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tv   News Politics and Public Affairs  CSPAN  January 13, 2013 9:35pm-11:00pm EST

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host: the military parade in rehearsal and the rehearsals taking place in advance of the ceremonies that will get under way in 8 days. temperatures expected to reach the mid 60's. not reminiscent of what we saw in 1960 and 1981 the temperatures were freezing forcing some of the events to be canceled. the rehearsals taking place here in washington, d.c. we want to focus on the nomination of senator chuck hagel. we want to welcome to the table two experts. did his nomination surprise you? >> it did not.
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he spent keeping himself on tainted and logging and other kinds of things. when you look at the transition from leon panetta and asking what kind of person you would have in their, eventually to deal with what will be a shrinking defense budget, i think chuck hagel seemed a very obvious choice. i basically thought that is where the president was going to go early on. host: this is a the news from "the new york times". the war and against hagel and republicans called him in the piecer based on what he said in iraq. he voted for the war but turned against it. easer sings very strong. guest: he voted for it and then had criticism of how it was being carried out. when you talk about the
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secretary defense, the most important thing that happened during the war is the surge. he voted against the surge. he called the worst mistake since vietnam. we know in terms of the military, strategy and the search worked. it was very successful. when you're talking about putting somebody in the secretary of defense has such strong views, in my opinion, that is the question that senators will be asking. host: we are going to share with you from the c-span video library some of the statements by senator chuck hagel and many interviews were conducted with him over the years. our que in a program and a number of speeches he has delivered to give you a chance to hear senator chuck hagel and his own words. what is his nomination signal in terms of what the president wants to achieve over the next four years? guest: i think it signals two things. one signals that he wants an independent, no-nonsense voice
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at the table on the president. senator chuck hagel has had a close relationship with president obama. and i happen to know from a number of sources that the quality of conversation, that the nature of their conversation is a very direct, often not in agreement and that the president is not bringing on board a yes man. the second thing we need to know is that we have been dealing with chuck hagel and a way that we ought to be debating the secretary of state. this will be the secretary of defense. this is about deploying power or run the world and managing strategic assets and managing a shift where the president has said that we now have or did we have overweighted our resources in the middle east and south asia and we have underweighted our presence in asia looking at china. that shift is like moving a giant ship of spending, resources, american men and women being deployed in different places, as well as strategic asset purchasing, what weapons and technologies.
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and as we bring down the defense budget, smart choices need to happen so that at the end of the day, the department of defense is able to bring security to the world, that we have got the same degree of security deliverable then that we would. it is not a function of money. you need someone who understands. chuck hagel having been a combat veteran, two purple hearts from vietnam. that is very important. this is a man who understands the nature and structure of military organization. i think that is what i think will it be really the issue. host: he talked about that in a 2005 interview with us on his experience in vietnam. here is the president as he formally nominated chuck hagel to be the next defense secretary replacing leon panetta. >> my frame of reference, he has said, is geared toward the guy at the bottom who is doing the fighting and the dying.
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with chuck our troops will always know, just like sergeant chuck hagel was there for his brother, secretary chuck hagel will be there for you. host: as you hear the words of the president, how significant is that going to be in hagel's thinking? guest: i think vietnam was a life changing experience for him. the real question is whether the military service and on our plate is the military we are talking about today. i think it is quite different. i think the experiences he had, while important in terms of his own valor, does not necessarily translate into being a good secretary of defense. institutions are vastly different. we're talking about it all volunteer force, a different force that was in vietnam. again, he needs to be credited with serving the way he did, but that does not give you the type
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of experience in necessarily to be secretary of defense. i would say that i think steve is right. senator chuck hagel has made quite a few statements and quite a bit of, his reputation for talking about foreign policy. when he was in the senate, he had a light footprint when it came to military services. i am not so sure his experience to hisly oepens up being the right guy to be the secretary of defense. host: we have heard about the concern of sequestration and spending $500 billion over the next decade, $120 billion over the next year. what does that portend as to what secretary chuck hagel would face? guest: the defense department,
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when you are making decisions about spending and technology, these are decisions that were crafted a year ago. in some cases, a decade ago. to think you can turn on a dime is a very hard. so the defense secretary and with a lot of white house guidance has been planning for this. but it is a bearish big shock to the system. i am one who thinks that you can make a substantial cut. if you've had that level of automatic spending cuts, it would create the equivalent of a depression and a big shock to the pentagon. i think it is not smart security strategy. but chuck hagel would have to get in there. he has to implement the law and make tough choices and deal with the command staff of the pentagon and figure out how to make those as judiciously and protect the skeletal structure of american security capacit y. host: how substantial are the
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cuts? guest: $120 billion is a very substantial stock. yeah. in in various parts of the overseas contingency. it would be shaving off quite a bit. it will be hard for this town. joe mantion has been out showing a chart. the number of men and women in uniform has stayed very flat. and the growth and contractors. i suspect the contract and dimensions of this will be hit hard because that is a way -- you will be cutting through a lot of muscle and tendons but to try to keep the bones said, that is what it will be cutting. host: senator chuck hagel very recently said that the pentagon was bloated. he said it it had to do a serious strategic review.
