Tom Zirpoli is as predictable as he is dogmatic in toeing the liberal line.

In his haste to trash all things Republican concerning certain GOP senators' refusal to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, he seems to ignore other, perhaps larger, issues.

Zirpoli maintained that in picking a relatively unseasoned state governor as a running mate in his presidential bid, Sen. John McCain proved himself to be "uniquely unqualified" to judge the suitability of a presidential nominee. If that is so, then doesn't it follow that a president, whose thin resume includes being a community activist and a largely absentee senator, is equally unqualified to choose that nominee in the first place?

But I am totally mystified by Zirpoli's fixation on the Iraq War. Like nearly all liberals, he considers that war to be a wasteful, pointless and unnecessary mistake. This war is over and the point is moot. Zirpoli may find more relevance in questioning the reasons behind the Banana Wars of the 1920s and '30s.

Totally ignored in Zirpoli's reasoning is the fact that the late Saddam Hussain was, simply put, not a nice guy. Hussain seized control of the legitimate Iraqi government and brutally crushed opposition. He warred on neighboring countries, committed genocide via chemical warfare and practiced ecological rape on an unprecedented scale. The willful destruction of the Kuwaiti oilfields alone should have had the environmental left calling for his head.

Whether or not he had weapons of mass destruction is an entirely separate discussion, but it is clear that removing Hussain from power may have spared humanity from much more horrific acts -- one can speculate what a similar coalition could have accomplished in Europe in 1938.

Zirpoli is certainly free to use his column to make simplistic arguments to support his beliefs. If I had been asked my views on Hagel's suitability, I would have given him the benefit of the doubt except for one reason: Since President Obama has been a disaster for this country since day one, and he has chosen Hagel, then Hagel cannot be the right man for the job. I can make simplistic arguments too.

Frederick Frevert