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Author: Subject: The Neocons come with guns blazing over Chuck Hagel nomination

Universal Peach





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  posted on 1/7/2013 at 02:33 PM
Another sh*t storm over Obama nomination:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/07/politics/hagel-defense/index.html?eref=mrss_i google_cnn

[Edited on 1/7/2013 by Chain]

 
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Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/7/2013 at 03:25 PM
Seems to me Hagel represents exactly the type of Defense Secretary we need at this point in time. A veteran that has actual wartime experience; a moderate, thoughtful, practical, leader who's not afraid to question certain relationships within the Pentagon and how our military should be utilized with regard to foreign policy. He also understands that we need to seriously cut the Pentagon budget and is prepared for the fall out within DOD that that represents.

He also has the cujones to question the influence of organizations like AIPAC on our foreign policy.


 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/7/2013 at 05:47 PM
I like Chuck Hagel. It figures the current GOP would go nuts over his nomination...they're all pretty much batsh*t crazy and he's not.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/7/2013 at 06:15 PM
If we had listen to Hagel we'd still be in Iraq or worse...Remember the whole the Iraqi surge would be the worst military blunder since Vietnam, or words to that effect. But yea, how dare anyone question such forward thinkers.
 

True Peach



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  posted on 1/7/2013 at 06:20 PM
quote:
...they're all pretty much batsh*t crazy and he's not.

Not all. Some.

I think Hagel will be better than Panetta.

 

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  posted on 1/7/2013 at 07:08 PM
I believe some of it's due to statements he made 100 years ago, some of it is his go against the good 'ole boys network & that of his own party, and some of it is just the GOP continuing to say "no" to "anything Obama". The GOP continues to act like it won the recent election.

One of the dissenters is John McCain. One can marvel at McCain and his anti Obama attitude. Since he was defeated in 2008, he's fallen into the "grumppy old man syndrome". He puts up a wall to anything Obama says or supports. Instead of representing the people who sent him to Congress, McCain seems to carry a personal vendetta. It's a tough thing for JM to stay relevant.

 

True Peach



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  posted on 1/7/2013 at 07:58 PM
quote:
I believe some of it's due to statements he made 100 years ago, some of it is his go against the good 'ole boys network & that of his own party, and some of it is just the GOP continuing to say "no" to "anything Obama". The GOP continues to act like it won the recent election.

One of the dissenters is John McCain. One can marvel at McCain and his anti Obama attitude. Since he was defeated in 2008, he's fallen into the "grumppy old man syndrome". He puts up a wall to anything Obama says or supports. Instead of representing the people who sent him to Congress, McCain seems to carry a personal vendetta. It's a tough thing for JM to stay relevant.

We'll see. The confirmation hearings haven't begun yet.

 

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  posted on 1/7/2013 at 09:45 PM
mccain should just go find a nice home where they feed him pudding three times a day and he can watch cartoons between naps.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/7/2013 at 09:46 PM
He should take lindsey graham with him.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 1/7/2013 at 09:52 PM
quote:
If we had listen to Hagel we'd still be in Iraq or worse...Remember the whole the Iraqi surge would be the worst military blunder since Vietnam, or words to that effect. But yea, how dare anyone question such forward thinkers.


Hagel was wrong on the surge and was wrong to authorize Iraq in the first place. If he and others had been right the first time, they never would have faced the surge vote (to try to salvage something from a disastrous misadventure).

People make mistakes, even senators. Perfection can't be expected from any nominee.

 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 1/7/2013 at 10:00 PM
A former enlisted Grunt who isn't going prostrate himself for Israel. I like this guy!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/7/2013 at 10:56 PM
quote:
He should take lindsey graham with him.


He'd have a better time taking Lindsey Lohan with him!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/7/2013 at 10:58 PM
quote:
A former enlisted Grunt who isn't going prostrate himself for Israel. I like this guy!


