Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | December 21, 2012

You don’t have to be Jewish to oppose Hagel for Defense

The rightosphere has come out swinging against retired Senator Chuck Hagel’s potential nomination for secretary of defense.  If you didn’t know better, you’d think Hagel was a Democrat.  (He represented Nebraska as a Republican from 1997 to 2009.)  But the leftosphere is in the game too – and if you didn’t know better, you’d think opposing Hagel for the post was a “Jewish” thing.

Hagel’s record on US policy towards Israel is indeed a poor one.  Hagel publicly urged President Bush in 2006 to get Israel to simply cease her counterattack on Hezbollah – unilaterally, and with no assurances or even security goals obtained – when the terrorist group had attacked Israeli civilians and abducted two of her soldiers.  Hagel also declined that year to endorse designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.  He later opposed designating the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, in spite of its Qods Force’s involvement in terrorist attacks in the Middle East, and its support of and close relationship with Hezbollah and Hamas.

It’s one thing to recognize the truth about the terrorists and yet disagree with a particular administration’s policy.  It’s another thing, however, to pretend that the terrorists aren’t terrorists.  This latter thing is a disqualifier for the post of secretary of defense.

Chuck Hagel writes his own narrative, in which threats aren’t really threats and policies that actually work are just horrible, and that is the basic reason why he would make a very bad secretary of defense.  He doesn’t just disagree with sensible people on what our policy should be; he disagrees on what’s going on.  He characterizes the situation unrealistically.

His unrealism is captured well in an interview he did for the Financial Times in August 2011.  Hagel is comically vague in the first part of the interview, never answering the interviewer’s question (about Assad and Syria in the wake of the Arab Spring).  His comments are a masterpiece of bromide-filled evasion.

As the exchange unfolds, Hagel praises the assassination of Osama bin Ladin:

…a masterful job, a spectacular job, and a job that all Americans can be proud of, on how it was carried out, and the process and every aspect, step along the way.  Professionalism.

He has very different words for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, characterizing it as follows:

It was a terrible mistake that’s cost us in terrible ways.  The consequences are going to flow out of that mistake for many years.

Considered together, these are really idiotic comments from a potential secretary of defense.  Regrettably, there is no other way to put it.  Hagel’s evaluations are emotional, and bear no relation to the actual value of the national-security operations in the two cases.

The US military did a fantastic job, and bin Ladin is finally dead. But Al Qaeda isn’t – nor, more importantly, is Salafism, or radical Islamism in any form.  Except for the sense of justice for Americans, the death of bin Ladin was meaningless.  It had no national-security import at all.  Al Qaeda is operating robustly today in Syria and Libya.  When we drive it out of the Horn of Africa and Yemen, it goes elsewhere, as it did when we drove it out of central Iraq in the surge in 2007.

Far from a defeated entity, Al Qaeda is gaining purpose and momentum with the Arab Spring, especially in Syria and Libya.  Its purpose has shifted somewhat, away from attacking the US and toward guerrilla operations in the Middle East.  This is part of a larger, more fundamental trend unleashed by the Arab Spring: a pitched battle for the character of the Arab world.  And, in fact, state-Islamism is a far more important emerging trend than Salafi terrorism, because leaders of nations have all the resources of a nation at their disposal, including armed forces.

Iran has been the chief example of state-Islamism for thirty years, and the pattern is alarming.  Arab nations will do things somewhat differently because of their different culture, but Mohammed Morsi has already made his radicalism clear in Egypt, and we can be sure that state-Islamism in Arab nations will be no more pacific than it is in Iran.  The outcomes in Syria and Libya are still uncertain, but in Syria, at least, the prospects for the future are increasingly grim.

Painful as it is to acknowledge, this is not because the US is taking a hands-off approach to Syria.  It’s because we aren’t.  We and our European allies are backing the Islamist leaders of the insurgency, including dispatching shipments of arms.  Hagel says he fully endorses the Obama policy in Syria (see interview).

