It is now moored in Suisun Bay, amid a fleet of other old Navy vessels.

Supervisors said their rejection of the Iowa resolution stemmed from a variety of factors. Some criticized the military's "don't ask, don't tell'' policy against service by gays and lesbians.

Others said San Francisco, a bastion of anti-war sentiment, doesn't want another military museum. Lukewarm support from Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Port of San Francisco left them worried the city might be getting into a financial hole it can't afford.

Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, who voted against the resolution, reacted to Feinstein's criticism by saying, "She's entitled to her opinions. But I don't think they reflect the sentiments of a majority of San Franciscans ... (who) don't want to see a warship docked here.''

Stockton is making a bid for the ship and has a major champion in Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, who chairs the House's powerful Resources Committee. In May, the House passed a Pombo-sponsored bill directing the secretary of the Navy to transfer the Iowa to the Port of Stockton rather than making the ship the subject of an open bidding process as is usually done. The Senate hasn't acted.

Stockton plans to donate 1,000 feet of dock space for the ship, along with a 90,000-square-foot building for a museum and 10 acres of land for parking.

Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who is gay, said the military's policy on gays and lesbians influenced his vote and that of Supervisor Tom Ammiano, who also is gay, against a battleship Iowa museum for San Francisco.

"For Tom and I it's very difficult to advocate for some military honor thing when people are being harassed and even killed and are unable to serve in the military because they are gay and lesbian,'' Dufty said.

But he said Feinstein was wrong if she thought the board was against Americans serving abroad.

"People didn't cast votes based on their unwillingness to support the troops in Iraq,'' he added.

Feinstein, who was elected a supervisor citywide and from a district, said the vote showed yet again why she has long opposed district elections for the board.

"District elections mean people are involved with their little constituencies, not with the overall good of the city," she said. "I've always thought that.''

Without the board's support, Feinstein added, there's little hope that the nonprofit group seeking the ship, Historic Ships at Memorial Square, can hope for help in Washington.

"I think it's very difficult if you're not supported very strongly by the mayor and the legislative body of the city," she said. "I think it's really too bad that that support is not there.''

E-mail Edward Epstein at eepstein@sfchronicle.com.

30 total comments.

Posted by The Squiggler a.k.a Sara:

Of course I consider lives important and yes I am a libertarian on social issues. A liberal wants to tell you how to run your life because he or she thinks you are too stupid to make your own decisions without some social worker type, Hollywood actor, ivory tower academic or "da govm'nt" telling you what to think. The subject of the original post was about being "bogged down" not about the costs or the lives. However, every life given should be honored and not used as some kind of tool to support a left wing argument. Our family paid our dues in Vietnam, my husband served four tours of duty there between 1966 and 1973 and my former brother-in-law is still listed as MIA on the Wall. We now have an all volunteer force. Honor those who have chosen to serve. They know the risks and have chosen to serve YOU anyway. They believe that American ideals and the American way of life is worth dying for and we all hope the ultimate sacrifice won't be necessary.
Monday the 22nd of August 2005 @ 4:56 PM

Posted by Dr. Forbush:

On Vietnam, your statement "the military lost nothing except what is the most important, their self respect." seems a bit cold. Don't you consider 15,000 lives as something?
Monday the 22nd of August 2005 @ 12:25 PM

Posted by Dr. Forbush:

I am a bit confused with your support of the Iraq War and your claim to be a fiscal conservative. Normally conservatives don't support the idea of borrowing huge amounts of money for government programs. The Iraq War is a huge government program and and it costs huge amounts of money.

On the other hand, I can understand social conservatives supporting the Iraq War, because it's just one more enforcement of social ideals. But, you claim to be socially libertarian, which I should point out is the same as socially liberal.

It sounds like you have some fear of saying you are liberal on social issues, so you need to say you are liberatarian...
Monday the 22nd of August 2005 @ 12:23 PM

Posted by The Squiggler a.k.a Sara:

Randy ... the politicians lost the war, the military lost nothing except what is the most important, their self respect. You may not be old enough to remember, but Senator Hagel is and he should know better. I may be only one voice, but I'm not going to let the same thing happen twice in one lifetime. Kissinger knows that it was that woos McNamara who engineered the political fiasco called Vietnam. The radical rabid self-absorbed left in this country handed Vietnam to their buddies, the Communists, just like they want to hand the Middle East back to the extremists today.
Monday the 22nd of August 2005 @ 12:16 PM

Posted by Ben Rider:

I know, selling out the war to gain political points, way to go dude:(
Monday the 22nd of August 2005 @ 12:02 PM

Posted by Randy Case:

"...we lost no battles, we lost nothing in Vietnam except our self respect..."

We lost the war. That's why there's a Communist government over ALL of Vietnam, and why the Khmer Rouge were able to take over Cambodia for a while.

The truth may hurt, but the truth is never an insult. Even the architect of much of the Vietnam War -- Henry Kissinger -- sees the similarities.
Monday the 22nd of August 2005 @ 11:49 AM

Posted by jay:

Seems we have the same people fighting the war in Iraq from a safe distance that we had in Vietnam.
Sunday the 21st of August 2005 @ 4:31 PM