The thing most people have missed is that we actually want to stir things up in Israel. That's right, the anti-Christ cannot rise to rule over Israel unless somebody unseats their ruling regime and the only one who does foreign policy changes lke that is us. Therefore, their false sense of security will be their downfall. Just wait till William rises to the Kingship of jolly ole England, big changes will start happening on a global scale.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 1/8/2013 at 07:06 AM
quote:
The thing most people have missed is that we actually want to stir things up in Israel. That's right, the anti-Christ cannot rise to rule over Israel unless somebody unseats their ruling regime and the only one who does foreign policy changes lke that is us. Therefore, their false sense of security will be their downfall. Just wait till William rises to the Kingship of jolly ole England, big changes will start happening on a global scale.

That must be it.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/8/2013 at 08:24 AM
quote:
If we had listen to Hagel we'd still be in Iraq or worse...Remember the whole the Iraqi surge would be the worst military blunder since Vietnam, or words to that effect. But yea, how dare anyone question such forward thinkers.


Hagel based this opinion at the time on how incredibly inept the war in Iraq had been run previous to the actual surge. An opinion the facts would seem to support based upon what we now know about the failures previous to Patreus coming on the scene. I'm speaking about people like Brenan who had completely mismanaged the war.

Personally I think dissent and serious questioning of other Congressman/women and the brass by other elected representatives is a good thing. In fact, it's precisely what the neocons fear so much about a Chuck Hagel nomination. He will represent another blow, the first being Obama's reelection, to their dominance within DOD and foreign policy circles in general.

 

True Peach



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  posted on 1/8/2013 at 08:42 AM
The Secretary of Defense has no greater role in determining foreign policy than any other cabinet member or presidential advisor, and certainly less of a role than Secretary of State. Hagel's primary task will not be to make decisions about Israel or if sanctions will work in Iran. His main job will be to manage one of the largest organizations in the world, the DOD. I believe he was tapped for this job primarily because he's the right guy to begin a long process of downsizing the military. The fact that he's a Republican and a war hero will give Obama some political cover as the downsizing process takes place. It's a smart move. I like it.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/8/2013 at 08:55 AM
quote:
The Secretary of Defense has no greater role in determining foreign policy than any other cabinet member or presidential advisor, and certainly less of a role than Secretary of State. Hagel's primary task will not be to make decisions about Israel or if sanctions will work in Iran. His main job will be to manage one of the largest organizations in the world, the DOD. I believe he was tapped for this job primarily because he's the right guy to begin a long process of downsizing the military. The fact that he's a Republican and a war hero will give Obama some political cover as the downsizing process takes place. It's a smart move. I like it.


I agree. I would add that there's one other factor at play in Hagel's nomination. That being that Hagel is very much like president Obama with regard to his views on the role our military should play in world affairs and foreign policy. That is to say that neither believe the military should play the role the Neocons have advocated for years now. Obama is smart enough to know the the Neocons are still very entrenched within DOD, foreign policy think tanks, Congress itself (For example John McCain, Graham), lobbying firms, defense contractors, etc. and knows he needs someone like Hagel who is not only willing to take on these long entrenched forces, but also passionately shares his views on the role our military should play as we move forward.

This explains it even better:

Why Hagel? Let Us Count The Reasons
by Frank James, January 7, 2013
View and comment on NPR.org
So why did President Obama choose Chuck Hagel to be his new defense secretary?

First, Hagel is Obama's kind of Republican. The former senator from Nebraska is a realist and pragmatist who hasn't been afraid to buck the orthodoxy of his chosen party, for instance when Hagel opposed the Iraq War.

In that way, he's a lot like Obama, another foreign policy and national security realist who has been willing at times to upset those in his own party. The use of drone strikes against alleged terrorist targets — some of whom have been U.S. citizens — has angered any number of Democrats.

In his remarks Monday afternoon, the president noted that he prized Hagel's independence of mind and willingness to take politically unpopular positions. That's just what you would expect to hear from a president who has made Abraham Lincoln's "team of rivals" approach to choosing a Cabinet his White House touchstone.

Second, Obama also clearly is very comfortable personally with Hagel, whom the president bonded with during his short U.S. Senate career. As Obama reminded his audience, he and the Nebraskan traveled together as senators to the Middle East.

"I think it is not simply the fact that Sen. Hagel is qualified, but the trust the president places in him," says Anthony Cordesman, a national security analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "This is somebody who has been very thoughtful. He is not someone who takes ideological stands. He has a real military background both in dealing with war and then dealing with" its aftermath, since Hagel isn't just a Vietnam veteran but a former Veterans Administration official.

