Sen. Hagel Blames Iraq Policy On Influence of Elliott Abrams

30 de abril de 2007

<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="28" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><h1>Sen. Hagel Blames Iraq Policy On Influence of Elliott Abrams</h1><p>April 30--Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) said in an on-the-record conversation with conservative columnist Robert Novak, that Iraq is "coming undone" and that the regime there is "getting weaker by the day." He blames the situation on the influence of convicted and pardoned Iran-Contra perjurer Elliott Abrams, who is now Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy.</p><p>"The regional problem, as described by Hagel," wrote Novak in his April 29 syndicated column, "is a U.S. policy breakdown with a failure to engage Iran and Syria. `I do know that there are a number of Israelis who would like to engage Syria,' said Hagel. `They have said that Elliott Abrams keeps pushing them back." He quoted foreign ministers, ambassadors, and former U.S. officials as saying they believe Abrams "is making policy in the Middle East.'"</p><p>Of the claims that failure to stop the terrorists in Iraq will open the door to them in the American homeland, Hagel said, "That's nonsense. I've never believed that. That's the same kind of rhetoric and thinking that neo-cons used to get us into this mess, and everything that [Donald] Rumsfeld, [Paul] Wolfowitz, [Richard] Perle, [Douglas] Feith and the vice president all said. Nothing turned out the way they said it would."</p><p>Hagel was one of two GOP Senators who voted last week for the supplemental appropriations bill with a non-binding Iraq pull-out timeline. He has an 85.2% lifetime approval rating from the American Conservative Union.</p></div></body>