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Chuck Hagel And The Nomination For Secretary Of Defense

Republican former Sen. Chuck Hagel and the nomination for secretary of defense. We’ll hear supporters and critics.

President Obama announces that former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel is his nominee for secretary of defense in the White House Monday. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

President Obama announces that former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel is his nominee for secretary of defense in the White House Monday. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

President Obama rolled out nominations for the top of his second term national security team yesterday.  John Brennan for CIA director, and former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.

Hagel, a decorated Vietnam veteran, would be the first former infantryman to serve at the very top of the Pentagon.  Supporters see him as the right man for the moment.  But criticism has come fast and furious, even before the nomination, from opponents who don’t like his stance on Israel, on Iran, on war.

This hour On Point:  the US military in the world, the nomination of Senator Chuck Hagel.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Ignatius, foreign affairs correspondent for the Washington Post. (Twitter – @IgnatiusPost)

Peter Beinart, editor of OpenZion.com at the Daily Beast and author of The Crisis of Zionism. (Twitter – @PeterBeinart)

Danielle Pletka, Vice President for Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute and author of Containing and Deterring a Nuclear Iran, (Twitter - @dpletka)

 

From Tom’s Reading List

Frist Read, NBC News: First Thoughts: Hagel — a man without a party, and a man who has a tough confirmation fight ahead.

The Weekly Standard: Mr. Hagel and the Jews. Nebraskan Jewish activists and officials have said he was hostile, and none—including Obama supporters and Democratic party activists—have come forward to counter that allegation.

Salon: The private war of Chuck and Tom Hagel. After saving each other’s lives in combat, Chuck Hagel, the future Republican senator of Nebraska, and his brother Tom fought about Vietnam and Iraq — until they finally saw eye to eye.

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  • Samuel Green

    I’m so excited we are about to enter into the 1970s! 

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Speaking of defense, wasn’t it delightful seeing Alabama shred Notre Dame’s defense in last night’s BCS game?  I didn’t think that ND deserved to be in the title game.  And it turns out that they weren’t!  Cheer cheer for old Notre Dame….

  • Shag_Wevera

    Presidents should have who they want in their cabinet, barring extreme problems with a nominee.  Being somewhat less than 110% pro Israel is not enough to preclude someone.  While in the Senate, Hagel approved billions in aid to Israel.  You just get the feeling that this is a fight for the sake of fighting.

    • Gregg Smith

      I largely agree but tell that to John Bolton.

      • Shag_Wevera

        I’m not even trying to be partisan on this one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jimhfoster Jim Foster

    Big thumbs up for this nomination. This is a man who actually fought and bled on the battlefield. Why is anyone surprised that he is a little cautious about putting our men and women into combat? “Chicken Hawks” like Cheney and Bush, Jr. who never faced combat could learn a lot from Sen. Hagel.

    • Gregg Smith

      That’s funny in the context of the war-mongering, non-serving, assassinate without due process, Obama/Biden era. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

      Its interesting to note that Hagel was an ENLISTED soldier… a most appropriate perspective for a Secretary of Defense.  Hagel will be the first enlisted secretary.

      Exactly because the overwhelming US soldiers maimed and killed in Israel’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are enlisted and non-commissioned, while the glory-grabbing officers are disproportionately under-represented in the casualties.  It seems that more officers die of heart attacks and strange suicides in the M.E. theatre, than in combat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    In a time of universal deceit,telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
    George Orwell

  • Gregg Smith

    I don’t like the pick. Hagel wasn’t even a good Senator. 

    • Mike_Card

      He got elected twice.  You’ve spent a lot of time in Nebraska?

      • Gregg Smith

        Never been there but I remember him as being kind of squishy.

      • Gregg Smith

        Mike, you wrote on another board: “I enjoy getting it on with you, because I think you’re an honest broker–even though I can’t agree with most of what you suggest.”

        I appreciate that and back atcha’ on all of it. You don’t play silly games or make stupid assumptions. You are wrong headed IMO though but that’s cool.

        • Mike_Card

          Like the saying goes, “We’re all bozos on this bus.”  It’s entertainment, so I won’t take it personally; and assume you don’t, either.  ;-)

          • Gregg Smith

            True that.

    • Acnestes

      You wouldn’t like it if the pick was the Archangel Michael, simply because it’s Obama’s pick.

      • Gregg Smith

        Well I do think the Archangel Michael would be a horrible pick but if he chose Allen West I’d tattoo Obama’s name on my forehead.

