Politics: Leave it to Chuck Hagel, love of the Iranian Mullahs to call this and use moral equivalence between Israel and a terrorist group.
|WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Urging President Bush to turn all U.S. efforts toward "ending this madness," a leading Republican senator Monday broke with the Bush administration and called for an immediate cease-fire in the Mideast.
"The sickening slaughter on both sides must end and it must end now," Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel said. "President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop."
The Bush administration has refused to call for Israel to halt its attacks on southern Lebanon, joining Israel in insisting that Hezbollah fighters must be pushed back from the Israeli-Lebanese border.
President Bush Monday in a speech in Miami Beach, Florida, reiterated his call for a cease-fire in the Mideast only if it brought a "long-lasting peace" that addressed Iran and Syria's support for Hezbollah, the Islamic militia that Israel is targeting. (Full story)
Hagel said that refusal threatens to isolate the United States and Israel and harm chances of achieving a long-term peace in the region.
"How do we realistically believe that a continuation of the systematic destruction of an American friend -- the country and people of Lebanon -- is going to enhance America's image and give us the trust and credibility to lead a lasting and sustained peace effort in the Middle East?" asked Hagel, the No. 2 Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Calls for 'a statesman'
He called on Bush to name "a statesman of global stature" as his personal envoy to the region. And he urged the administration to open direct talks with Hezbollah's backers, Iran and Syria, both of which Washington also accuses of meddling in Iraq.
"Our relationship with Israel is special and historic," he said. "But it need not and cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relationships. That is an irresponsible and dangerous false choice."|
This is what he had to say on Friday.
|The Bush administration's policies have been criticized by some Republicans, too. In a speech Friday at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., suggested U.S. support for Israel was coming at the expense of U.S. relations with Muslims and Arabs.
Whether or not Syria and Iran were directly involved in Hezbollah and Hamas aggression in Israel, Hagel said, ``both countries exert influence in the region.''
``As we work with our friends and allies to deny Syria and Iran any opportunity to further corrode the situation in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, both Damascus and Tehran must hear from America directly,'' he said.|
Question, how do you deny Syria and Iran any chance to damage the region as you want us to talk to them which means they get the chance to further embed themselves in the region? What do you mean "whether or not" Syria and Iran is involved? Of course they are you dolt. The only way to get all of the middle east on our side is to systematically undercut Israel from every direction and that was before all this happened. So Hagel being the mush mouth that he is think just talking and sucking up to everyone will end all of this? Wrong.
leading presidential candidate for 2008? What planet?