By Charlyne Berens
In overdue August 2004 the Republicans have been celebrating the nomination of incumbent George W. Bush for one more time period as president of the us. in the course of the festivities, Chuck Hagel, a senator from Nebraska, was once telling journalists that the Republican occasion had “come unfastened of its moorings.” This was once a daring place for somebody pointed out by way of the recent York occasions, la occasions, and Boston Globe as a potential 2008 presidential candidate, however it used to be now not excellent coming from a Republican senator who had additionally lately remarked that the career of Iraq used to be poorly deliberate and that it had inspired the unfold of terror cells during the international. who's Chuck Hagel, what's his tale, and is he a real participant at the nationwide political degree? Charlyne Berens units out to respond to those questions in her shut and cautious examine probably the most fascinating and autonomous figures at the present American political scene. Having survived a travel of accountability in Vietnam and having made a fortune as a pioneer within the cell phone undefined, Chuck Hagel likely got here out of nowhere to overcome a well-liked sitting governor in a race for the U.S. Senate in 1996. Berens charts Hagel’s quickly upward push to nationwide acceptance and effect and examines the historical past that has led Hagel to an outspoken internationalism that frequently places him at odds together with his personal celebration and president. This advanced, plain-spoken Nebraskan might be on his method to the White residence. Charlyne Berens explains why and the way.
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Additional info for Chuck Hagel: moving forward
Compared to Vietnam, where most troops were headed those days, Germany was a luxury posting. But as he lay on his bunk at Fort Dix, watching his buddies pack, Hagel had second thoughts. “I decided it was not the right thing to do,” he said. “There was a war going on. The right thing, if I was in the army, was to go where the war was,” to ﬁght as his father had done in World War II. So he took his orders to the orderly’s ofﬁce at Fort Dix and said he wanted to volunteer to go to Vietnam instead of Germany.
The board members were stunned. They asked him if he wanted to think it over, wanted to talk to his mother about it. He said no. He was sure he was doing the right thing. Describing the time between his high school graduation and his enlistment in the army, Hagel used a term Winston Churchill had used. “Those were ‘wilderness years’ for me,” he said. “I couldn’t stay disciplined or focused. . ” Part of the reason, Hagel said, may have been the absence of a father in his family. ” The young man who played the father role for his brothers needed a father himself.
We see war up here in very antiseptic terms. We see it in bright policy terms. In human suffering terms? S. allies. “I still see images of a great nation running away,” Hagel said, “knowing the fate of most of the people left behind. . ’” In 2004, looking at how entangled America had become in Iraq, Hagel began to think maybe the nation had had no good alternatives when it left Vietnam in the seventies. S. ” One of his obligations as a senator, he said, is to bring some of his perspective to the table as the Senate debates wars and rumors of wars.
Chuck Hagel: moving forward by Charlyne Berens