        • scottmartin49

          Ah, so THAT’S the ‘mark of the beast’!

        • jefe68

          Allem West? You posted some gibberish about not being partisan and now you post this meme. Man up already.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Allen West is a hack. Nice to see you’re not giving up on him now, but it leaves a bad (and accurate) impression of your instincts.

          • Gregg Smith

            I guess the point of my reply went over your head.

          • 1Brett1

            Now, TF, you should know that Gregg wouldn’t be against Obama if Obama were to choose Allen West for some position (as Gregg said, he’d add to the tattoo in between his eyebrows and tattoo Obama’s name on his forehead! I know I wouldn’t be as committed as Gregg to bipartisanship, enough to tattoo an opposing politician’s name on my forehead if he/she did something I liked, anyway); why that’s evident by Gregg’s categorical sentiment that Obama is inherently evil, socialist, and is systematically trying to tear this Country down and remake it in a totalitarian regime. Just think, Obama does one thing Gregg likes, and bam! All else is forgiven and “Obama” gets tattooed on his forehead! Now that’s bipartisanship! (Come on, man, how could Gregg’s point about his sincere bipartisanship have gone so completely over your head?)

            How dare you question Gregg’s desire to do right for this Country: the man endorsed Herman Cain for President for chrissake!!!!

          • Gregg Smith

            i was a Newt guy.

      • Gregg Smith

        The replies are very interesting as is your question. I can’t relate to liking or disliking any nominee of anything because of the nominator. It just seems bizarre to me but evidently a lot of liberals are familiar with that perspective.

    • 1Brett1

      Let me ask you some questions: Hagel “wasn’t even a good senator” in what way, specifically? He will not be a good Sec. of Def. in what way, specifically? Not necon enough? Not neo-libertarian enough? What, pray tell? Not Bolton-esque enough? Does it have to do with Hagel being an Obama pick? That he’s been maligned by the neocon faction or the Republican Party? Are you just a Repub in an unspecified neocon’s clothing? Are you hiding behind the “Libertarian” mantel so you don’t have to be too embarrassed by your neocon/Republican brethren? 

      Hagel seems pretty straight shooting to me (and to many others), and he seems to admit when he’s wrong, take responsibility for his mistakes, and won’t shy away from a position just because it might be hurtful politically or alienate him from his Party. These are qualities it would seem you’d cherish. Do you only like these qualities when they ostensibly emanate from a political figure who holds your same ideology or loyalties? 

      • Gregg Smith

        Man that’s a lot of questions. I’ll try even though I suspect you already think you know what I think. Some of them are leading and built on false assumptions it seems.

        I guess you could say I think Hagel wasn’t neocon enough as a Senator. As far as SoD it’s not a neocon thing. I don’t like his Israel stance and I don’t think he has the right perspective on Iran. I don’t know what “neo-Libertarian” means other than new libertarian but I don’t know what’s new in that regard. I love Libertarians on paper and endorse many of the views but IMO they don’t work in the real world, especially militarily. I am not an isolationist. Being a Libertarian would not be something I would want in a SoD. Take Ron Paul, I would love him as Secretary of the Treasury but would not want him anywhere near the Pentagon. I though Bolton was a great UN Ambassador and got on well despite the assumption he would not. I think he would be a great Secretary of State. I don’t get the comparison for SoD. He’s not a military guy.

        It is very unlikely I would like any Obama pick but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the pick because it’s Obama’s. That’s the best i can do on that one. As I pointed out this morning, If Obama had picked Allen West I would tattoo his name on my forehead. I would love that Obama pick. There’s is no way Obama would pick him. BTW, I would not say it’s because of racism.

        I’m registered Unaffiliated. I’m not a Republican or Libertarian. I’m pro-choice, pro-drug, pro-war when necessary and fiscally conservative. Label me what you will.

        I do admire the qualities you mention and maybe even “cherish” isn’t overstated. Al Sharpton has those qualities and I actually admire that about him. I don’t want him in charge of anything though. See the difference?

        These last two replies are more than you deserve but they are my honest opinions. I’m not even sure you wanted them answered or just wanted to ask them. Either way, there you go.

  • 1Brett1

    The opposition to Hagel is not only indicative of Republicans’ rejection of any moderate Party members’ views, but it also shows how Republicans will ostracize anyone they’ve deemed as betraying the Party. It exemplifies the exclusionary nature of the Republican Party; it’s ultimately what makes the Republicans lose national elections.