In August 2011, some of these developments were not as clear as they are now.  But Hagel spoke as if he were unaware of the stakes in the aftermath of the Arab Spring – as if nothing important had changed, and the terrorism of 2001 was still America’s top security problem.

His absurdly false evaluation of the Iraq war seems to be purely emotional, putting Hagel in the company of thousands of overwrought blog readers in the last decade who imagined themselves to be hideously oppressed by the policy choices of the Bush administration.  The actual aftermath of the Iraq invasion has been a somewhat remarkable level of pacification, given Iraq’s modern history.  For the first time since the 1960s, the region doesn’t have to worry about Iraq’s leadership changing hands in a violent coup – or about its leadership starting a war, firing on foreign shipping, gassing Turks or Iranians, or promoting terrorism abroad.

Americans mentally link Saddam Hussein’s demise with 9/11, but nothing about 9/11 itself guaranteed that Saddam would lose power or cease to be a security problem for the Middle East (and hence, for the world).  If Saddam had still been in power in 2011, when the Arab Spring erupted, the whole Middle East would have looked different.  Saddam would have wanted to get his finger in the Arab-Spring pie.  He styled himself a pan-Arabist leader, and could have had a particular influence in Syria given the Ba’athist ties between the two nations.  Moreover, radical Islamists could well have sought to depose Saddam in the Arab Spring, which would probably have meant an Iraq in disruptive chaos today, rather than the relatively stable condition we have.

But the US and a few other nations would also still have been enforcing sanctions and no-fly zones on him, meaning our force posture in the region would have been greater, in some ways, and qualitatively different.  (It would also have been the 20th year of sanctions enforcement, a very poor policy outcome.)  With Saddam still in power, many of the last decade’s shifts in regional alignments, and outreaches between the US and nations in the surrounding region, would not have happened, or would not have had the same histories.

Hagel considered sanctions a praiseworthy method (see the interview), and applauded their effect, in spite of their endlessness – the complete lack of an end-state in the policy – and the corruption of the regional economy through sanctions evasion, which was making billions of dollars for Iran.  (Not to mention the corruption scandal attending the UN’s administration of the oil-for-food program, of which Hagel speaks so highly.)

The world is much better off with Saddam gone and a comparatively stable, comparatively US-friendly Iraq.  It is mindless demagoguery – and it was in August 2011 – to keep flogging the theme that the Iraq invasion was a terrible mistake from which terrible consequences will come.  The consequences for US and global security have been positive.  There have been no bad consequences in that regard, nor is there any prospect of them.  Nothing that happens in the future will be a case of something that would have gone better if only we had left Saddam in power and kept enforcing sanctions on him (or, for that matter, had stopped enforcing them).

Prospective secretaries of defense should know better than this.  The facts on the ground are different from Hagel’s narrative, and that’s a very bad sign.  Hagel’s record, moreover, is one of strenuously opposing military actions that are likely to work, such as the US surge in Iraq in 2007, and the Israeli pursuit of Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006.  His dismissal of reality is integrally linked to this pattern, of course.  The combination makes for a very poor prospect as secretary of defense.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard online. She also writes for the new blog Liberty Unyielding.

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Responses

  1. I thought the SoS nomination is going to John Kerry. I heard he served in Vietnam.

    Let me raise the thought that the bin Laden operation was not a success in all aspects. We did nothing to protect the Pakistani doctor who confirmed bin Laden’s presence at the compound. In my naive view, the operation does not deserve an “A” unless we protect our clandestine sources from harm.

    • Kerry is indeed the front-runner for State. It’s Hagel who’s been bruited about for Defense, though.

      You make a good point about the bin Ladin raid and its fall-out. I’ve never been sure if we offered him asylum and he refused it, but if we didn’t, our government was remiss. There’s a limit to our ability to protect him inside Pakistan, But I hope we offered him asylum. Given Obama’s track record with CIs in Iraq, however, it’s possible that we didn’t.