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i think that shows a little bit of how out of touch he is. the department of defense has already cut $800 billion out of plan and current spending. there has already banned a big whack out of defense spending. this is in addition to the $493 that would happen if sequester takes place. he seems to not realize that. the chairman of the joint chiefs has said that the sec -- if the sequester goes through or if some cuts go through, they would have to rethink their strategic posture. the pentagon has been rethinking these things for the past four years in a serious way. unfortunately, senator chuck hagel does not seem to recognize there has been this review. host: we are taking an in-depth look into senator chuck hagel, the choice by the president to be the defense secretary. we are using a lot of material
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from our c-span video library. you can check out any time at our website at . five mythsning, about chuck hagel. >> the leaders of these countries and of that region have failed the people for their reasons. it is not america's fault. it is not the west's fault for what has happened in iraq or the middle east or africa. have american companies take it vanished? have there been plundering or
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abuses, of course, but the responsibility for those regions being held behind rests on the shoulders of their leaders. no one else. now you see the manifestation of that. i said earlier, i am one who believes and i said before it went into iraq, you cannot impose and a democracy the matter how well-intentioned you are on a region of the world that does not want it or does not have any history or culture -- now we fix the problems. we will put the marcy in iraq and that -- we will put democracy in iraq and the middle east will be aglow with
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democracy. and that will be the beginning of responsible government. it does not happen that way. so culture, tradition, religion, ethnic plans -- clan are all part of that. you work within the system. i talked about alliances. that is why alliances are important. you live within those systems to affect change, to try to influence change. there are so many things going on in the world that it that are disgusting, despicable, that we hate. sudan is a very good example. but we have limitations as to what we can do to change that. we should always be about helping change that. but we have limitations. great powers fun into very difficult times when they do not recognize that they have limitations of to their power.
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all individuals have limitations. nations must be wise enough to understand. host: as senator chuck hagel in his speech is available on c- span video library. this photograph as a then senator barack obama and chuck hagel traveling through the middle east. as you hear the words of chuck hagel, she talks about the limits of power that echoed with the present -- what the president said when he was running for the white house in 2008. guest: one of the conditions that president obama and his team came in and said it, there are a lot of demands are roman world and a lot of challenges. america's role is not just to challenge the foes but to be dependable for allies. when americans power is doubte4d, the allies doubt the ability to stand by them. what is the roster of portis
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that the united states had to focus on, a particular at the time of the global economic crisis when you have the middle east crisis, you had rising problems with north korea. that is what chuck hagel is saying. we do not have a magic wand to be all things to all people. you need to figure out how, given the limitations to have, you can matter and roll from those into the next issues. that is a realistic assessment, of a power that would even on the neo conservative side would also think that the part of the role of the united states is to go into the interior of these countries and try to redesign them so they are less of a threat to the united states and become more responsible contributors to the international system. when you have limited power, it makes someone like chuck hagel very skeptical of the ability of the united states to do that.
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that is a legitimate debate. but definitely when chuck hagel and jack reed traveled with president obama when he was running for office, i think this was part of their discussion. host: what kind of relationship do these two men have, the president and senator chuck hagel? guest: they do get along personally. if you look at the first term of the obama administration, president obama was elected, there were doubts about his national security experience. it was quite natural for him to pick then senator clinton to be secretary of state and keep bob gates on as secretary of defense. i think he thinks in the second term, he is not running for reelection. he has had experience, so he is much more inclined to pick somebody who is comfortable with, which is senator chuck hagel and senator john kerry. they got along in the senate, so presumably there will get along in the administration. i would add that i do think
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that one has to ask why, for example, the president is willing to make a flight out of the nomination? i do think the fundamental reason is that secretary chuck hagel --senator chuck hagel would agree, i think both he and the president are in lock step. one of the things that should be done in the hearings for the nomination is the did more about where this administration is going when it thinks about american power and leadership. it is finding good to talk about the limits of power. everybody's to understand. then it couldn't predict it can become an excuse for not exercising power. of that debate can be put on the table when senator chuck hagel is before the senate committees. steve clemons is the
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editor of the atlantic magazine. we will get to your calls and comments in just a moment as we offer you an extended roundtable and share reduce some of the insides of senator chuck hagel. a quote that has been getting a lot of attention. in an interview that senator chuck hagel did back in 2006 he said this -- the jewish lobby in today's a lot of people up here, referring to capitol hill. again i have always argued against some of the dumb things they do because i do not think it is in the interest of israel. i just do not think it is smart for israel." who'd like to comment on that? guest: there has been a lot of suggestion that senator chuck hagel might be anti-semitic. i have no way of knowing and i doubt very seriously he is. what is troubling about that quote is not so much the jewish lobby, a different way of saying
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something -- the israel lobby or ever. the most troubling part of that quote has to do with the fact that it goes on to say, i am a u.s. senator and not the senator from israel. the troubling part of that is the subtle suggestion that if you disagree with him about policy, u.s. policy toward israel and the middle east, somehow that you are, there is a loyal to question at stake there, that those who disagree with him are not beholden to the u.s. and the constitution as much as, also thinking they have a duty towards israel. i think that is going to be something the senators are going to ask him about. host: let me brief you about what eron david miller writes in "the washington post" from an interview he did in 2006. he says it 'senator chuck hagel is independent on israel.
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he believes in a special u.s.- israel relationship but not one in which the united states except israel's action on critically. he is not as emotionally connected to israel as some of his other colleagues such as john lewis and mark kirk, but in our interview, his voting record on military aid to israel, senator chuck hagel has been clear that israel is a small democratic ally and a dangerous neighborhood worthy of support." guest: he has always voted in favor of aid packages. let's be honest -- this is a complex and taboo subjects. and eron david miller who is at the wilson center was a negotiator for six presidents. his credentials are impeccable. what is nice about these interviews he did with leaders is that they are all online so people can go and listen to the various recordings he did on u.s.-israel on issues. but what i would tell you is that we have to evolve -- it is
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a complicated issue because, and many people have tried to discuss it -- it is a question it of what is the nature of the u.s.-israel relationship? there is a debate that is more actively had in jerusalem ben and washington about what the terms of israel's dirty our security needs. jim jones that israel is confers -- confusing is short term versus its long-term i nterests. now i think hagel, gave a very powerful speech some years ago ed perkins, in which he said we cannot make a full stores between our rock solid relationship with israel but also we have vital relationships with other countries in the
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neighborhood. that very often in congress, in the senate and house, what some interest groups want to see is a zero sum game where you hug one country so tightly and you demonstrate disdain for the other. i think that is what chuck hagel is saying is not constructive. i would quickly say, i interviewed the former chief of naval operations in israel about some of his relationship with chuck hagel over the years. and he recounted something that is very interesting, because there has been a lot of criticism for hagel for not jumping on the number of the letters that the american-israel public affairs committee put through to encourage congress to vote for support. there was one that had to do with pressuring russia on jews. chuck hagel refused. the admiral said, why did not do this?