  • Douglas Shaver

    The GOP’s objection to Hagel’s nomination is another example of political party contradicting itself. Being a maverick was a virtue during the McCain campaign. In 2013, being a Republican maverick might get you Borked.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Interesting choice of words.

  • 1Brett1

    I was talking to one of those neo-libertarian types yesterday …we all know the type; they’re really closeted Republicans. They categorically believe everything all Republicans believe and will defend any and all actions of Republicans, from the trivial to the significant. Conversely, they categorically reject any and all things Democrats believe and will condemn any and all actions of Democrats, from the trivial to the significant…but, yeah, they’re NOT Republican! Anyway, this neo-libertarian, who gave all the pat answers of his ilk about why Chuck Hagel is a bad choice. I suspect we’ll hear those same arguments trotted out today. 

    At least people who identify as Republican have the courage to honestly say who they are.

    • Gregg Smith

      I have an idea, why don’t you tell people what they think and then criticize them for thinking it. Then maybe make a comment that has nothing to do with anything except how cowardly they are while you blindly endorse any Obama nominee. That would be cool but it’s just a suggestion.

      Of course you shouldn’t directly endorse the nominee because then you would have to distance yourself from the accusation that you are what you say others are.

      • 1Brett1

        Well, your reply is typically what you trot out when you are angered by one of my comments and can’t think of anything of substance to say; however, my comment was based on what others say and do, and NOT what they think, as doing and saying are NOT simply thinking. I don’t presume to know what you think, but I do find fault with your written words, which are actions and not thoughts.

        Danielle Pietka proved my point: everything she said (which is an action, NOT a thought) was right out of the neo-con playbook.

        • Gregg Smith

          Dude, you make me laugh, I’m not angry.

          “They categorically believe everything all Republicans believe …”

          And a few hours later:

          “…however, my comment was based on what others say and do, and NOT what they think,… “

          And that’s why I laugh! Keepum’ coming.

          • 1Brett1

            Every neocon and neo-libertarian I’ve ever spoken to seems to believe everything Republicans believe and categorically condemn everything Democrats believe. Beliefs (yours included) are expressed in words and actions…

            Dude, glad to bring laughter to your otherwise dreary little life, spent morning, noon and night on this forum. Not many music gigs lately?

          • Gregg Smith

            But your entire premise falls apart if you don’t first project how they think. “Seems to think” is a world away. It’s easy to criticize what you think people think. It’s a bugaboo of mine going back years. I point it out. I also think painting with the broad brush to be an offshoot of the same thing. I’m sure you talked someone but then you go on to say, “they categorically reject…” or “…will defend…”. So the actions you cite are more of the same projection. That’s fine, it’s just my nature to point it out.

            I also make note when commenter’s comments are just nasty barbs based on projected personalities and positions instead of issues. I see it all the time, “It says a lot about you…” or “You obviously haven’t…” etc. A good example is your above comment about my dreary life. I got to shovel horse poop all day today and Friday I fish. My life is anything but dreary. I’m blessed. But you know more about me than I do or so you think. 

            And no, I haven’t played a gig since Dec. 14. Playing live is not my bag anymore. At one point I hated it. My ego doesn’t need it and I played 200 nights a year for decades. However, after a hiatus a couple years back I realized classical music is great fun to learn, writing is a staple, recording is a way to fulfill my dream of going to the mailbox and getting royalty checks for living but nothing can replace playing live to keep your chops up. A player has to play. I am a hired gun and play a wide variety of setting with many different players. I have turned down many opportunities to go back on the road. I played for about a year with a local 4 piece band and it was easy and fun. I quit because they drank on stage. I have a problem with that but I would never ask them to stop. They’re grown men. At this time I don’t even have anything booked except a solo piano bar thing next week. But the studio work has been lucrative and steady. I’m also finishing up a soundtrack for a short film which was an incredible opportunity and experience. 

            Just so you know.

          • 1Brett1

            But your entire premise does sort of fall apart regarding your life (especially considering your frequency online on this forum). When one looks back on this forum. Most weeks, if one looks through the commentary, you begin commenting at around 8am and continue on (with the lower frequency being about once or twice an hour; more when you get revved up) on through to the early hours of the following morning, seven days a week…Not that you do this everyday, but it’s frequent. I mean, I don’t really care; as I’ve said before, if that keeps you balanced, that’s cool. 