      • For some reason I thought Hagel was a possibility for either SoS or SecDef. Apologies. There’s also a CIA post that needs to be filled on a “permanent” basis.

        As to the doctor, I note that we recently lost a Navy SEAL rescuing a doctor working for some NGO in Afghanistan. If the Pakistani doctor was not worth a rescue mission I wonder what the rescued physician was doing for us.

  2. In the light of this further attempt by the Israeli government and its agents to interfere in US domestic affairs, It is now even more important than ever that Chuck Hagel be appointed to Defense. The US has a vital interest in sending out a strong message that no foreign country or its agents has a veto over US government appointments.

    • there’s absolutely no importance to appointing Hagel and responding to that which you IMAGINE to be Israeli government interference is as dumb as your claim and as unimportant in the big picture.

      I assume that you weren’t really sincere in that lame-arsed comment and merely trying to be an irritant.

      • No, I assure you that I am deadly serious. Our constant appeasement of this foreign country – and thesame foreign country’s expectation of being appeased – is a substantial part of the reason why the Israel/Palestine conflict has become so intractable, and why the Israelis are about to fatally undermine the two-state solution which is the basis of US policy by closing the ring of Jewish settlement around what remains of Arab East Jerusalem.
        There is a chance that Hagel will be a voice at cabinet standing up for US policy and interests in the face of such appeasement. Moreover, the smear campaign against Chuck Hagel by the Likudists in the Weakly Substandard (and it is nothing more than that) is a farrago of distortions. The record shows that Hagel has being forthright in his view that, as an American, his interest and priorities are the interests and priorities of the US, and where the actions of foreigners conflict with ours (such as the Israeli land-grab) he will defend our interests without apology. That sort of attitude and sense of priority is unpalatable to the Israeli right and its agents.

        • p.s. When Obama decided to embark on his ill-fated attempt to broker a resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in his first term he was bounced into allowing Denis Ross an involvement in the process. Ross then did what he had always done in previous administrations – he undermined the position of the US as honest broker and kept the Israelis fore-warned and briefed on our negotiating strategy and positions (It was Ross and “Scooter” Libby that led Jack Straw, British Foreign Secretary at the time, to remark that it was difficult to tell on any given day whether these guys were taking their instructions from the US or the Israelis). Ross ultimately made Mitchel’s job impossible. Since being encouraged to resign from the administration he has been an open advocate for the Israeli government (Which is his perfect entitlement now that he is out of government).
          We don’t need people like Ross who seem to be confused in their priorities. We need unconfused people like Hagel. Moreover, Chuck Hagel seems to have all the qualities and competences needed to deal with the Pentagon and defense establishment in these challenging times.

          • and when Obama first attempted to see if there was any chance for a peace deal…he sent Kerry to contact Hamas…… he got frosted by them

            when he later sent Mitchell on an extended mission….Mitchell reported that there was NO chance…that Iran ( working through Hamas and others) had any deal blocked.

        • well, P, I sadden to read that you say that you are being serious.

          I assure that you’re not.

          • I would have a very different view on that. None the less, I sadden that you’re saddened.

            • P-t,

              You really shouldn’t short-change Hagel. He actually identifies those Americans he sees as disloyal to American interests as the “Jewish lobby”. He really should have been born 70 years earlier so that he could displayed his talents in some isolationist/Bund group (I expect you also would have fit in there).