Besides befriending Obama when the Illinoisan was a rock-star senator, Hagel also had long-standing Senate friendships with two other senators who have played significant roles in Obama's ascent and presidency, Vice President Biden (the former Delaware senator) and Secretary of State-designate John Kerry (the senior senator from Massachusetts).

Biden, Kerry and Hagel have shared much together, including some anxious moments in 2008 when during a trip to Afghanistan, a snowstorm forced their helicopter to make an emergency mountaintop landing.

Thus, Hagel's addition to the Obama administration would put four men with close ties from the Senate at the center of the nation's foreign policy and national security policymaking. That could have real benefits, given the imperative that foreign policy and national security mesh. Worth noting is that the three Democrats each ran for president while Hagel, the Republican, toyed with the idea but ultimately decided against it.

Third, picking Hagel gives Obama the chance to assert his presidential prerogative to choose whom he wants for his Cabinet.

Senate Republicans successfully forced Obama to rethink U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as a potential secretary of state after warning that they were prepared to wage a no-holds-barred confirmation battle if he nominated her to succeed Hillary Clinton. Rice took her name out of consideration, and that storm ended.

By nominating Hagel, Obama gets to frame the fight with Senate Republicans in ways more favorable to him. In choosing a Republican who as a senator occasionally strayed from GOP talking points, Obama puts Republicans in a trickier position.

Senate Republicans could reject the president's attempt at bipartisanship represented by his choice of Hagel. But it wouldn't make them look good in the eyes of the majority of voters who tell pollsters that they want Washington politicians to cross party lines to get things done.

Hagel was actually on Obama's short list in 2009 for defense secretary, but the president wound up sticking with Bush administration holdover Robert Gates.

Fourth, Obama is obviously not worried about charges that Hagel is anti-gay or anti-Israel.

To a large extent, Obama inoculated himself against the anti-Hagel allegations through his own policies. He signed into law the end of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people openly serving in the armed services; finally said he supported marriage equality; and ordered his administration to not enforce the Defense of Marriage Act.

For his part, Hagel apologized for comments he made in the 1990s in which he questioned whether an "aggressively" gay ambassadorial nominee would be an appropriate representative of the U.S., an apology that's been accepted by some gay groups.

Obama also very likely isn't too worried about allegations sticking that Hagel is anti-Israel, for similar reasons. Those charges are based in part on Hagel's past use of the term "Jewish lobby."

Hagel has apologized for that, too. And he can probably count on getting the benefit of the doubt from many who are pro-Israel. Jewish voters chose Obama by a wide margin in the 2012 election, giving him about 70 percent of their votes, a share similar to what he received in 2008.

Fifth, Hagel's two terms in the Senate, his success as a businessman, his roles as a VA official and as the head of the USO, uniquely position him to oversee a Pentagon facing spending cuts as the federal government grapples with reducing its debt and deficits.

Cordesman, who would talk informally with Hagel when the two men, who lived on Capitol Hill, would bump into each other, says this is "somebody who listens and consults. He will be very careful to get opinions from the military and civilians and from outside. Given the complexity of the issues involved, that's critical. What's equally critical is he can speak to people on the foreign policy side because in today's world there's no clear separation between security and foreign policy."
Copyright 2013 National Public Radio

[Edited on 1/8/2013 by Chain]

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/8/2013 at 10:02 AM
GOP Senators will make this long, drawn out and painful with loads of grandstanding and peacock posturing, then approve him anyway.
 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/8/2013 at 10:09 AM
quote:
GOP Senators will make this long, drawn out and painful with loads of grandstanding and peacock posturing, then approve him anyway.


I can hardly way for McCain and Graham to get their feathers all in a flutter...What a show it'll be.

 

True Peach



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  posted on 1/8/2013 at 01:16 PM
quote:
Seems to me Hagel represents exactly the type of Defense Secretary we need at this point in time. A veteran that has actual wartime experience; a moderate, thoughtful, practical, leader who's not afraid to question certain relationships within the Pentagon and how our military should be utilized with regard to foreign policy. He also understands that we need to seriously cut the Pentagon budget and is prepared for the fall out within DOD that that represents.

