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Embassy Evening With U.S. Senator Hagel

     WASHINGTON, D.C.  The full title of the well received, hard hitting and common sense book is "America - Our Next Chapter...Tough Questions, Straight Answers," authored by U.S. Senator Charles "Chuck" Hagel (Republican - Nebraska). To its great credit, the totally non-partisan book deals intellectually with the many domestic and global challenges that America must face in the 21st century, with an optimistic eye on our nation's future.

senator Hagel in Polish embassy

The Senator Introduces His Book. SenatorChuck Hagel is pictured above, left, at the Embassy of Poland being interviewed by Cultural Counselor Mariusz Brymora. Under discussion is Sen. Hagel’s recently published book “America, Our Next Chapter.”

   The presentation, interview and discussion took place here at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland on September 17, 2008. The event was hosted by Ambassador Robert Kupiecki in cooperation with the Jan Karski Institute. A large audience was in attendance, which included many distinguished quests.

     Sen. Hagel's book honestly deals with confronting and solving many pressing problematic domestic issues affecting all of us. Leading the list is health care, immigration, Social Security, Medicaid, economic health of the country, the national debt, and our national security.

senator Hagel

While speaking, Sen. Hagel is flanked by a famous painting of King Jan III Sobieski bravely leading his outnumbered Polish Army to victory over the Ottoman Turks during the Battle of Vienna in 1683. The victory effectively ended the Turkish/Muslim invasion of western Europe.

     He also considers equally critical to us such global matters as the responsible conduct of our foreign policy, eradicating pervasive third world poverty, defeating terrorism, the Iraq War that has divided our country, stopping/controlling nuclear proliferation, maintaining mutually beneficial international organizations and military alliances, reaching out to the world's youth, and the specter of global climate change.

     During the extensive interview moderator Mariusz Brymora adroitly steered Sen. Hagel in direction of Poland. In response, Sen. Hagel emphatically made the point (noted in his book) that Poland was able to defend against communism because the communist were never able to strip the soul out of the Poles. Poland was the one nation that stubbornly clung to its religious faith and culture, which eventually defeated the communist.

Senator Hagel

Sen. Hagel addressing his remarks to the attentive audience. Seated at right is Ambassador Robert Kupiecki.

      During the ensuing Q&A session Sen. Hagel replied to a question about the recently concluded U.S. - Poland Missile Defense Agreement by saying that it troubled him...it seemed to be slapped together quickly before the present administration leaves office. He questioned if the risk/reward factor was completely thought out...if it was good for the Poles and the Czechs (also a party to the Agreement). Hagel said he was not 100% convinced that it's a wise thing to do.

     Upon attending the Embassy on October 2, 2007 Sen. Hagel, a friend and supporter of Poland and Polonia, was decorated with the Commander's Cross - With Star, Of the Order of Merit, Of the Republic of Poland, by  Ambassador Janusz Reiter. And now he has returned to present his seminal and profound tome dealing with many crucial matters affecting both the United States and the world.

     No doubt that family matriarch - "Grandma Konkelewska" - who emigrated from greater-Poznan, Poland to Nebraska, would be justifiably proud of her accomplished great-grandson - Chuck Hagel - on both notable accounts.

The book is available by Amazon: America: Our Next Chapter: Tough Questions, Straight Answers

America - next chapter by Hagel

        Text and Photographs by Richard P. Poremski, contact the author by e-mail.
The article was published originally in
Polish-American Journal
October 6, 2008

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