Channeling your inner Gator, there? I'm upset about an anti-semite with a long history of foolish and wrongheaded ideas in foreign policy becoming the SECDEF, but since that's not as effective as playing the NeoCon card, you went ad hominem right off the bat. Go figure. And his comment about not being an Israeli senator is meant to imply that anyone who considers backstabbing Israel a policy mistake may not be loyal to the US (another Gatorism, and a standard anti-semitic trope). Even the Washington Post, which is hardly a NeoCon outlet, considered him unacceptable just a month ago:
Originally Posted by Molon Labe
Chuck Hagel is not the right choice for defense secretary
By Editorial Board, Published: December 18
FORMER SENATOR Chuck Hagel, whom President Obama is reportedly considering for defense secretary, is a Republican who would offer a veneer of bipartisanship to the national security team. He would not, however, move it toward the center, which is the usual role of such opposite-party nominees. On the contrary: Mr. Hagel’s stated positions on critical issues, ranging from defense spending to Iran, fall well to the left of those pursued by Mr. Obama during his first term — and place him near the fringe of the Senate that would be asked to confirm him.
The current secretary, Leon Panetta, has said the defense “sequester” cuts that Congress mandated to take effect Jan. 1 would have dire consequences for U.S. security. Mr. Hagel took a very different position when asked about Mr. Panetta’s comment during a September 2011 interview with the Financial Times. “The Defense Department, I think in many ways, has been bloated,” he responded. “So I think the Pentagon needs to be pared down.”
While both Republicans and Democrats accept that further cuts in defense may be inevitable, few have suggested that a reduction on the scale of the sequester is responsible. In congressional testimony delivered around the same time as Mr. Hagel’s interview, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the sequester would lead to “a severe and irreversible impact on the Navy’s future,” “a Marine Corps that’s below the end strength to support even one major contingency” and “an unacceptable level of strategic and operational risk” for the Army
Mr. Hagel was similarly isolated in his views about Iran during his time in the Senate. He repeatedly voted against sanctions, opposing even those aimed at the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which at the time was orchestrating devastating bomb attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq. Mr. Hagel argued that direct negotiations, rather than sanctions, were the best means to alter Iran’s behavior. The Obama administration offered diplomacy but has turned to tough sanctions as the only way to compel Iran to negotiate seriously.
Mr. Obama has said that his policy is to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and that containment is not an option. Mr. Hagel has taken a different view, writing in a 2008 book that “the genie of nuclear weapons is already out of the bottle, no matter what Iran does.”
The former senator from Nebraska signed on to an op-edin The Post this September that endorsed “keeping all options on the table” for stopping Iran’s nuclear program. But Mr. Hagel has elsewhere expressed strong skepticism about the use of force.
We share that skepticism — but we also understand that, during the next year or two, Mr. Obama may be forced to contemplate military action if Iran refuses to negotiate or halt its uranium-enrichment program. He will need a defense secretary ready to support and effectively implement such a decision. Perhaps Mr. Hagel would do so; perhaps he would also, if installed at the Pentagon, take a different view of defense spending.
(Mr. Hagel declined through a spokesman to speak to us about his views.)
What’s certain is that Mr. Obama has available other possible nominees who are considerably closer to the mainstream and to the president’s first-term policies. Former undersecretary of defense Michèle Flournoy, for example, is a seasoned policymaker who understands how to manage the Pentagon bureaucracy and where responsible cuts can be made. She would bring welcome diversity as the nation’s first female defense secretary.
Mr. Hagel is an honorable man who served the country with distinction as a soldier in Vietnam and who was respected by his fellow senators. But Mr. Obama could make a better choice for defense secretary.
No, but then the SECDEF doesn't decide who we go to war with, he simply executes policy. This, as the WAPO OP-ED pointed out, means that Obama's SECDEF would be undermining his policies in the event that he decided that we did need to use the military, through draconian cuts and misaligning our focus away from the the threat that we now face. Whether we go to war or not is a legitimate question, but even you can't want a half-hearted prosecution of a war once the decision has been made to engage. That's a recipe for failure and dead Americans, in the short and longterm.
Originally Posted by Molon Labe
It clinches it for most of us. Molon has a blind spot in foreign policy, where he believes that we can disengage from the world without consequences. It's isolationist idiocy, in the Ron Paul mold.
Originally Posted by Janice