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and he had within a day said to him, in exchange she had with president clinton. he had written to president clinton about this. received a letter from clinton and a commitment from clinton to take certain actions. chuck hagel was moving privately. when i talked to others about this, they were upset he did not sign on to the public rhetoric. chuck hagel did exactly, was in line with what they had. but because of not following with the tribe, there has been some concern that his independence is something that worries them. host: ann joins us from tennessee, a democrat. caller: it does not matter who president obama nominates. as a report that came out in
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june that under president obama that 7% of the injuries have occurred in afghanistan. does that sound like we're winning? guest: steve used the word tribe. by talking about i am not the senator from israel. the problem with that kind of language is that it suggests that those who have a very strong strategic view about the u.s.-israeli relationship somehow are in the pocket of israelis. i think that is wrong. there are strategic reasons for the relationship. on afghanistan, i would say senator chuck hagel's held different positions.
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when the iraq war was going poorly and the search was suggested, senator chuck hagel said, we have taken our eye off the ball. the greatest threat the united states faces is between the mountains of pakistan and afghanistan. today, or previously, he opposed the president's surge in afghanistan. these are issues that need to be addressed. where does he think afghanistan is going to go? why did he think that afghanistan was such a vital, strategic interest and then when the president himself tries to address the issue, he does not support that position? so senator chuck hagel -- i keep putting him in o ffice -- has meant a lot of statements over the years about the middle east and central asia that i think have to be addressed. the is -- the issue that the u.s.-israel relationship was brought up produce the has to be
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put in context. i think the caller started down that road, which is the fact that it is not simply about israel and the u.s., it is all about the statements that senator chuck hagel made on sanctionsmade on sanctions on id talking with the dictatorship in syria about not signing a resolution or not signing on to a resolution about hezbollah and asking europe to designate hezbollah as a terrorist organization. despite the fact that the killed hundreds of americans. votes against signaling and the iranian and revolutionary guard was a terrorist organization. on and on. all of these things in context suggest his views about the middle east and his views about palestinian-israeli conflict have been brought together along with the other statements give a larger picture of how he thinks about the middle east. host: do you think you will be conferred by the senate?
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guest: i think it is rare when he isn't. people often say the president should be given due deference. i basically agree with that. he has made a lot of statements that look past. his statements have implications for current policies that need to be addressed. i do think his support up there is pretty thin. if something goes wrong in the hearings, i think he will have difficulties. host: here is this from one of our viewers. chuck hagel expresses a deep, -- deep strain of midwestern skepticism and frugality about foreign adventures. there was an interview with tavis smiley from their buick -- february of last year. >> i think we have to look at a couple of realities here. this is our 11th year in afghanistan. that reality is washing over a
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nation's ability to continue to sustain that war. arerica's polling numbers pretty clear on this. americans want out. in the end, it will be the afghanistan people that will have to decide what kind of a government they want and what they want to do. the other part of this, you have not mentioned it, is pakistan. pakistan is the most important and critical element in this entire equation for the reasons most people understand. i think at this point, and i think panetta and the president are right in the direction they're taking this, is accelerate that combat timeline, withdrawing nato and american forces out of there and down, eventually, because an international peace conference is probably what is going to be
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required. when i say in international peace conference, i think you will have to bring the iranians into this, certainly the taliban will be in it, the government of afghanistan, we are, others. i don't know how else you resolve this. this is going to go on for a while. this will not be resolved with one peace treaty, but the continuation of the path we're on now is only going to make it worse. we have a situation in pakistan where we are right on the cusp in a seriousally way. we don't want that to happen because then we come loose of all our diplomatic moorings. we still have troops in afghanistan, iran is on the other side, iraq is having big difficulties. that entire area is so combustible and dangerous right now. this is an example of how we
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have got to be careful how we tread through this. think strategically, not practically. host: from february of last year. a lot has happened since then. the visit by president karzai last week and the announcement at the white house friday that the u.s. is speeding up its withdrawal from what -- from afghanistan. guest: i think that is important because it is freeing up assets. countries like iran and others are looking at the fact that america will have less capacity and is less tied down. we need to remember that there are a couple of factors in. chuck hagel, if he were confirmed as secretary of defense, will follow the president's policy as stated. we're talking about, what are his views, senate confirmations are wonderful, just like watching c-span on him. you can learn so much you did not know. the questions, the doubts will be surfaced at those meetings. you will hear responses.
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there will be wonderful key statements in records. if you ship from afghanistan, and you took chuck hagel's statements, we need to think strategically, senator hagel would think about russia. russia is a patron of syria. we have a lot to deal with where we confront russia, where we collaborate with russia. iran, clearly, the direction syria goes -- israel, being on the border, and also turkey, nato ally of the united states. you want to think on the nation's -- notion beyond, what is humanitarian. what are the other equities america has in the region? that is the way chuck hagel generally approaches these questions and quagmire is, in my view. syria is a tough one to resolve.