He also has the cujones to question the influence of organizations like AIPAC on our foreign policy.





I agree completely!

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 1/8/2013 at 01:18 PM
quote:
If we had listen to Hagel we'd still be in Iraq or worse...Remember the whole the Iraqi surge would be the worst military blunder since Vietnam, or words to that effect. But yea, how dare anyone question such forward thinkers.


Like those forward thinkers that got us into that moronic war with Iraq in the first place?????

 

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  posted on 1/8/2013 at 01:42 PM
quote:
A former enlisted Grunt who isn't going prostrate himself for Israel. I like this guy!


I like someone who can cleary see, the US cannot and should support Israel at every turn, no matter what.

 

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  posted on 1/8/2013 at 03:37 PM
Good article from the American Conservative website. Truth be told, many true conservatives support Hagel nomination, and I for one support Obama in making this nomination. Glad to see in some ways that Obama is trying to getting away from playing "partisan politics" and considering what is best interest of the United States in dealing with it's military affairs around the world.


quote:
Hagel in History’s Cockpit
By Scott McConnell • January 7, 2013

The news that Obama will go ahead and nominate Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense is exciting beyond measure. No matter how the battle over his confirmation goes, it will be educational and point the country in a better direction. To have capitulated without a fight to Bill Kristol and Jennifer Rubin—the twin nerve-centers of the anti-Hagel opposition—would have signaled to the world a neutering of Obama’s presidency by the Israel lobby, a terrible result for the president and the country as a whole.

The campaign against Hagel has been loud, persistent, but devoid of serious substance. Hagel is said, according to one continually recycled smear, to be a sort of borderline anti-Semite; the chief bit of evidence for this damning charge being that, in discussing AIPAC’s influence on Capitol Hill, he used the phrase “Jewish lobby” instead of “Israel Lobby”. But while that phrase, the “Jewish lobby” does sound awkward now, it was the very one used by AIPAC to describe itself in the 1980s, the time period when Hagel was presumably first forming his vocabulary on these issues.

The charges of Hagelian insensitivity to gay rights, based on several of past votes and one 1990s comment, have largely evaporated. Hagel, like most of the country, has “evolved” on the issue. If the question comes up in the hearings, it will be as a coming out party for acceptance of the gay rights revolution by the Republican establishment. Those who have been involved in the struggle will cheer, as indeed will many who have done no more than observe, often skeptically, from the sidelines.

That many of the attacks on Hagel are either trivial or scurrilous does not mean the ideological questions raised by his nomination are trivial. They are not. The cleavages uncovered by the Hagel choice exist within both parties: there are Republicans who, after the fact, became skeptical about the Iraq war and the ideologists who fomented it, just as there are important Democrats, Chuck Schumer for instance, whose reflexive support of Israel will give him little enthusiasm for Obama’s selection. It is not yet clear how senators of either type will vote. But does anyone believe that GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell didn’t know that Chuck Hagel was an active Iraq war opponent, a skeptic about signing every AIPAC generated letter, and a general foe of the neoconservative foreign policy vision when he described Hagel in 2007 as “one of the premier foreign policy voices [and] one of the giants of the United States Senate” while adding, “Many of the predictions Chuck Hagel made about the [Iraq] war came true.”

Mitch McConnell on Sunday said that Hagel will receive “a fair hearing”—which is as much as he could say about any controversial nominee put forth by Obama. Of course some of the most hawkish Republicans—Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Texas Tea Partyite Ted Cruz—have already signaled their hostility. But in the lengthy sparring before the nomination, as Obama endlessly tested the waters, Hagel garnered an extraordinary amount of vocal, enthusiastic support from the foreign policy establishment, from former cabinet officers, diplomats, and military men. This outpouring was by no means preordained; in fact its emergence was the critical revelation of the last two weeks.

