Hagel: B'casters should weigh in on war


Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) Monday called on broadcasters to weigh in on the issue of war with Iraq as they meet with their representatives
in Washington this week.

Talking to industry leaders in town for a National Association of
Broadcasters-sponsored meet-and-greet with legislators, Hagel -- a Vietnam veteran and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee --
spent most of his speech on the possible war with Iraq, saying the country
should work at building coalitions through the United Nations and NATO rather
than rushing into a unilateral action that could be seen abroad as imperialism.

As cautionary tales, he cited several examples from Barbara Tuchman's book,
The March of Folly, of the dangers of "the arrogance of power," including
failed policies in Vietnam.

Hagel praised broadcasters for helping to "keep democracy alive" by educating,
informing and providing balance, but he also said they must take some
responsibility for keeping the nation from adopting policies that could have
disastrous consequences.