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  1. #1 Hagel's Senate confirmation hearing shocks supporters 
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Can't wait to hear how the "realists" spin this one:

    February 1, 2013 Hagel's Senate confirmation hearing shocks supporters

    Thomas Lifson

    The big question about former Senator Chuck Hagel's nomination as Secretary of Defense used to be the content of views. Now, it is his competence. He embarrassed himself and those who have publicly backed his nomination, in particular Senators Chuck Schumer and Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin.

    There were more cringe-inducing moments than can be related here. For instance, his questioning by Lindsey Graham, as summarized by Paul Mirengoff of Powerline:

    Are will still at war, Graham wants to know. After some stammering, Hagel says "Yes."

    Graham's next question is "name one person in Congress who has been intimidated by the Jewish lobby." Hagel can't do it (or won't).

    Now Graham wants Hagel to name one dumb thing Congress has done in response to pressure from the Israeli lobby. Hagel can't do it (or, actually, won't).

    Graham wants to know why Hagel was one of 12 Senators who didn't sign a letter affirming Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Hagel says that Senators shouldn't sign these kinds of letters - it infringes on the president's prerogative. But then, why did Hagel sign a letter denouncing the treatment of Jews by the Russians? Hagel can't answer, at least not coherently.

    Graham asks if Hagel would vote today against designating the IRG a terrorist organiztion. Hagel hems and haws. Then he says he would, at least, reconsider the matter, since "times change."

    Now Graham is asking about a letter Hagel refused to sign denouncing the intifada. He wants to know if Graham will admit that not signing this letter was a mistake. Hagel says he will look at the letter and answer later.

    It be a letter that Hagel clearly should have signed because liberal Sen. Blumenthal, who follows Graham in the questioning, tells Hagel he hopes Hagel will now say he should have signed it.
    It got worse. Michael Hirsh of National Journal:

    Perhaps one of the worst moments in a fairly bad day for Hagel came when even one of his apparent supporters, committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., was forced to restate his position for him after Hagel twice misspoke about a critical issue: whether the Obama administration would accept mere "containment" of Iran's nuclear program, rather than prevention of it. Hagel, handed a piece of paper, said, "I misspoke and said I supported the president's position on containment. If I said that, I meant to say we don't have a position on containment," Hagel said. That's when Levin interjected: "We do have a position on containment, and that is we do not favor containment."
    Hagel's failure to demonstrate a grasp of the fundamentals of the policies he will be implementing if confirmed is triply shocking. First, he is a veteran Senator, well known for asking tough questions in hearings. So he has no excuse for not preparing better. Second, he has let it be known that he had done three mock hearings in preparation for his big days yesterday. If so, he failed to learn anything from the experience. Third, the controversial statements he was grilled about have been drawing criticism for a very long time. He has had more than enough time to devise answers that would be at least slightly artful dodges.

    The result is that at least some Democratic senators must be having qualms about voting to confirm a man who is visibly incompetent. CNN's Dana Bash reported on the buzz on the Senate floor about many being "shocked at how ill-prepared" Hagel was:



    With 55 Democrats, even as dismal a performance as Hagel's is likely to be confirmed, unless Republicans decide to filibuster. That can't be ruled out, nor can a surge of conscience, however unlikely, among Democrats who understand that the world is too dangerous to allowthis man to be in charge of the United States military.

    Perhaps the best indicator of Hagel's dismal performance is the comment offered by one of his Israel-hating supporters, M.J. Rosenberg, formerly of Media Matters. He tweeted:

    I spent a couple of hours with Hagel a few years ago. Talked with him about Israel. Happily, he is lying today & knows it. He'll be a good SeDef.
    Jonathan Tobin of Commentary summed it up:

    Chuck Hagel demonstrated today that he isn't fit for such a senior post. His incompetent testimony should have embarrassed the president and backers like Chuck Schumer, who gambled his own reputation on a man who has little credibility. That may not be enough to derail a nomination that is being rammed through on a partisan basis by the Senate's majority caucus. But today's disappointing show by Hagel shamed not just Democrats but a nation whose defense is being entrusted to an incompetent liar.

    The seven Democrat senators up for re-election in red states in 2014 need to think long and hard about voting to confirm Hagel. If they do so after this performance, the steady stream of gaffes and probable disasters coming from his tenure in office can be hung around their necks.



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    Senior Member LukeEDay's Avatar
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    He will get confirmed, and we will be siding with iran and attacking Israel by years end.