              • He did not refer to anyone as “disloyal”. Moreover the term “Jewish lobby” was the common term used to describe what is now referred to in these more politically correct times as the “Israeli lobby”.
                The US has a vital interest in putting an end to this conflict, and to that end US administrations of different hues have consistently sought a resolution of this conflict within the parameters of a “two state solution”, roughly along the 1967 ceasefire line. We have, under both Republican and Democrat administrations opposed and condemned the illegal Israeli policy of settling Jews in the Occupied Territories, and of stealing private and public Arab property for that purpose. Hagel has at all times supported stated US policy. Much of the “Israeli lobby” hasn’t. He is also of a view that we should try to engage with those with whom we have differences and attempt to resolve those differences by negotiation. Such a policy of engagement has worked well in resolving conflicts worldwide. It is also more controllable and incomparably cheap in comparison to the alternative. The contrasting examples of Iraq and Northern Ireland bear this out. I appreciate however that genuine negotiation is contrary to the interests of those who would see negotiations as inimical to continuing settlement expansion, and the objective of undermining the possibility of an independent Palestinian state. However, settlement expansion has been contrary to stated US interests under every US administration.
                And just in case you think that the “Israeli lobby” is somehow uniquely reprehensible, or even unique. For years, what was incorrectly called the “Irish lobby” ensured that the US did little to inconvenience the funding by its US supporters of IRA terrorism in Northern Ireland. This lobby, with the the Irish American politician, Peter King, in its vanguard, was eventually faced down after having first assisted in decades of mayhem, and causing considerable diplomatic difficulties between the US and its number one ally, Great Britain. The defunding and neutering of the IRA followed (It had little actual support in Ireland itself) and paved the way for the resolution of the NI conflict, thus removing an irritant in US-UK relations.
                By the way, I oppose all foreign interests (Jewish/Israeli, Irish/IRA), whatever you want to call them, that try to undermine the interests of my own country. Nothing I have heard about Hagel makes me believe that he has any agenda other than the interests of his own country. That this is a problem for the so-called “Israeli lobby” is not my concern – nor should it be a concern of any US administration.

                • 1. “He did not refer to anyone as “disloyal”” – Hagel was fond of telling American advocates of pro-Israel positions that he opposed them because was an American, not Israeli, legislator. The clear implication is that only someone loyal to Israel rather than the U.S. would advocate for such positions. It would be rather like someone writing that Obama’s foreign policies are due, not to his assessment of what is proper policy for the U.S., but to his wanting to act as the head of the Muslim Brotherhood rather than President of the United States.
                  2. “(T)he term “Jewish lobby” was the common term used to describe what is now referred to in these more politically correct times as the “Israeli lobby”” – by whom? Going back to the 1980s I don’t recall either President Reagan or Rep. “Tip” O’Neil (respective leaders of the Ds and Rs in those days) using the term. Even the authors of the anti-Israel, “Israel Lobby” don’t use the term.
                  It’s also interesting that, in the 1990s, Hagel was the single U.S. senator, to refuse to sign a letter condemning persecution of Jews in Russia. Perhaps you want to argue that this also was motivated by his focus on “the interests of his own country”?
                  I won’t dignify your warped remarks concerning Israeli policies on the West Bank/Judea-Samaria with a response. Those interested in the legality of the Israeli position can consult the work of Prof. Avi Bell, for example, http://www.biu.ac.il/SOC/besa/docs/perspectives176.pdf.

                  • You can’t dignify the undignifiability of stealing. The Israeli land-grab, in addition to being undignifiable and illegal, is deeply inimical to the core values of our property-owing democracy and the values enshrined in the Constitution. This “Professor” Bell is no doubt espousing the interests (and what passes for the current morality) of Israel. He is certainly not espousing the interests or values of the United States of America.

                    I can’t imagine anything less dignified than stealing property from someone else, as distinct from earning it with the fruits of honest labour. Do these so-called settlers have any pride in themselves?

                    • “I can’t imagine anything less dignified than stealing property from someone else”

                      Really? Is your imagination that limited? I rather doubt it but it’s easy enough to assist you; 64+ years of terrorist attacks directed against and specifically targeting Israeli citizens. That alone would be 64 years of war crimes directed against civilians. Where’s your protest against that? But all we hear are the sound of crickets chirping…

                      Slaughtering an entire family, their children and an infant in its crib with not just zero condemnation from the Palestinian people but instead, celebration over the killing of a baby. Incessant wars of aggression against Israel for the ‘crime’ of existing. It’s quite revealing that your diatribes never, ever recognize the atrocities committed against Israel.

