Where Do You Stand on Chuck Hagel and Will You Speak Out?

  • Do you support Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense?

    , U.S. Senator from Nebraska.

    , U.S. Senator from Nebraska. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We, the American people, will not have much say in whether or not Chuck Hagel is given this important position, although we should. It is enormously important to our well-being!

We can exert influence on our Senators and we should. Those who decided Barack Obama should have a second term are responsible for this nomination and now they should take a close look at the man and decide if this is the person who should represent our country.

Richard Cohen has written a piece in defense of Chuck Hagel and the Washington Post aired it for him. Cohen is not a person with whom I often agree and I do not agree here. On the important issue of Israel, looking at whether or not a candidate has supported this country is not ‘tarring’ the candidate. It is looking into something that is crucial for the well-being of not just Israel’s, but our own well-being.

Cohen attacked Bret Stephens, who is also an editorial writer and journalist. Cohen took issue with what Stephens had written and quoted from him to make his own points. Cohen included the following paragraphs in his article.

It is true, as Stephens writes, that Jews are not the only ones who support Israel, and it is likewise true that not all Jews support Israel — or at least the current government of Benjamin Netanyahu. But Stephens’s real beef with Hagel is not over speech but policy. Not only does the former Nebraska senator and Barack Obama’s choice for defense secretary march to a different drummer, but in some cases the average ear can hear no drummer at all. On Iran, for instance, Hagel’s preferred policy — no sanctions but lots of talk — would hardly compel Tehran to abandon its (strongly) suspected nuclear weapons program. That may not happen anyway, but there’s something to be said for the effort.

I, too, have some qualms about Hagel. He earned his wariness of war the hard way — two Purple Hearts in Vietnam — but sometimes muscle, not talk, is what works. And he has been remarkably retrograde when it comes to homosexuality. He opposed a Clinton administration ambassadorial nominee for beingopenly, aggressively gay.” Hagel has since recanted — openly and aggressively.

The fact that Hagel recanted “openly and aggressively” sounds more like a political hack to me than a man of true conviction.

Obama’s recommendation on Hagel included the fact that he wears a coat and tie and shows up for work rather than vacationing most of the time. That is fine, but many people do this.

Here are few research facts:

  • Hagel once called Hezbollah “an interesting organization” and referred to Jerusalem by its Islamic name, “Al Quds.
  • Hagel served in Vietnam. Well, John Kerry did that as well and….
  • He takes a tougher line on certain Israeli government policies, and a softer line on Iran, than most mainstream American politicians and says “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people”.  (Is there a Jewish lobby?)
  • Hagel, in his two terms in the Senate, voted to support Israel in ways that matter to actual Israelis, including its defense officials. He supported a close relationship between the U.S. military and the Israel Defense Forces, and he regularly voted to grant Israel aid packages.
  • His thinking on Iran isn’t clear, but he seems to be against sanctions and military intervention and for deliberations.

My personal thoughts about the appointment are simple. Why should Hagel, who is controversial, be given this important position? There are many people who are well qualified whose support for Israel is unquestionable who wear suits and show up for work every day. Why were they passed over?


About jlue

I am a grandmother of seven and I like to garden, read, study the Bible, and spend time with family. I am not very politically active, but very interested in who is elected to lead our country.
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3 Responses to Where Do You Stand on Chuck Hagel and Will You Speak Out?

  1. Hey jlue, I am beginning to think Hagel might not be confirmed. He carries too many baggage, plus most of his views are contrary to most democrats.


  2. paolosilv says:

    I think he may confirmed. Obama is setting us on a pacifistic or pacific course now. He sends his daughters to a Quaker school, and Quakers are generally opposed to war (although Richard Nixon deviated from his upbringing in that respect). The US gov’t is signalling that it doesn’t want to pursue a path to war. John Kerry will also be confirmed in all probability, and he is not a hawk either. He testified against the Vietnam War for the libs during the Nixon era. He may have given some very graphic and misleading testimony on the conduct of the soldiers, in order to influence the public to turn against the war.


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