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    Senior Member Molon Labe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LukeEDay View Post
    He will get confirmed, and we will be siding with iran and attacking Israel by years end.
    Here's an Axiom:

    If Lindsey Graham is against something. That something is most often a good thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LukeEDay View Post
    He will get confirmed, and we will be siding with iran and attacking Israel by years end.

    I doubt that we will be doing either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LukeEDay View Post
    He will get confirmed, and we will be siding with iran and attacking Israel by years end.
    If he does I'll be surprised. There are even Dems saying they won't vote for him.
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    With how things have been for the past couple of years. It will not surprise me if he gets confirmed. Some of the dems may say they won't vote for him, but when it comes time to pull the lever, they will do so in his favor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
    Here's an Axiom:

    If Lindsey Graham is against something. That something is most often a good thing.
    Sometimes, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. Or, to put it another way, your "realist" couldn't deal with questions from Lindsey Graham. Just how smart, tough and capable does that make him?

    And, since you've weighed in again on the subject, I'm going to bring up my previous post from the other Hagel thread so that you can finally respond to what I asked you there:


    Quote Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
    Yep. Seriously TWS? We believe what we wish to believe.
    Yes, and I'll take Kristol over Buchanan any day, because at the end of the day, Kristol isn't a delusional, bigoted loon who makes our movement look like what the left claims it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
    Because it's not that what Buchanan Larions, McConnel, AND REALIST SCHOLAR LAWLER says is "untrue". Or that what Hagel said that TWS quotes is untrue.
    Wait a minute, are you saying that you agree with Buchanan's statements? That you believe that his statements about Jews having excessive influence in America are true? That we are part of a fifth column that is working towards war on behalf of Israel, that we are disloyal to the United States? Those statements of his are bigoted, ugly attacks on the loyalty of those Americans who see Israel as a strategic ally. The dual-loyalty canard is a hallmark of anti-semitism. No more games about my playing the Jew card, just be up front about whether or not you agree with Buchanan's libels.

    Since you seem to be obsessed with Peter Lawler, perhaps you should read the article that you linked to, specifically the following:

    Now today’s “realists” sometimes object that it might have made sense to view the Cold War as an ideological or even “existential” conflict. But now that communism—and totalitarian universalism in general–have been consigned to the dustbin of history, it makes sense to think more exclusively in terms of interests again. From a realistic view, neocons exaggerated a lot when they called the war against Jihadism or “Islamic fascism” World War IV (or yet another global, ideological war), just as they exaggerated—at this point beyond belief—the existential significance of 9/11. And they embarked on a bloody mission impossible when they acted on the thought that we could save ourselves from terror by imposing “regime change”—liberal democracy—on the terrorist-supporting nations.

    I’m somewhat sympathetic to this kind of criticism of Bush’s policies, but only to a point. For one thing, the critics seem incapable of avoiding exaggeration in the other direction. It’s not true that 9/11 had no significance as a security threat, a threat that really did need to be countered aggressively and globally. And it’s not true that Bush was wrong or even naïve to characterize the motivation of those who threatened us as fundamentally evil—or not mainly our adversaries in some clash of interests. They think and act as deranged tyrants.


    Imagine the blowback—in the name of universal human rights—if Israel were actually destroyed because we didn’t do what we could do. And certainly it’s in our interest—in all nations’ interest—that the radical government of Iran—one fundamentally hostile not only to Israel but to us and our understanding of who we are—not go nuclear. The “realist” idea that the self-interested calculus involved in the theory of nuclear deterrence could actually keep the peace in a militantly religious region isn’t so realistic. What we do for Israel and about Iran are matters of prudence, but they aren’t, as Hagel has suggested, matters that can we can view with realistic indifference.


    From a genuinely prudent or Reaganite point of view, we have to get beyond criticisms of the Iraq war based on “Bush lied, thousands died” or some neocon/Straussian conspiracy based upon an elitist application of the Platonic “noble lie” to contemporary American circumstances. I can’t emphasize enough how stupid and slanderous those criticisms are; no one could make them who’s actually read Strauss’ interpretation of the The president did not reflect sufficiently on how risky an invasion of that magnitude was, and how little we really knew about the facts on the ground in Iraq. He did remarkably little, in fact, to solidify domestic support for the war, certainly not for the far too unexpected protracted and bloody war. Given how unstable or inevitably transient that consensus was, he should have given more thought to the consequences of its collapse. The result was devastating for America’s ability to project its interests and, yes, in some measure its principles throughout the world. It squandered the confidence in our capacities and our mission that had been restored so effectively by Reagan both at home and throughout the world. It also, of course, eroded our real military power in many ways. Finally and very significantly, the failure of the war to achieve its goals was exploited by the Democrats on the domestic front. People couldn’t help but lose confidence in Republican policies—the Republican version of what prudence is—in general. (This paragraph is indebted to my dialogue with the threader Daniel Fish at the Postmodern Conservative blog.)

