Hagel would be an unmitigated disaster as secretary of defense.

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/1/06) – CAIR today called on American Muslims and other people of conscience to thank Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), a key Republican in the Senate, for demanding an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East.

Sen. Hagel said Monday: “How do we realistically believe that a continuation of the systematic destruction of an American friend, the country and people of Lebanon, is going to enhance America’s image and give us the trust and credibility to lead a lasting and sustained peace effort in the Middle East? The sickening slaughter on both sides, Mr. President, must end, and it must end now. President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop.”

President Bush has repeatedly turned down domestic and international demands for an immediate cease-fire. Hagel called on the president to name “a statesman of global stature” as an envoy to the region. He also urged direct talks with Iran and Syria.

“It takes great moral courage for elected officials to ignore party politics and the pressure of special interest groups to stand on principle in a time of crisis,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Senator Hagel deserves the thanks of all those who wish to see an immediate end to the current round of violence in the Middle East.”