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i support and respect that calculus. host: what is his stance on intervention in syria as well as the sedan? guest: i think he would support the president's view in a number of soft ways. intelligence, a certain army, not full arming, and trying to put other pressure on assad to leave. i don't think he supports injecting troops into the equation or no-fly zones. the libyan model does not apply to syria as it is constructed now. host: we are drilling down to the life and career of senator chuck hagel, his words, speeches, and statements, using excerpts of interviews he has done over the years, all of which are available on our website at, part of the video library. we have the editor at large for
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"the atlantic and -- "the atlantic." you wanted to follow-up? guest: chuck hagel said he did not think it was in the national interest, which people debate about. he went on to say he thought syria was. it is a little confusing now that syria becomes the bone of contention. he has basically backed off of any strategy for dealing with syria. it is a heart problem. -- hard problem. we're letting others determine who will wind up being in leadership in that rebellion and the absence of the american leadership, the results will be worse for the united states interest, not better. host: patrick on the democrats' line. are you with us? we will try one more time.
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we will go to corpus christi. go ahead. caller: i really don't see what the problem with the nomination is. if you look at john kerry, he made allegations about war crimes in vietnam and iraq. he made statements about his medals and ribbons. he made statements about being a cambodian. in a political context, he never was. chuck hagel makes some comments, anti-semitic comments, anti-gay comments. [inaudible] [laughter] host: ok. guest: lowering the bar. host: this is from an interview
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in 1998 when bill clinton was in the white house and the nominee for the u.s. ambassador of an openly gay individual. chuck hagel said, "there representing america. they're representing our lifestyle, our values, our standards. and i think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay, openly, aggressively day, like mr. hormel, to do an effective job." he is saying those remarks were ill founded. guest: if he gets through the senate, he will be the secretary of defense. he is not in a domestic policy position. i think his record on domestic issues, whether they be guns or abortion or gay rights, there are other things like votes against various positions in the u.s. military having to do with a rights, naacp had very low
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marks for his civil rights record, all of which raises the question of why the president would want him. again, i get back to this issue that i think the senate committee has to pay attention to, which is, given the record, and given the fact the president was not interested in backing susan rice, why is he so dead set on having secretary hagel? i think it has to do with the fact that this appointment is somebody the president trusts to retrench american military power in the world. there will be a fundamental choice being made over the next four years about where the president takes us when it comes to strategic matters. secretary hagel's nomination is the beginning of that. host: isn't it veterans of washington trying to take your
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fight? do you want to have a fight for state and defense going simultaneously? if he had picked susan rice? guest: i think that is the case it would be. it could be too tough fights. i helped host one of the meetings were lindsey graham and john mccain made very clear their views on susan rice. the moderator cut the president's response and have those simultaneously been going on, susan rice would have deflected a lot of the attention from this hagel nomination. now other nominations, like john brennan, which is controversial in some quarters, and john kerry are getting less attention. i would like to comment on the gay rights. i was the only journalist who happened to have written about chuck hagel's views on gay issues years ago because i had conversations with him about my own views that at the time we were still pursuing translators
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working in intelligence agencies and the defense department and trying to purge them from military service. i had a discussion with him about that and about and don't ask, don't tell. they were attempting to sort out how you would sort through. hagel made clear his support for repealing don't ask, don't tell. i want to be clear that he is saying, and i don't think it is just a move that he has apologized to hormel, and hormel as very graciously accepted his apology, and in addition, senator hagel said he supports lgbt families and the alignment as part of don't ask, don't tell repeal. he also has statements on women's rights and abortion. one of the subjects we do not talk about often is violence against women and in the
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military, rapes at the academy, in the field, and senator shaheen pasternak giving support for abortions for women being raped in the military. chuck hagel supports that. i think he is stepping forward. you will hear a more about this in the hearings. it is important to hear that, like the president has evolved on issues, i believe senator hagel will make the case this is not just a move that was triggered by his nomination. the gay rights community, which i am a part of, has not done its part, in my view, to reach out to people like hagel in advance and invite them to speak, and have their views tested and challenged. that has not happened. we are going back to look at those. there are issues that are legitimate. host: michelle says many
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attitudes toward gays have evolved. why is that a bad thing? rigid thinkers. guest: there is a variety of different issues. we have to figure out how to best accommodate that change. i think the military will go forward. steve brought up the question of the intelligence community. i think the intelligence community for years has also moved ahead. it is not an issue of whether you are gay or not. it is a question of whether or not you could openly say you were. maybe there would be a security risk trying to hide that. i don't think there'll be a debate about these issues. host: it is the bottom of the our and our round table looking at the words and statements of chuck hagel, republican from nebraska, chosen to be the next defense secretary. gary and steve joining us.
