Appearing today on CBS Face the Nation, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) described Iraq as “a hopeless, winless situation.” He harshly criticized the Bush administration’s recent decision to increase troop levels calling it “very wrong” and “irresponsible.”
Hagel said Iraq was “headed” toward a civil war. He was adamant that “we cannot put American troops, and ask them to do the things that we’re asking them to do in the middle of a civil war.” Hagel added, “I hope this administration has got a way out of this.” Watch it:
HAGEL: There’s no good options here, no good options. I — I would move toward a higher ground toward right back to what you talked about, Bob, the regionalization. I would — I would get the first President Bush, President Clinton involved and try to impanel a — a regional security conference, a regional diplomatic conference. The UN can be part of that. Unless you come at it that way, we’re going to be leaving Iraq, and it is not going to be the way we intended to leave Iraq. Because that — that is the direction of where this is going. It is very wrong, Bob, to put American troops in a hopeless, winless situation, just keep feeding them in to — to what’s going on. That’s irresponsible and that is wrong. SCHIEFFER: But if, if the United States leaves, won’t you somehow have a confederation of Iran and the government there with the Shiites that are in — in — in southern Iraq? Sen. HAGEL: Bob, like I said, there…there — Bob, Bob, there are no good options here. That — that may well happen, I don’t know. But let me ask you the question, and I hope the president and his people are starting to ask themselves this question, that what is — what is the alternative? Are we going to put our troops in the middle of a civil war? Who are they going to fight? This will be slaughter of immense proportions. The American people will not put up with it, the leadership in Congress will not put up with it. I hope this administration has got a way out of this, because yes that’s a tough question, Bob, but the fact is that may well be the way it turns out. But we cannot put American troops, and ask them to do the things that we’re asking them to do in the middle of a civil war, and that’s where it’s headed.