                      Nor does your argument ever acknowledge the purpose of the Jewish settlements, which is simply to force the Palestinians to sincerely negotiate by presenting them with a fait accompli; negotiate now in good faith with the certain prospect of getting back much of the land that Palestinian recalcitrance has lost or gradually face expulsion and annexation, which to ensure the very survival of Israel is a military necessity in the face of unending malevolence.

                      “we should try to engage with those with whom we have differences and attempt to resolve those differences by negotiation. Such a policy of engagement has worked well in resolving conflicts worldwide.”

                      Not against fanatics it hasn’t. Your faith in the efficacy in negotiation, when faced with evil cannot be due to historical ignorance; “We should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analyzing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will.” Neville Chamberlain, explaining Munich

                      Nor can you be ignorant of the inimical nature of Islam and the fanaticism it engenders in its adherents.

                      You cannot be ignorant of the fact that nothing Israel can say, do or give will appease the Muslim.

                      Therefore the issue of the settlements is an excuse, a cover for the moral cowardice that seeks always to appease and collaborate, that seeks personal survival over any other consideration. It matters little whether you, in your heart of hearts recognize the truth of the matter. As you’ve already demonstrated that you lack the intestinal fortitude to, in facing the truth make the decision to resist evil. In doing so, you’ve condoned the evil you fear and become its accomplice.

                      Labeling you a ‘dung beetle’ is only accurate in relation to the environment within which it exists and its source of sustenance. A dung beetle however, does not out of sheer cowardice, willingly sacrifice its fellows in order to preserve its miserable existence.

                      There’s no doubt that should the left triumph in its goals, that the day would come when your collaboration would extend to the sacrifice of your fellow Americans, as neither leopards nor those susceptible to collaboration change their spots. Thus it’s not a matter of if but only a matter of whether those you support will succeed.

                    • P-T wrote: ‘This “Professor” Bell is no doubt espousing the interests (and what passes for the current morality) of Israel. He is certainly not espousing the interests or values of the United States of America.’

                      Professor Bell is providing learned legal analysis. Feel free to dispute his legal analysis but, since you disparaged Prof. Bell’s credentials please post your own for anything beyond eating cheese doodles on the sofa. In the meantime, here’s a brief summary of Professor Bell’s credentials: “Abraham (Avi) Bell … Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law and at Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law … B.A./J.D. from the Univ. of Chicago, S.J.D. from Harvard … formerly a visiting professor at Fordham University School of Law and the University of Connecticut School of Law … widely-cited expert on property law, especially government takings of property, international law, especially the laws of war, and economic analysis of law”.

          • You fuster, on the other hand provide a modicum of hope that an informed point of view may yet arise, even among the mistaken.

            • Hear, hear! Perhaps a good omen for 2013?

        • The depth of ignorance and willful obtuseness you demonstrate in your comments would be quite astounding, were the source not so well known. That articulate intelligence and a completely erroneous point of view can be combined is disheartening when the future survival of civilization is considered. You are quite the putz.

  3. good you cleaned up that little point about him receiving the potential nomination.

    it’s certainly good enough to leave unedited at Howard’s site. he’s not gonna grasp any subtle error.

  4. There’s a pretty good opinion from Professor Alan Dershowitz at National Review. He argues that a Hagel nomination, even if it failed, could make the Iran situation greatly more dangerous. It would signal an unwillingness on the part of the US to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Iran would be encouraged to proceed, and Israel, which can afford no mistakes here, would be more likely to act militarily on its own.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/336259/hagel-wrong-man-alan-m-dershowitz

    • you read Dershowitz’s political stuff and take it as worthwhile?

      • I think he makes a valid point here. Not always.