            Anyway, sorry to poke fun at you, there; I’m happy that you get royalty checks from playing on regional/ local CDs. And, that soundtrack for that small, indie film, that sounds interesting. I should get some tips from you; of the regional CDs I’ve done session work/played on, I don’t make much money to speak of. Do you do union work? Are the acts you play for nationally successful? Are you affiliated with Nashville? I wouldn’t have thought a piano player in western NC would get a lot of royalty-type session work. But, hey, if it’s lucrative and steady, cool…and I do respect that you stick to certain ethics
            in terms of with whom you play and what their personal/professional habits are.

            Again, I apologize.

          • Gregg Smith

            My frequency varies but I do usually comment in the morning first thing and my laptop is in my lap at night while I eat or watch TV or whatever. Some days when the weather is bad I get carried away. I’m passionate, what can I say? My studio is in the barn and there’s another computer there. It’s easy to pass through and comment. I can multi-task. Wham bam, it’s not like I sit around all day hitting the refresh button. I’ve seen you do the same. It happens.

            I must have been unclear. I do not collect royalties. It’s a dream. If I’m on a CD I’m usually paid for my time but collect no royalties. I also make a little money selling my CD’s at gigs or online. Not much but enough to turn a profit. It’s up and down. I haven’t done union work. I have connections in Nashville and have played there a lot. My band filmed a video there in the 80′s and it got some play but it was a silly song. It was half Country and half Rap, “Crap”. Grandpa Jones was in it. It was a great experience. 

            I have played live with National acts most notably Percy Sledge for many years but also Archie Bell, Little Eva and Ray peterson. Aside from a couple of live recordings I’ve never done studio work with National acts. I did write 2 songs for Percy and he loved them but management has him tied up. MAybe one day but I don’t know if he will ever record any new material at this point. He says he will but who knows? 

            The studio work has been mainly for a publisher who is shopping songs for a few artist he has signed. It’s demo work so he wants the songs fleshed out but still open for interpretation. I get the song with just a guitar and vocal and go from there. I like that kind of work. He’s based in East NC, I do most of the work at home and take my laptop running ProTools to his place for 2 or 3 days at a time once or sometimes twice a month. When I say “lucrative” I may make 5 or 6 hundred dollars for the trip so that’s not really retirement money but it’s fulfilling and a creative outlet. I also like giving them what they want.

            The same guy is the producer for the film. He needed a Salsa song for a scene so I wrote one unsolicited and he liked it. So then I spent a month making variations on the theme and bugging him until I got the job for the sound track. He was an assistant engineer at the Hit Factory in NYC in the 80′s and has worked with everyone. He has gold records for Springsteen’s  “Born In The USA” and the Stones “Undercover” but has worked for everyone. He did work on Lennon’s “Double Fantasy” and for a while it looked like Sean Lennon and Dweazel Zappa (another friend of his) were going to do the soundtrack but the timing could not be worked out and I was waiting in the wings. 

            The film stars Helena Cardona and Lee Godat. The director, Monica Tidwell, and my friend JD bought the rights to French writer Guy Muppassant and if this first pilot goes well the plan is to do 5 more. the idea is to bundle a few short films and show them in theaters but it may go a different direction as well. I took it upon myself to write a theme song. It would be a great gig. there is some money lining up behind it and the first one has been shot and is now in the editing process.
            I have signed a contract and get 1% of gross (capped per song) after the movie breaks even. So, i may get nothing or I may get a lot with more films to come. It’s been an incredible amount of work. Deadlines and inspiration are not real compatible but I worked through it.

            I’m way off topic and wordy but I haven’t talked about it much to my friends and family because it may all be for naught. You gave me the excuse. Nobody here cares and it’s down the page so what the hell.

          • 1Brett1

            I like to hear what you’re up to musically. Sounds as though you have a lot of irons in different fires, and any one could heat up at any time (which is a smart way to do it).

            I don’t do much in the way of studio/session stuff. I have sung harmonies (and some lead melody) on a few CDs (for which I just get an hourly rate type thing). 

            I have a very distinct guitar style, and most people I know/have worked with, collaborate with me because of my uniqueness and not because I’m versatile. So I only do paid session work with my guitar very infrequently.

            I mostly do gigs (I hate “bars” and avoid those as much as possible) and do mostly concert halls, coffee shops, festivals, songwriter showcases (those actually pay well for very little work and are fun), bookstores, mostly places that encourage people to listen to music rather than get drunk or attempt to get laid.

