Politics

Michael Moore, Bill Kristol square off over merits of Hagel nomination

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Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

In a blog post on his website, left-wing documentary filmmaker Michael Moore praised Republican Nebraska Sen. and potential secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel for suggesting in 2007 the war in Iraq was a conflict about controlling the country’s vast oil reserves.

The move prompted something of a standoff between Moore and the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, who wrote in a blog post that Hagel’s statement might prevent him from landing Pentagon’s top job.

“This rounds out a Hagelian worldview — but I also wonder if it could be the straw that breaks the back of Hagel’s chances,” Kristol wrote.

Moore then responded in another post with an open letter to Kristol that named other major figures who said the war in Iraq was about oil, including former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, conservative commentator Ann Coulter and Gen. John Abizaid.

Moore asked Kristol to add those remarks to his post, and offered $1,000 to a charity of Kristol’s choosing if he did so.

Hagel’s quote specifically called out those who said the war was not related to Iraq’s oil supply.

“People say we’re not fighting for oil,” Hagel said in 2007. “Of course we are. They talk about America’s national interest. What the hell do you think they’re talking about? We’re not there for figs.”

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