Hagel Petition Update

I have gotten so many letters about our campaign to fight the smear campaign against Chuck Hagel that I can’t possibly respond to them individually, and so I’m taking to the Antiwar.com blog to answer and to give our readers and supporters an update.

 It is now Day Two and a half of the petition drive, and as of this very moment we are up to 1,165 signatures. For the past twenty-four hours or so, I’ve been visiting the web sites of various news organizations, cutting and pasting my message in the comments section of each and every article on the Hagel controversy, and it goes something like this:

Defeat the smear campaign: sign the White House petition in support of Chuck Hagel” – after which I post the link.

 I’ve been surprised – and pleased – to notice, in my virtual travels, that someone has preceded me, and posted that very message or a similar one before I could get there. My strenuous – some might say over-strenuous – twittering on this subject may have been responsible for some of that, and I want to take this opportunity to urge you to help me out here.

 It’s actually not as boring as it sounds: life in the comments section, as you may know, can be interesting. Just reading these numerous comments on the Hagel controversy has been very enlightening – and instructive. For example, if you go to neocon columnist Jennifer Rubin’s page on the Washington Post web site, and look at the comments appended to her anti-Hagel tirades, they are a virtual tsunami of disdain directed at the author. Commenter after commenter ridicules her transparent “arguments” that always seem to be based on the operative principle of “Is it good for Israel?” What’s good for America never seems to enter the occasion. That comments section has no doubt been a rich source of petition signatures.

 The inside-the-Beltway types and their lobbyist friends have enforced a foreign policy orthodoxy that Hagel, in many ways, defies: that’s why they’re out to not only nix his nomination but to destroy him. The people, however, are with Hagel, and against the Lobby – and our job is to mobilize them, and educate them in the process.

 Nearly all the responses I have seen to our campaign, coming from our supporters, have been … well, supportive. In the hours after we emailed our appeal, it was kind of thrilling to watch the numbers on the counter take a qualitative leap forward. So far, we have more than doubled the number I originally managed to garner on my own, and the signatures are still coming in.

 The problem is, we need them to keep coming – and at a much faster rate. Which is why I’m here, now, hectoring you. Please help me out: I need people to troll the internet, looking for likely places to publicize this important campaign. If you have a web site, you might want to post it there: if you have a Twitter account, please tweet the link to your “followers.”

 I don’t want to go on about this, but I have to say I did this on impulse. As the neocons let loose their mudslide of smears, amid growing speculation the President might cave, a jolt of pure anger catapulted me back into my office chair, after a long work day, and compelled me to go to the White House petition site. Quite aside from his views, the sight of a man of such obvious personal integrity being pilloried in a disgusting orgy of baseless slander was just too much for me to bear. I had to do something.

 Well, I have to go back to what is now my job: trolling the internet and pasting my message with accompanying link: see you there.

50 thoughts on “Hagel Petition Update”

  1. If you decide to have a march in DC in support of of Hagel let me know. Also protest the detention bill going to the president.

  2. Not really sure how this helps. Hagel is reluctant to give Israel a blank check because he knows how counterproductive it is to the US aims in the middle east. Hagel in an imperialist. I could never support him

  3. The commenters on the yahoo blog on Kerry’s nomination is also FULL of upset voices that Hagel is being smeared, and that USA interests must take precedence – hundreds of thumbs up signs showing up for those comments

  4. Why not keep fighting, post the link. Its multiplying. Its snowballing. Its sparking a second look and debate. Why are these "monoists" (Stephen Walt), these neoconservatives smearing the first Sec. of Defense potential appointee since the Nixon Administration with a purple heart? Get five friends to sign the petition (if not five, one, two or more). It only takes about 8 people per each county in the US (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080317075428AASQhvr) to reach the petition goal. Very doable.

  5. Has the peace movement become so jaded as to push for Chuck Hagel, a long-time republican who voting-wise supported the Iraq war and the Patriot Act, among other right-wing and neo-corporate agendas? He isn’t against war, he is against the way the Bush administration handled the Iraq war.

    As a liberal pacifist, I am firmly against Hagel holding any position in our Government.

  6. Hagel turned his back on too many veterans in Nebraska. He still owes a Nebraska family an apology for dropping the ball on their requests for a medal for their WWII and Korean war vet father, who died in 2007. Hagel did not help them. Hagel was also involved in a smear campaign against military veteran Richard Dickson of Papillion, Nebraska.

