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I'll explain it this way. If done right, the appointment of Chuck Hagel hopefully sees a shift back to more realism and restraint in foreign policy that seemingly last existed under the elder Bush. I look back at the Gulf War and the Madrid Conference and ask whether Bush was more reasonable in foreign policy compared to his successors (including his son!). Hagel seemingly recalls this realism and restraint with his harder line on Israel and his scepticism towards the whole Iraq adventure- neither of which sits well with the neocon crowd, despite Hagel being a Republican!

There are regimes I hate and want destroyed, but going to war with them is NOT the way. The invasion of Iraq was immensely stupid, and avoidable even if chaos in Iraq sometime down the line wasn't. I distinguish this clearly from Syria and Libya, whose rebellions are genuinely home-grown and a legitimate reaction to brutal tyranny. We failed to learn what worked in the Cold War that brought down Communism. We didn't go into Eastern Europe to liberate them, this happened on its own, peacefully, through the intellectual, spiritual and moral empowerment of the people. The Soviet monster thus fell. We all despise the Islamic Republic of Iran and wish for its demise, but war is NOT the way to do it. Only through its eventual internal chaos and through the same ways Communism was undermined and collapsed, can change happen. I hope that lesson is learned.

For that reason, the appointment of Chuck Hagel, I hope, might bring an even-handedness badly needed in foreign policy. I use the operative word "might". The rules of the game are different from 10 or 20 years ago.
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