        • after reading the first three paragraphs, it’s simply silly.

          he spouts some unsupported stuff in the first two, then posits that what he says is Obama’s clear policy….will be no longer operative …. because it’s not Hagel’s policy.

          as if Hagel will be directing the government rather than Obama.

          what did you like about it?

          did you actually believe that Iran’s going to ignore the the actions of the US and the pain of the sanctions…..because it can count on Hagel to control the American government?????

          • If a position is really important to the President, he will not want to nominate anyone who is not in accord on that point. Arguably, Hagel is not in accord with the Pres’s announced views, and his nomination could signal that the stated position of the President on Iran is either misleading or negotiable. And we don’t know what is being said sotto voce on some back channel believing the microphones are off. So, yes, I think there is a danger here.

            • and, because Ahmadinejad hasn’t been on board with the nuke weapons program and the defiance of the world community, does that mean that we’ve figures that Iran was really flexible and eager to negotiate???

              the contention that Hagel signals a shift is silly.

              the deal with Hagel is that he signals that Obama is through with Netanyahu’s bullspit, not that we’re not moving steadily to cut through Iran’s influence and isolate the theocracy and watch it wither and blow away.

        • Cuz— to be fair to you and dersh, Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a more respectable dude, makes some of the same arguments against Hagel.

  5. Call me naive but a Kerry-Hagel State/Defense duo would be a moderating influence and an improvement in comparison to RodhamClinton-Panetta.

    The conventional wisdom expects an improvement in relations with Russia and a “reevaluation” of our positions in regards to the so called “Arab spring”. Regardless of who is running the show, Iran will not be permitted to posses nuclear weapons.

    The Israelis are in a fix in any case. They need a Muslim blunder to shore up their position. To be perfectly frank, the cannot rely solely on the United States anymore and must diversify their strategic and tactical alliances .

    Actually I’m optimistic that with a little luck this duo might turn out ok on foreign affairs. Too bad I can’t say the same about the domestic economic situation. “It’s the economy stupid” never rang truer than it does today….

    • Naive you may be or simply uninformed but you are most certainly wrong when you speculate that a Kerry/Hagel combo has any chance of being an improvement upon Clinton/Panetta. Hard as it may be to believe they will be worse, as they will support Obama’s worst instincts, which now that he is in his last term, he will be strongly inclined to indulge himself in…

      Unless you define capitulation as an “improvement in relations” there will be no improvement in relations between the US and Russia.

      In addition, the only ‘reevaluation’ of our position in regard to the ‘Arab Spring’ will be further to the left and increased efforts at appeasement of radical jihadists like Morsi.

      The Israeli’s have been unable to rely upon support from the US since Obama’s election.

      You however remove all doubt as to your naivete when you state that, “Iran will not be permitted to posses nuclear weapons”.

      Of course I don’t expect you to take my word for it, so cherish your optimism while it lasts. Much disappointment awaits you.

      • Taking into account that we have a decidedly left of center president, a realist at defense and an experienced foreign relations senator at State is about the best we could hope for GB.

        I’m inclined to believe we will be pleasantly surprised by the performance of this duo (if confirmed). After all it did take a Nixon to go to China. Who better to utilize to counter Iran than a Hagel?

        You do know that I take your word very seriously..
        Merry Christmas :)

        • Obama is not merely left of center, he’s as far left as the political environment allows. Neither Panetta nor Hagel are a realist. A realist could not support Obama’s position nor serve under him.

          Kerry’s ‘experience’ is being consistently and unerringly on the wrong side of remarkably, every issue. A more disqualified Senatorial candidate would be difficult to nominate. But all of that is entirely in keeping with Obama’s goals and world view.

          We shall be neither surprised nor pleasantly so by the performance of this trio. It has disaster written all over it and history will record it as such. Hagel will only ‘counter’ our allies, he will, in offering advice to Obama, abet both the abandonment of Israel and, the coming Iranian nuclear weapons capability. He will be part and parcel to the nuclear proliferation that will inescapably result from Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

          This administration will be responsible for the deaths of millions, just as the European administrations of Chamberlain’s time were and Obama’s supporters, whether knowingly or out of ignorance are facilitating those future deaths as well.