    The article that you cited repeats my arguments, and blows yours out of the water. Lawler explains, in one sentence, why Hagel is wrong, citing his indifference to the outcome of a Middle Eastern conflict between two nuclear powers. He also refers to your neo-con/Straussian conspiracy crap as "stupid" and "slanderous". You really think that this article helps your position?

    Quote Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
    It's that what the TWS says that is a red herring, basless and insignificant and lacks any policy analysis. Know why? Because they can't stand that someone might get a policy position that won't follow their script. Well...too f'n bad. They had 12 years to get it right and they screwed it up.
    Do you really believe that the staff of TWS is so petty that they would put out false, libelous statements about Hagel in order to keep him from becoming SECDEF? That they would fabricate quotes? Because that is what you are accusing them of, and by extension, me. Hagel's quotes and votes are a matter of public record. He has repeatedly voted against measure to isolate or punish terrorist states and their proxies, even when they have directly targeted Americans. He has made statements which clearly put in the camp of the anti-semites. If you would stop ranting and read the statements that he has made, you would see that he is the wrong man for the job, and the only reason that Obama has chosen him is because he will cheerfully gut the DOD and undermine our capabilities, which is what Obama wants, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
    The yokels didn't even hide that their intent was use the "anti-semite" angle.
    Only because Hagel has never hidden his anti-semitism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
    And you know what despite Buchanan's drawbacks, lack of authority anymore, and hatred by TWS.......at least he's is a conservative.
    Which is why he was brought in by MSNBC, because he's the kind of bat-$#/+ crazy bigot that they can present as a conservative, in order to make the rest of us look like the caricature that they believe in. Buchanan is a conservative the way that the members of the Westboro Baptist Church are Christians. He's somebody that the left can point to in order to "prove" that we are all racists and loons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
    But if you think I should support an organization that:

    1. Supports Leon Trotsky, Leo Strauss', Irving Kristol's and Francis Fukuyama's philosophies and ideas about permanent revolution
    Okay, that's twice that you've brought Trotsky into this. Lawler put the lie to your Straussian drivel, but given how blatantly you've repeated other nonsense in this thread, I'm calling you on this again. I assume that you can prove that PNAC supports Trotskyite ideas, or is this more blather from the "real" conservatives that Buchanan has managed to scrape up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
    2. Hold Pre emptive war in high esteem in order to change geo political order of the ME
    That is another lie. Pre-emptive war as a means of self-defense is acceptable, but nobody is advocating invading nations that do not threaten us or our interests.

    Quote Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
    3. Believes that we should promote "Democracy" in the third world by use of force
    Nobody is arguing for that. What PNAC argued for was being willing to confront undemocratic regimes when our interests are threatened by them. They were advocates of Reagan's approach, which was to engage authoritarian regimes that were friendly, while using our influence to gain reform (as occurred in Spain, Chile, Portugal and several other regimes which democratized on Reagan's watch). Those states that threaten us must be confronted and defeated, either militarily or diplomatically.

    Quote Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
    4. That the Federal Government should grow larger
    Again, prove that anyone at PNAC believed this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
    5. Advocates Gun control
    Do you have proof of any of these bizarre allegations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
    6. Are equally at home today in both the Democrat and Republican party
    This is patently false. Most neocons left the Democratic Party because they could not reconcile the anti-Americanism that had become the standard for Democrats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
    ....and if you still think that's conservative, then your off your nut.
    And if you think that those are Bill Kristol's positions, then you are off yours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
    But don't believe me. One of the god father's of modern day Conservatism said the same things many times over.
    Russell Kirk was completely wrong in predicting the way things would go, but he knew a Rat when he smelled one.

    Infatuation with Ideology. An instance of this lack of wisdom is the Neoconservatives' infatuation with ideology. Some of you ladies and gentlemen present here today may have heard some years ago my exchange, on this very platform, with Mr. Irving Kristol, concerning ideology. He and various of his colleagues wish to persuade us to adopt an ideology of our own to set against Marxist and other totalist ideologies. Ideology, I venture to remind you, is political fanaticism: at best it is the substitution of slogans for real political thought. Ideology animates, in George Orwell's phrase, "the streamlined men who think in slogans and talk in bullets."