Of course many knew there existed circles of Washington officialdom, in the bipartisan establishment which won the Cold War without blowing up the world, which were unenthusiastic about an American foreign policy which eschewed real diplomacy, which rued the neocon capture of the Washington Post editorial page. But no one knew whether this group could still make itself heard in any way that counted. But heard it was. Editorials were written. Public letters were organized, and publicized. Hagel has received the enthusiastic backing of four former national security advisors (two who served Republican presidents), a lengthy list of former diplomats, including several ambassadors to Israel, of several former prominent senators David Boren, Nancy Kassebaum Baker, Gary Hart, former Fed chair Paul Volker, former Trade Representative Carla Hills. These are major foreign policy voices from both Republican and Democratic administrations. The Republican signatories made it clear there remains a significant part of party not spoken for by the Tea Party or Jennifer Rubin or the uberhawks at the Weekly Standard. They reminded one of that telling moment, late in his second term, when George W. Bush began to refer to Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer as “the bomber boys“—ruefully conscious, well after the fact, that following their counsel had wrecked his presidency.

Hagel’s nomination almost guarantees a substantial and meaningful debate about foreign policy–something which has not taken place inside the Senate for years. Much of this will touch on Iran. Last week Zbigniew Brzezinski, a Hagel backer and one of the country’s most brilliant foreign policy minds, expressed hope that the Secretary of Defense and State confirmation hearings would allow a full exploration of the Iran question, and seek to at least explore whether U.S. military strikes on Iran would be effective and at what cost. Brzezinski poses the following questions:

? How effective are U.S. military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities likely to be, with consequences of what endurance and at what human cost to the Iranian people?

? What might be Iran’s retaliatory responses against U.S. interests, and with what consequences for regional stability? How damaging could resulting instability be to European and Asian economies?

? Could a U.S. attack be justified as in keeping with international standards, and would the U.N. Security Council — particularly China and Russia, given their veto power — be likely to endorse it ?

? Since Israel is considered to have more than 100 nuclear weapons, how credible is the argument that Iran might attack Israel without first itself acquiring a significant nuclear arsenal, including a survivable second-strike capability, a prospect that is at least some years away?

? Could some alternative U.S. strategic commitment provide a more enduring and less reckless arrangement for neutralizing the potential Iranian nuclear threat than a unilateral initiation of war in a combustible regional setting?

Hagel is known to be skeptical about the value of war with Iran. Obama has in his first term essentially evaded the issue by repeatedly saying that all options are on the table while letting the most hawkish parts of this own administration limit the flexibility of America’s negotiations. Many worry he has put the country on a slow motion track to war, when the consequences of war are likely to be far worse for American interests than those of simply containing Iran, as we once did China and the Soviet Union. Hagel under the gun will assure that the questions Brzezinski raises are aired—and if he is confirmed, will continue to be aired for the duration of his tenure in office.

At the emotional center of all this is Israel: concern for it the primal source of the antagonism to Hagel. In an ironic twist, the Senate will be debating Hagel as Israelis go to the polls, and if the pre-election indicators are correct, Israelis are likely to choose leaders who confirm, by their rhetoric and positions, the country’s seemingly irredeemable turn towards a hard-core racist direction. This is a desperate time for many of Israel’s liberal American admirers, as the Jewish state, as if driven by a malign and mysterious force, inexorably turns itself into the kind of polity which would be censured and shunned by most Americans if it came to power anywhere in democratic Europe.

In short, the next few weeks will be a turning point—as critical, as fascinating to future historians, as the last presidential election itself. Indeed more so, as critical as anything which has happened since the neocons were able to seize the direction of the Bush presidency in the months after 9/11.


 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/8/2013 at 04:16 PM
I agree with photoron.....McCain and Lindsey need to disappear from the political stage.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/10/2013 at 06:41 PM
"A former enlisted Grunt who isn't going prostrate himself for Israel. I like this guy!"

ScottyVII and I are in complete agreement on a matter of military/defense policy??? Surely the end times are upon us!

I read an article today where somebody was saying that Hagel was a brilliant choice by Obama. If Obama appointed a Democrat who had the exact same beliefs as Hagel, it would be easier for the GOP to fight the nomination on partisan grounds. Since he is a Republican, and a veteran like Scotty says, he has more credibility in some ways when it comes to drawing down our military budget and reducing our military footprint overseas.

As I read in another article, Obama is playing 3D chess while the Republicans are playing Angry Birds

 
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