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keith is joining us on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. first of all, chuck hagel is great at independent thinking. that would help the president. i think he will follow president barack obama's policies, not chuck hagel's policies. the comment about, this is not chuck hagel's war, what john mccain said, john mccain clearly is coming from a different time in terms of the military and military action. if we look of the history books, we need to stop taking advice from these guys who were in the military and start looking at people who actually have served as opposed to the couch starker's -- talkers. host: can i ask you to review
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the relationship and how it has evolved between john mccain and chuck hagel? they came in both veterans of the vietnam war, both friends, yet their relationship evolved and there is some question as to whether or not john mccain will support chuck hagel. guest: it has evolved. there was a natural affinity between them because of their service in vietnam. knowing senator mccain the way i do, i do not know senator hagel, he has always been somebody who reaches out to a variety of different folks. he has an immense number of friends on the other side of the aisle. he is a very personable person. i do think over time, the differences between the two senators about iraq, afghanistan, and other issues, and also questions about who senator hagel will support in 2000, "he supported in 2008, all those things have led to a diversion, which is a part of
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washington i don't -- the fact they are no longer best buddies should not surprise anybody because at the end of the day, washington is about politics. when people have such diametrically opposed opinions about security matters, it is natural that they will fall apart. host: chuck hagel served as the chair of the atlantic council and want to share with your speech he delivered about two years ago specifically on iran and u.s. intervention, or lack thereof, in that part of the world. >> we do have some rather significant evidence that sanctions are working and they are working because our government, our policies, imperfect, flawed, problems, every policy has those, but nonetheless, it is accomplished -- it has accomplished something bigger than sanctions. they have brought a consensus together of most countries, the european union, the chinese are
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involved, the russians are involved. we have a rather significant consensus on this issue up to a point. i think all you need to do is reflect on the united nations vote on this. it is a pretty good indicator. now that alone won't change the dynamics, but as barbara has laid out, if you subscribe to what our task forces, with, then aren't we far wiser to let this play out? aren't we far wiser rather to get ourselves into another very difficult predicament because we do also know that words have consequences. most of the time, especially in the world we live in, they have unintended consequences. they have uncontrollable consequences. we live in an interconnected, global community. and i think, again, we should
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factor that in. last point i would make, as to the question of, aren't we just allowing the iranians to buy time? maybe. we have to recognize that the real world is about risks. you calibrate your decisions and your policy-making based on that risk analysis. is it riskier to go to war right now, or is it riskier to pursue the policies that we are pursuing? policymakers have to decide that. they have to sort their way through that and then they come to a decision. it is my analysis, in answering your question, that it is far riskier to talk of war and to go to war. as the ambassador has noted, we are the mightiest military force on earth. the world has never seen such military power.
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but that military power must always be tempered with a purpose. host: from a couple years ago, the comments of former senator chuck hagel. i want to share with all of you in relationship to what he was saying about iran what the comment was. "america knows how to throw a punch when it has to in order to keep the world balanced, but the punches follow a set procedure. they don't begin my shooting. the trial other means first, economic sanctions, political pressure, negotiations, everything possible. to both of you, your comments? your reaction to what senator hagel said and what peres said? guest: i would say that he has been all over the map.
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a lot of his votes on the senator against sanctions when sanctions might have done more good. if you are afraid of or don't want to engage in the military option, sanctions need to be there. he was opposed to them. he is now in favor of the sanctions. primarily because he would like to avoid war. that is not where he was to begin with. he has been all over the map on military options. he has been for them, against them, for them. finally, i think the bigger, more controversial thing that has to be gotten through by the senators is senator hagel's written about the fact that when states do get nuclear- weapons, they typically become very rational in their behavior. does he really believe that is the case with iran? does he believe that if iran got a nuclear weapon that the rest of the region would not quickly
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try to follow suit? on iran, i think there are a lot of questions to be asked about his position. on what mr. peres said, yes, that is the typical way we proceed. i would say that it is very unclear that the president -- i think very clear the president has committed himself to military options for the israelis. i would say the israelis over the last couple years have begun to doubt whether not that will be carried out. ost: steve guest: peres' comments mimic chuck hagel as i understand it. i have paid a lot of attention to where senator hagel frame the potential military conflict. he said he can support war but only in the last resort. then we must be very clear about
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what the consequences are. if you shocked the global economy, the rest of the world disdains the united states for the actions it has taken. if you look at the other contending forces, the unexpected consequences of the gop tectonics' strategic shift that you will get -- geotectonic shift that you get will not be meet. it will not be in a defined box like when you have no real collision. it is a destructive global event and we need to be clear what those consequences are. i think you will hear that from him when he gets -- gives testimony in the senate. host: this is in "the new york times on the magazine's report of none of this works, the president will use military power against iran. i am sure of it. guest: i think he has had conversations we have not had with the president and he has
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that understanding. this is not a president who want to be remembered as having been an appeaser. i do think if it moved to that level, and i do not think we are there yet, the president will probably initiate force. host: there is this from one of our viewers saying that obama knows at least one of his nominees will have to go down. is hagel the designated scapegoat? guest: i disagree with that totally. guest: i think they do not typically nominate scapegoats. i think the last thing he wants is to lose senator hagel. host:gary schmitt and steve clemons. daryl is joining us from missouri on the democrats' line. caller: good morning. veteran and ivy
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support chuck hagel. why does everyone need to leave -- to be vetted by israel? i disagree with your statement. the first thing you are labeled as anti-semitic when you say anything about is real. host: thank you. guest: this took place in 1998. host: we will hear from the secretary of state as she gives us an overview and the questioning from senator chuck hagel before the senate foreign relations committee. >> i have just come back from a lot of the gulf states. secretary cohen is out there now. i came back with the following set of impressions from it. first of all, they are very concerned about what is going on in iraq. they understand about the problems of the weapons of mass destruction and the fact that they do threaten them.
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it is less visible, i think, than a cross border threat. second, they are fully convinced that this crisis has been created by saddam hussein. they are concerned about the iraqi people, as are we, which is why we support this oil for food plan that we wrote originally with the resolution and is now being proposed to be expanded by kofi annan. they also preferred diplomatic moves, but they also understand that should there be consequences, there will be responsible for the grave consequences. i feel confident of their support. they state they have domestic audiences and they state their support for their own purposes. i do feel that should we use force, they will be helpful to us.