    Have a great day.
    I used to really admire Russell Kirk, but if his position is that we should have no overarching, guiding principles, then he's wrong. Ideology is a set of principles. You have to believe in something, some principle that makes sense, some conviction that goes beyond just fighting to win for winning's sake. Otherwise, we're no better than the left. The Marxists pretend to have an ideology, but what they really have is a collection of slogans and the lust for power. Conservatives have principles, we define ourselves by them. Kirk's diatribe against having a set of core beliefs makes no sense at all, since without ideology, there's nothing separating us from the Marxists.

    You are really flailing in this thread. I don't think that I've ever seen you this desperate and incoherent. In fact, you really remind me of Gator.
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by LukeEDay View Post
    With how things have been for the past couple of years. It will not surprise me if he gets confirmed. Some of the dems may say they won't vote for him, but when it comes time to pull the lever, they will do so in his favor.
    Me neither. Just look at how stupid the president sounded, destroying the myth that he is profound and brilliant, yet he is the Imbecile-In-Chief.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    Sometimes, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. Or, to put it another way, your "realist" couldn't deal with questions from Lindsey Graham. Just how smart, tough and capable does that make him?

    And, since you've weighed in again on the subject, I'm going to bring up my previous post from the other Hagel thread so that you can finally respond to what I asked you there:




    Yes, and I'll take Kristol over Buchanan any day, because at the end of the day, Kristol isn't a delusional, bigoted loon who makes our movement look like what the left claims it is.



    Wait a minute, are you saying that you agree with Buchanan's statements? That you believe that his statements about Jews having excessive influence in America are true? That we are part of a fifth column that is working towards war on behalf of Israel, that we are disloyal to the United States? Those statements of his are bigoted, ugly attacks on the loyalty of those Americans who see Israel as a strategic ally. The dual-loyalty canard is a hallmark of anti-semitism. No more games about my playing the Jew card, just be up front about whether or not you agree with Buchanan's libels.

    Since you seem to be obsessed with Peter Lawler, perhaps you should read the article that you linked to, specifically the following:

    Now today’s “realists” sometimes object that it might have made sense to view the Cold War as an ideological or even “existential” conflict. But now that communism—and totalitarian universalism in general–have been consigned to the dustbin of history, it makes sense to think more exclusively in terms of interests again. From a realistic view, neocons exaggerated a lot when they called the war against Jihadism or “Islamic fascism” World War IV (or yet another global, ideological war), just as they exaggerated—at this point beyond belief—the existential significance of 9/11. And they embarked on a bloody mission impossible when they acted on the thought that we could save ourselves from terror by imposing “regime change”—liberal democracy—on the terrorist-supporting nations.

    I’m somewhat sympathetic to this kind of criticism of Bush’s policies, but only to a point. For one thing, the critics seem incapable of avoiding exaggeration in the other direction. It’s not true that 9/11 had no significance as a security threat, a threat that really did need to be countered aggressively and globally. And it’s not true that Bush was wrong or even naïve to characterize the motivation of those who threatened us as fundamentally evil—or not mainly our adversaries in some clash of interests. They think and act as deranged tyrants.


    Imagine the blowback—in the name of universal human rights—if Israel were actually destroyed because we didn’t do what we could do. And certainly it’s in our interest—in all nations’ interest—that the radical government of Iran—one fundamentally hostile not only to Israel but to us and our understanding of who we are—not go nuclear. The “realist” idea that the self-interested calculus involved in the theory of nuclear deterrence could actually keep the peace in a militantly religious region isn’t so realistic. What we do for Israel and about Iran are matters of prudence, but they aren’t, as Hagel has suggested, matters that can we can view with realistic indifference.


    From a genuinely prudent or Reaganite point of view, we have to get beyond criticisms of the Iraq war based on “Bush lied, thousands died” or some neocon/Straussian conspiracy based upon an elitist application of the Platonic “noble lie” to contemporary American circumstances. I can’t emphasize enough how stupid and slanderous those criticisms are; no one could make them who’s actually read Strauss’ interpretation of the The president did not reflect sufficiently on how risky an invasion of that magnitude was, and how little we really knew about the facts on the ground in Iraq. He did remarkably little, in fact, to solidify domestic support for the war, certainly not for the far too unexpected protracted and bloody war. Given how unstable or inevitably transient that consensus was, he should have given more thought to the consequences of its collapse. The result was devastating for America’s ability to project its interests and, yes, in some measure its principles throughout the world. It squandered the confidence in our capacities and our mission that had been restored so effectively by Reagan both at home and throughout the world. It also, of course, eroded our real military power in many ways. Finally and very significantly, the failure of the war to achieve its goals was exploited by the Democrats on the domestic front. People couldn’t help but lose confidence in Republican policies—the Republican version of what prudence is—in general. (This paragraph is indebted to my dialogue with the threader Daniel Fish at the Postmodern Conservative blog.)