          Nor will the absolutely predictable and certain denial of that future responsibility wash the blood from their hands. And the stain will be deepest upon the supporters, for without that support, Obama could do nothing.

          Though welcome, neither agreement nor support is necessary, clarity is all for without it, we all ‘stumble into the ditch’.

          A very dark storm is gathering upon a not-so-distant horizon.

          Merry Christmas to you and all, enjoy it while ye may.

    • good points, jg

      • Thanks and happy holidays to you and everyone

    • “Call me naive but a Kerry-Hagel State/Defense duo would be a moderating influence and an improvement in comparison to RodhamClinton-Panetta … Iran will not be permitted to posses nuclear weapons”.

      You would have to work hard to make it to “naïve”. Hagel’s conduct towards Iran is beyond appeasement and is close to abetting. Given the BHO administration’s recent action to water down and delay new Iran sanctions it’s clear Hagel represent’s BHO’s opinion in these matters. Exactly who in the BHO administration is going to not permit Iran to possess nuclear weapons … Kerry?

      Once again, Geoffrey Britain is on the mark.

  6. J.E.,

    Thank you for posting and adding to the spotlight on Hagel.

    The most interesting factoid I’ve read about Hagel in the context of the current discussion is that, since 2009, he has held an apparently lucrative advisory board position with Deutsche Bank, a bank currently under investigation for allegedly violating United States sanctions on Iran. So, if the allegations are true, Hagel ran interference for Iranian state terrorism in the Senate and then retired to line his pockets with Iranian blood money.

    On the other hand, he is the perfect representative of President BHO’s national security/foreign policy, so having him as SecDef would just give us our medicine w/o the sugar coating.

    Merry Christmas to all OC readers.

    v/r,

    MarcH

    • and hope you had a Happy Yalda, Marc.

      • I was happy to celebrate it with my Tajik comrades.

  7. After looking over, and judging, stuff on Hagel on the web, I’m gonna have to reluctantly disagree with you on this one OptCon. Opposition to Hagel’s nomination is mostly a “Jewish thing” after all.

    • The most vocal opposition to Hagel’s nomination no doubt is loudest from those opposed to his record on Israel. But Hagel is both an isolationist and disinclined to support allies, except when it is in America’s overwhelming interest to do so. That is indicative of a short sightedness that is a clear disqualification from SecDefense, whose main job is to ensure that the US is prepared for any possible threat to the greatest extent possible with the resources he controls.

      Our allies will, of necessity adopt the same posture and America will find itself isolated with few if any friends. That will greatly impact to the negative America’s ability to respond effectively to future threats. That of course is Obama’s goal and Hagel is just one of the tools he’s using to achieve it.

      Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of America is a euphemism for the ‘fundamental destruction‘ of America, a necessity so that his ideology can build an entirely different edifice upon the ruins of the old.

      • Ok GB. Let’s see if Hagel is nominated first before we take this further. In the meantime , have a good one.

  8. Senator Kerry (self serving Vietnam War Hero LOL!!!) ( I am going to keep my custom built yacht in another state to avoid taxes) will serve the presidents light footprint,defeatist,weak, can’t we all just hang out together policies very well.
    Perhaps a college professor for Defense that has spent some time with focus groups talking about defense matters. ” Why does basic training have to be so hard?” or “Do the armed forces really need guns?” “Would the Salvation Armey do a better job at making battlefield friends?”
    I mean really, all this work place violence on the battlefield has to stop! What will our enemies think of us, and for heavens sake pick up that brass.
    All we really need is the Coast Guard (on bio fuels with union representation of course) (richard Trumka presents this years national defense estimates) and a big friendly smile.
    To paraphrase Jack Hamm, Obama should wear a skirt.

  9. So, I guess the haggling over Hagel begins in earnest this week.

    And have a great year folks


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