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i think that they also understand the dangers. it is not quite the same situation as when saddam hussein invaded kuwait and there were six months to prepare to put together a coalition, which was primarily a u.s.-u.k. operation. >> do you believe part of this problem is that perception in the arab world, we have tilted too far toward israel in the peace process? >> some of them may think that. i do not think that. >> you do not think that? >> i do not. i think these are two different issues, clearly difficult ones, but my own sense is we have to deal with both of them. we have to look at our national interests. we have to deal with them separately. they're both important to us. we have ties with israel that are not to be dissolved. we have to work the middle east peace process, which i do, and
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so does the president. i think that some of them have stated those views. i don't agree. >> surely, you believe they are linked? you don't believe there's any linkage between the middle east peace process and what is -- >> i prefer not to make that linkage. host: from back in 1998. based on that line of questioning, senator john corner of texas and he cannot support chuck hagel. he says in part because the president has sent the worst possible message to our closest ally and our greatest middle eastern enemy. guest: i think what you saw in his discussion with madeleine albright was a sense that he does not believe america can afford false choice is between one vital ally and other vital allies and partners. i, frankly, support that view. i think it is mature. one of the subject that does
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not, as the question of how many legislators talk about how unshakeable the u.s.-israeli relationship is. it may be. countries have many ways in which they see the world together and there are differences. there's a lot of pressure in this town not to talk about the differences. i think that is what's hagel was getting at. the earlier caller made a comment that disturbed me about israel vetting candidates. they are not vetting candidates. i do think it is important to listen to other views on this. a very strong, solid, and has been issued in support of hagel. he says he does not have a problem with the nomination. for those trying to imagine the israeli government on hagel,
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look for their comments. the comments of a positive. the issues of concern will be laid out. i think it would be wrong to tar israel with use and statements that our government leaders have not made. guest:steve is absolutely right. the clip that you ran does not -- talked with team that is quite relevant, which is making the israeli-palestinian issues central to middle east policy. i think the clipper represents a longer train of discussions and votes that he engaged in. i don't even think it is true. for example, take the example of iran. the saudis and the gulf states are more concerned about being strong vis-a-vis iran. their friendship with us,
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they're working with us. it has more to do with those strategic interests and and whether or not israel and palestine will work out their difficulties. the final thing i would say is that, also on senator cornin's position, it is not just that. if you go back and look at statements of senator hagel, too often, particularly during the terrorism right after the attempt by the clinton administration to bring the palestinians and israel together, arafat walked away, and then began the terrorism campaign, there were too many times when senator hagel become and that suggested a moral equivalence between israel and the palestinians that this serves a number of people. host: senator hagel wrote about "leaving iraq honorably."
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he went on to say this. "we are destroying our structure, which took 30 years to build. we have been funding this were dishonestly, mainly through supplemental appropriations, which minimizes the congressional oversight and allows the administration to adopt tough questions in defending its policies. congress has advocated its oversight responsibility in the last four years." guest: i think he is absolutely right. i think what senator hagel was looking at, the decimation of the structure, a transplant herself to your -- yourself three or four years ago. you could hear it from our allies in the way -- the american military was over- stretched. when you convey being over- stretched and at the limit, what you can do, militarily, your allies don't depend on u.s. much as they once did and the enemies will move their agenda forward. i think senator hagel was
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raising these questions. what did it take for americans to feel safe on september 10, 2001? if you look at the bin laden affect, we a terrorism hit the country, a massive rise in defense spending. i look -- looked at the budget. $2.70 trillion spent above the base line cents. -- since 9/11. that has made americans feel safe. it is justifiable in many ways. we're spending in ways but not looking at the security and the trade-offs that are happening. we have spent a huge amount of money but americans still have not been feeling as safe as they should. i think the kind of questions -- hagel made a very important comment that it is not on patriotic to ask questions of your government. it is patriotic to ask questions. we should be having these
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debates. i think he was trying to make that same kind of point in 2006. guest: i think his criticisms were quite fair at the time, in effect, many of us made them. but the answer is not the one he headed towards, which was, let's get out and cut defense. the answer was to provide more resources. the bush administration did not provide the material resources necessary to fight that war. it was not until 2006-2007 that the strategy changed. the strategy, by the way, i proposed in 2003, nevertheless, they wasted a number of years. there were plenty of criticism for that. the answer was not cut and run. the answer was to do what we did, increase force, change the strategy. it worked. we did not stay with it and we are not staying with it in afghanistan.
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we have seen how it is pulling out in iraq. it is not good. in afghanistan, i think we will not see and afghanistan that is stable. host: the clips and quotes from senator hagel -- the good news is all of these clips and the entire speeches are in the c-span video library. check it out at let's go to carl from pennsylvania. on the republican line. go ahead, please. caller: hello? host: are you with us? we will go to jerome in pennsylvania, democrats line. good morning. caller: my name is jerome. i registered democrat. i'd like to first say thank you for the cable companies, thank you for c-span. my comment about senator hagel
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is that i think a lot of the people that would be opposing senator hagel are doing so because they cannot believe that an enlisted man in the army could rise to the post of secretary of defense. that is all i have to say. host: thanks for the call. you touched on that earlier. guest: i don't think that is true. we have already had an enlisted man become secretary of defense, during the clinton years. i don't think it prohibits you. i don't think it gives you much an advantage in running. that does not mean the services not vastly appreciated, but the area that it translates into being a batterer good, i don't think the evidence is there. host: chris jones calling iraq the single biggest foreign policy blunder in modern history.
