Earlier this week, an acquaintance of mine complained that,
"There is nothing inherently "conservative" about the war in Iraq, and nothing inherently objectionable to the idea that we should have a more humble, skeptical and cautious foreign policy. The way that Paul, Hagel, et al, have been virtually drummed out of polite Republican circles for arguing that we should be more cautious and skeptical is eternally frustrating to me. Even if I disagree with them, it's a valuable perspective - and, in the grand scheme of foreign policy, more often right than (wrong)."
The problem Ron Paul and Chuck Hagel have is not truly that they're disagreeing with most of their fellow Republicans, it's that they're disagreeable fellows who’ve adopted the offensive rhetoric of the Left as their own on foreign policy.
The people who back the war in Iraq -- which even included the majority of the Democrats in the Senate until the war became unpopular – aren’t doing so because they are malevolent people. People who support the war in Iraq (myself included) believe it's just and honorable, we believe that America is a decent country, and we hold the foreign policy views that we do because we think those policies are best for our nation.
If you rant about neocons maliciously tricking America into war and an American empire, excuse the terrorists for attacking us on 9/11, falsely accuse the President of lying to get us into war, and suggest impeaching Bush over a war that was initially even supported by the likes of Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Chuck Hagel, you can't expect to be embraced by conservatives who agreed with Bush then, agree with him now, and think your arguments are insulting. Put another way, you can argue for a more "humble and skeptical" foreign policy without being a jerk about it -- and we definitely do need people to do just that.