    1. I would think getting someone a medal after the fact is not easy to do, I am just thinking that. Korea ended in what ,1953? A smear campaign I know nothing about. I just know that picking a fight with a bunch of nimrod Mullahs just for the sake of a foreign government is not very wise. And I did not give you a negative vote, that is what democracy is about. Your opinion matters.

  7. He's not going to put a halt to Israel's ethnic cleansing of the former owners of that land, he's not going to curb the funding of said genocide. Why would an antiwar blog champion someone for Secretary of War?

    1. The obvious answer, Jerk, is because he has spoken out against more ME wars and even against the Iran sanctions. Does this mean that Obama wants to change the Bush-lite policies he pursued for the past 4 years? Does Obama have the guts to actually nominate Hagel or will he fold like with Susan Rice?

      Also during WW2, it was called the War Dept, which is what it should still be called. The change to Defense Dept was positively Orwellian.

  8. Hahaha! How did getting suckered by the inside game *again* feel Raimondo? The Peace Prize hustle rills on, sickeningly played along with by antiwar.com this time!

  9. The distractions of the political game are literally designed for this kind of misdirection ploy. I am just surprised you fell for it and wasted your energy and the resources of the site we plebs contribute to feed the state whose health is popular engagement in its corrupt politics just as surely as it is war.

    Only outside mass, militant, anti-systemic pressure kept safe from the sellout recuperationist impulse you weakly fell forhere can possibly fundamentally defeat US interventionism/imperialism.

    A petition! How charming! If you weren't an old hand I'd swear you were a naïve romantic!

    But it just feels too good to be insider-y to feel as though you are part of the day to day back and forth rough and tumble of the media circus show that is Imperial politics. (No matter how little that has to do with actually stopping wars).

    Wouldn't someone genuinely interested in stopping the imperial beast be promoting disinvestment from and loathing of the system, not engagement with it? The whole political system is rigged to produce imperialism, participation only strengthens it. The political system will collapse before they give up imperialism- we antiwarriors should help, not retard, that process.

    But, thanks for taking me to this Harlem Globetrotters game, I'm not really surprised who won.

  10. Right wingers for Hegel! Its like a reactionary (er?) Version of Win Without War (hey, whatever happened to them anyway?)

  11. Broad-based ideologically but principled single issue site? Great idea! Probably why I chip in! How about we stick to that and cut the political endorsements? And carrying water for a pro-war politician, no less!

    You clowns are *lucky* he got nowhere! Think how poorly his war crimes, aggressions, assassinations, sanctions on civilians, torture and kiddie collateral damage would have reflected on the site and the movement"

  12. I was watching Rachel Maddow last week when she was talking about Obama's 2nd term cabinet. All recent POTUS's had already nominated their 2nd term cabinets within 45 days of reelection. It only took GWB 8 days. Why is Obama just letting possible nominees twist in the wind for weeks so that his many opponents can take relentless shots at them? Very poor management if you ask me. I would not be surprised at all if Hagel withdraws like Susan Rice did. I question whether Obama can take the heat. It's also disgusting how the gay lobby has attacked Hagel over some comments made years ago – like that issue is more important than war & peace?

  13. Antiwar.com is losing credibility by the day. Libertarians are useful idiots for the plutocrats. As are the Liberals.

    It doesn’t take a lot of thought to see that this “issue” is just kabuki. Who cares who the spokesmodel for the Pentagon is?

  14. I don’t want to go on about this, but I have to say I did this on impulse. As the neocons let loose their mudslide of smears, amid growing speculation the President might cave, a jolt of pure anger catapulted me back into my office chair, after a long work day, and compelled me to go to the White House petition site. Quite aside from his views, the sight of a man of such obvious personal integrity being pilloried in a disgusting orgy of baseless slander was just too much for me to bear. I had to do something.


  16. Why would anyone support a war monger like Hagel to be the SecDef? The defense budget under former Sen. Hagel tripled from $200 billion to $700 billion a year. Hagel did nothing to stop it. Hagel approved the wars and the murders of whistleblowers. Hagel confirmed 963 generals and admirals, no questions asked. Hagel owned the voting machines that got Bush elected and reelected. 'Hagel for statue washer' would be more appropriate.

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