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guest: that is senator hagel's view. and a lot of others. senator hagel votes for it, like many did, and it does a fair criticism that the bush administration sent to few troops and did not act sufficiently, quickly, to the insurgency that was happening there. i think it wasted three, three and a half years. frankly, the confidence in the american people about their competence in these things. then, i think, to their credit, president bush ordered the surge. it was for a clear the surge in the change in strategy worked on the ground. by the time the search was over with, -- surge was over with, stability had gone down. the number of casualties had dropped significantly. then the question is, were you going to stay there and try to help build a stable iraq over
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the long term? for a variety of reasons, some of them having to do with iraq, but some having to do with the obama administration's desire to get out of iraq today, we left that country. the result is kind of an increasing instability. if we had stayed, would it be unstable? it is impossible to say. i suspect we would have less instability. host: writing about this nomination, the headline -- there is the team of rivals and the movie "lincoln." moving from a team of rivals to a band of brothers. guest: the state of the union address will be on abraham lincoln's birthday. we have lots of ways to further reinforce this metaphor. host: the oscars are pending. guest: that is true. when you think of joe biden, chuck hagel, barack obama, john
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kerry, you four guys that worked in that committee. i think they will find opportunities. they did work together. i remember david petraeus, when he was testifying about afghanistan, was asked by richard luger about strategy and where afghanistan fit inside the broader objectives. he said, that is not my job. my job is to achieve success and achieve our objective inside afghanistan. i cannot tell you what the trade-offs are. i respect very schmitt a great deal. we have a legitimate disagreement as far as the strategic objectives and costs the united states bore for that. when we invaded iraq, which i opposed, i thought was completely right to decimate al qaeda, i thought the rationale for dealing with iraq was different.
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i thought you moved saddam hussein, you basically create an incredible opportunity for iran to grow. that would require us to take a different -- it has always been about iran, but our decision to take up the chief storm and tap in the bottle was something that, where you get a real test of the question of values and democracies, strong states, weeks states, and what a much more interest-driven calculation is about what dynamics you set up for iran. iran clearly began growing after the iraq invasion and after the assessment that they made that we were tied down. this is a function of strategy. william odom, a conservative republican, also said iraq was the greatest strategic blunder the u.s. has made. i want to validate that. i'm one who thinks there is a
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discussion that can be had about after we invaded, what is our responsibility to the iraqi people? setting up some semblance of democratic institutions, which i think are falling apart. did we help america's strategic objectives or did we hurt? that is one we need to have. chuck hagel began to say, this is where the combat experience happens, put american men and women on the front line and many of them will die. you better be darn sure that it is worth it, that the returns to the united states -- it cannot be sentimental or reckless. host: independent line, good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. chuck hagel is hard to pin down. i agreed with the surge. i was against it. secretary gates, president eisenhower, they are all very cautious midwesterners.
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i don't see anything wrong with that. i for destroys would have been david petraeus, you know? i would have -- my first choice would have been david petraeus, you know? i would have said, get back to work. i guess they're the band of brothers, saving private ryan from afghanistan. i don't see chuck hagel as an easy yes or no. he is a little more complex than that. host: let me use his comment to ask you a question. how many allies does chuck hagel have in the senate? maybe i should ask, republican allies he has. guest: i think it is point -- let me step back. when i worked in the senate, and i worked for a democrat, it was often the occasion when he would go to the senate floor and see senators walked in and the senators saw the other senators run up to them, republican or
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democrat, start chatting, and then there were other senators who for one reason or another kept their distance from the other senators. they would spend more time with staff. senator biden was one of those. senator hart was one of those. i gather senator hagel was one of those. they are not naturally senate people. that does not mean they don't have friends. it also does not mean they have a great deal of warm ties there. host: joe biden is not a senate person? guest: he grew to be one. he was not initially. i am an old guy. this is when he had hair. i would say h that wouldagel's ties areagel's different. in terms of republican support,
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i think it is very thin to nonexistent. i would like to see what happens in the hearings. i don't think people will vote for him because of french. host: we committed to all of the confirmation hearings. listen to them on c-span radio and watch them on the c-span networks. if you're listening on c-span radio coast-to-coast, we are speaking with steve clemons and gary schmitt, the co-director for the center err of this -- of security studies. our topic is chuck hagel as the next defense secretary. from tennessee, a democrat. good morning. caller: good morning. it does not matter who president obama nominates. the republicans are going to nix everything and everybody puts up there. they do not want somebody who was at war. they can sit behind their desks
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and put up accusations about people. not until you walk in their shoes like chuck hagel has. he knows what the price of wars. this republican congress is -- host: think for the call. guest: senator mccain has walked in those shoes. he has sacrificed a lot to deal -- great deal. a little bit more than senator hagel, actually. i don't think that is the issue. i would say that it is not clear that senator hagel, he may not get many votes from republican senators for the nomination, but there are a number of senators that lean towards more libertarian positions on foreign policy and would probably be more support of of the
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president's policies on retrenchment than perhaps they would be supportive of a republican who has in the white house. host: will all, our listeners and viewers. -- we welcome our listeners and viewers. go ahead, please. caller: good morning. very interesting discussion. thank you, c-span, for giving me the opportunity. what to say a couple of comments fast. i am not american. you probably get that by the accent. i am an iranian. i have never been in the united states. i used to have neighbors that for americans. they were working and living there. it is strange to me, this obsession amongst the political
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elite that any problem between israel and iran, it really must be amount of very thin layer of politicians, be it iran, be it the united states, be it is real, because i come from a country where a great majority of people have lived, the background is related to that. my family is not currently jews. i find it quite strange. there is no way that iranians, which i cannot say with a good level of certainty, hate jews or israelis status. a lot of my people live in israel. the problem that iran has, that it has been surrounded by 17 or god knows how many -- for the
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past 1400 years -- >> --host: we will stop with that point. guest: he said he has a long history. i have known many people that were immigrants. there was a jewish community living in the united states. this is complicated for a number of people. i think the broader question of, can't we all get together? these are states with objectives, legitimate concerns about security in the region and how america places its equities in the world. that is why these debates and discussions are important. "we don't know the outcome. there is no easy answer. host: we want to share with you what he said. senator chuck hagel back in
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2007, a congressional hearing in which he reacted to the announcement of what was called the surge, the increase of troops, and what it meant for the u.s.. >> i do not agree with that escalation. i would further note that when you say, as you have here this morning, that we need to address and help the iraqis and pay attention to the fact that iraqis are being killed, madam secretary, iraqis are killing iraqis. we are in a civil war. the sectarian violence, out of control iraqi-on-iraqi. worse, it is inter-sectarian violence. shia killing shia. to ask our young men and women to sacrifice their lives to be put in a civil war is wrong. it is morally wrong. it is tactically, militarily
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wrong. we will not win a war of attrition in the middle east. i further note that you talk about skepticism and pessimism of the american people. that is not some kind of a subjective analysis. that is because we have been there almost four years. there is a reason for that skepticism and pessimism. that is based on the facts on the ground, reality of the dynamics. i have been one, as you know, who believe the appropriate focus is not to escalate, but to try to find a broader incorporation of a framework. it would have to be regional. many of us have been saying for a long time that should not be new to anyone. but it has to be more than regional. it will need to be
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internationally sponsored. that will include iran and syria. when you were engaging chairman biden on this issue of the specific question, will our troops going to iran or syria in pursuit based on what the president said last night, you cannot sit here today, not because you are dishonest or you don't understand, but no one in our government can sit here and tell americans that we won't engage the iranians and syrians cross-border. some of us remember 1970. madam secretary, that was cambodia. when our government lied to the american people and said we did not cross the border going to cambodia, in fact, we did. i happened to know something about that. madam secretary, when you set in motion the kind of policies the president is talking about here is very very dangerous.