    The article that you cited repeats my arguments, and blows yours out of the water. Lawler explains, in one sentence, why Hagel is wrong, citing his indifference to the outcome of a Middle Eastern conflict between two nuclear powers. He also refers to your neo-con/Straussian conspiracy crap as "stupid" and "slanderous". You really think that this article helps your position?



    Do you really believe that the staff of TWS is so petty that they would put out false, libelous statements about Hagel in order to keep him from becoming SECDEF? That they would fabricate quotes? Because that is what you are accusing them of, and by extension, me. Hagel's quotes and votes are a matter of public record. He has repeatedly voted against measure to isolate or punish terrorist states and their proxies, even when they have directly targeted Americans. He has made statements which clearly put in the camp of the anti-semites. If you would stop ranting and read the statements that he has made, you would see that he is the wrong man for the job, and the only reason that Obama has chosen him is because he will cheerfully gut the DOD and undermine our capabilities, which is what Obama wants, too.



    Only because Hagel has never hidden his anti-semitism.



    Which is why he was brought in by MSNBC, because he's the kind of bat-$#/+ crazy bigot that they can present as a conservative, in order to make the rest of us look like the caricature that they believe in. Buchanan is a conservative the way that the members of the Westboro Baptist Church are Christians. He's somebody that the left can point to in order to "prove" that we are all racists and loons.



    Okay, that's twice that you've brought Trotsky into this. Lawler put the lie to your Straussian drivel, but given how blatantly you've repeated other nonsense in this thread, I'm calling you on this again. I assume that you can prove that PNAC supports Trotskyite ideas, or is this more blather from the "real" conservatives that Buchanan has managed to scrape up?


    That is another lie. Pre-emptive war as a means of self-defense is acceptable, but nobody is advocating invading nations that do not threaten us or our interests.


    Nobody is arguing for that. What PNAC argued for was being willing to confront undemocratic regimes when our interests are threatened by them. They were advocates of Reagan's approach, which was to engage authoritarian regimes that were friendly, while using our influence to gain reform (as occurred in Spain, Chile, Portugal and several other regimes which democratized on Reagan's watch). Those states that threaten us must be confronted and defeated, either militarily or diplomatically.



    Again, prove that anyone at PNAC believed this.



    Do you have proof of any of these bizarre allegations?


    This is patently false. Most neocons left the Democratic Party because they could not reconcile the anti-Americanism that had become the standard for Democrats.



    And if you think that those are Bill Kristol's positions, then you are off yours.



    I used to really admire Russell Kirk, but if his position is that we should have no overarching, guiding principles, then he's wrong. Ideology is a set of principles. You have to believe in something, some principle that makes sense, some conviction that goes beyond just fighting to win for winning's sake. Otherwise, we're no better than the left. The Marxists pretend to have an ideology, but what they really have is a collection of slogans and the lust for power. Conservatives have principles, we define ourselves by them. Kirk's diatribe against having a set of core beliefs makes no sense at all, since without ideology, there's nothing separating us from the Marxists.

    You are really flailing in this thread. I don't think that I've ever seen you this desperate and incoherent. In fact, you really remind me of Gator.
    I see Lube's John Birch society underpinnings are beginning to show. Looks like his views on Israel and Morsi's in Egypt are one and the same.

    Wonder how he feels about the attack on the USS Liberty?
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  10. #10  
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    I watched some of the hearing. zOMG, a bunch of old white dudes were being exceptionally hard on this guy. They were asking him tough questions and for clarification on positions he'd taken and statements he made in the past.

    However, when I looked in the paper today, I didn't see any crocodile tears about how they were picking on him because of his race and gender.

    How come no one defended Hagel today and was insanely outraged that this poor man was only being attacked because of his race and gender and that those Senators attacking him better knock if off because they look like bullies and they shouldn't be attacking Hagel in that manner.

    Oh wait, Hagel does not fall into one of the several thousand protected classes we have these days so, carry on. Quick, someone create an "R that turned to liberal D" protected class so we can protect Hagel from these mean old white guys. Ugh.
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