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i have to say, madam secretary, i think this speech given last night by this president represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since vietnam if it is carried out. host: the words of senator chuck hagel. a comment from a viewer, connie looks like she could kill with those guys. that statement, that hearing became a defining moment in chuck hagel's career. guest: probably the most significant military decision this country is made in a bad situation. senator hagel turned out to be really wrong. that there from merck, i do think she could have killed him. -- that stair from her, i do think she could have killed him. guest: i think that those words,
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i would say chuck hagel was completely right. they were defining moments. it was a lightning strike for those people in how they viewed american power, american strategy, decisions to m. -- to deploy forces. i think gary and some of his colleagues, you see that as the moment where chuck hagel structurally broke away from infrastructure about one american power as they were defining it. i come out of the realist tradition. i used to run the nixon center in town and the nixon wing of the republican foreign policy establishment largely applauded chuck hagel. this is not democrats versus republicans. these are views about the world and strategy which really exist inside both parties. we make a mistake -- i wish we had a real as line verses the other line. it is a very interesting moment. someone like me has so much
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respect for senator hagel. john mccain is international hero. so is chuck hagel. i have been at denver's -- eye was the emcee at the nixon senator's dinner -- nixon center's dinner honoring john kyl. chuck hagel was in the room. this is not a war between people. we often over-emphasize these questions of division. these are real debates. this is why we have the capital behind us to have these major discussions. chuck hagel, i think, it was a proud moment. he demonstrated an independence of thought and questioning that i think was vital for the country. host: i want to go to something you said. in terms of what the president said about iraq and afghanistan, saying iraq was the war of choice, afghanistan was a war of necessity.
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in your view, though, was iraq necessary? if so, why? what did we accomplish? guest: we have not accomplished all that much. it is a debatable question. it depends on a lot of factors that are out of my control. we should not forget that we did get rid of saddam hussein. it was a terrible tyrant to his people and a danger to the region. there is no question that we're better off with him gone. then the question is, how did we implement doing that? i think the bush administration did a very poor job, sprayed the credibility -- strained the credibility. we did turn it around on the ground. we had a change in elections for a new president came in and decided that iraq was not where he wanted to put any strategic emphasis. we pulled out. could that a been different? what if the surge happened in
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2003? we would probably be talking about a much different history and a much different middle east when it comes to american interests. it is hard to say it was worth it but it is difficult to say it was a complete failure. sayinghere's a tweet everything chuck hagel said was exactly right. tell us how he was wrong. guest: this was completely reasonable to talk about the vietnam experience. it was not on his experience, but the experience of the united states. he used that to think about everything since. for example, he offers a remark that because of the iraq war, syria and iran were the key to stabilizing iraq. that is not the case. syria and iran are the problems in stabilizing iraq.
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so, senator hagel is noted for his independence and judgment, but when he is wrong, he is wrong. host: joining us from the import -- from the republicans line, thanks and good morning to you. caller: good morning. i was looking at the military service that mr. hagel has and he has [inaudible] host: you are breaking up a little bit. rephrase your question. caller: i'm sorry. the credentials that chuck hagel has are quite impressive and i believe the president, by his appointment of chuck hagel, is reaching across party lines. i think he is doing a good job. i think we should appoint this man so that we can move ahead and move forward instead of looking at all the mistakes that
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were made by the people and try to learn from these mistakes and move on. why have we not reached across by partisan lines? we need to be bipartisan in how we handle the middle east issues. they are very sensitive. i am concerned that we need to move forward and stop this delay. congress has enough gridlocks in it already. they need to get off their debt orson do something. thank you. -- dead horse and do something. thank you. >> tomorrow, gretchen morgenson talks about mortgage lending. steve bell talks about the debt ceiling. then, the mission and scope of the bureau of all, tobacco, firearms, explosives. "washington journal," live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> next, "q&a."
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then, david -- david cameron takes questions at the house of commons. then a discussion on the guantanamo detention facility. >> the fundamental idea here is if you spend time in silicon valley, if you spend time in detroit, where the automobile industry is being rebuilt, if you spent time outside the beltway, you see that america has the potential to generate abundance for its own citizens and for the world. you spend time only inside the beltway, it looks like a zero sum game. it looks like a lose-lose. who will lose the most is the gist is the -- gist of the negotiation. water the lessons of the technology sector? what are the lessons that have come from the optimism in the technology sector? how can they give us some ideas that we can pass it along in washington, d.c.? the other


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