            I teach, a lot. I find this challenging, rewarding and lucrative. Even if I didn’t need the money from teaching (which I do, especially in winter months because my landscape business slows to virtually nothing) I would still teach some.

            As you, I feel fortunate to earn money within the realm of music….Thanks for your comment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    Clearly what is exposed here is the power of the Israeli Lobby… and of course… those senators beholding to this powerful lobby. 

  • JGC

    The Times-Picayune reports the Honorable Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) says he’ll vote against confirming Hagel as Secretary of DOD.  Vitter, part of the Chickenhawk Caucus within the Senate Armed Services Committee, says Hagel’s confirmation “would send exactly the wrong message”.

    I am getting that disturbing, Vitterish feeling again…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Should be no surprise – “We find Obama’s nominee completely unacceptable – by the way, who is it?”

    • Gregg Smith

      I don’t know, Miguel Estrada? John Bolton? Janice Rogers Brown? etc.

      Has any Obama nominee been blocked by the GOP? Surely so.

      • nj_v2

        John Bolton??!!

        Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!

        Why so tame, Gerggg? Hell, let’s bring back Cheney! Amp up his pacemaker!

        • Gregg Smith

          Great idea, he was an awesome Sec. of Def.

          • jimino

            What did you like best about him?  Was it letting Saddam off the hook so he could live to fight us another day (with logistical support by Halliburton, of course)?  Or maybe instructing our troops serving in the mid-east to hide any sign of their Christian or pro-Israeli thinking so as not to offend the Saudis?  Maybe it’s just his creative method of avoiding any service himself.  What made him so awesome in your view?

          • nj_v2

            Must be that he was good at handling a shotgun.

          • Gregg Smith

            I am basing it mainly on the first Iraq war. I do think Bush should have taken out Sadaam but it wasn’t Cheney’s call. As I recall he advocated it. A decade later we had no choice.

  • SpeakTruth2

    This is, of course, the re-emergenceof the Neocons, trying to spin theirworld views into the American foreignpolicy debate.
    The truth is they do not want ANYONEto acknowledge that lies were promulgatedto send the United States into Iraq Warin 2003.
    We all know now; The false premiseshave been well documented.
    So why are we hearing now protests surroundingObama’s nominee?
    We are not yet rid of the extremistswho are beating the drums for war.
    And what have these wars given us?A towering deficit! Hundreds of thousandsdead and wounded! This, the crushing weight ofthe repercussions of such a “noble endeavor”,Oh but we don’t want the wars to affect uspersonally, do we. Keep it at arms length.
    But here we have a nominee who is a witness.We need a witness in the halls of power to counterthe “rationale” for war.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    What part of the job of Secretary of Defense has to do with policy on Israel or Iran or Iraq?  Those are all foreign policies and they would come under the State Department.

    This is more of the same obstructionist knee-jerk reaction against  President Obama, and nothing more.

    Neil

  • Brandstad

    Dem’s dont even support him.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      A few Democrats have criticized Senator Hagel, but the shrill objections have come from a few Republicans.  Most of these are so-called neocons and I don’t trust them as far as I could throw them.

      Neil

      • nlpnt

        Indeed, some of the criticism isn’t about Hagel  personally – it’s that he’d be the third Republican Secretary of Defense under a Democratic president in 15 years, and critics think that feeds into the old myth about Republicans being somehow stronger about defense.

  • scottmartin49

    This is about splitting the Republican party. Axlerod is a genius.

    Get all the loons sorted out; try and forge a Senatorially led center to move things politically. First Kerry, then Biden works the middle on the ‘fiscal cliff’, now this. Brilliant.

  • http://www.facebook.com/suzanne.sheldon.50 Suzanne Sheldon

    I think Chuck Hagel is a brilliant choice. Republicans like Lindsey Graham need to stop trying to have it their way all the time. Why is it so important that we pander to Israel at all times? All that sucking up to Israel has gotten us into war and caused the lives of many fine Americans. ENOUGH! Israel is looking out for Israel, not United States. I’m thrilled with Hagel’s experience, as an former enlisted man who has seen the horrors of war. With his perspective, he can make much better judgements pertaining to war than those that got their experience in military school and will always feel human lives are worth the latest quest for power, oil, whatever. Americans should not be treated as pawns, to be forgotten individually, and only remembered through monuments and parades.  

  • http://twitter.com/vtaline Taline Voskeritchian

    Chuck Hagel’s record:  So what if he is not fully committed to Israel?  Is that the most important question? 
    Do we ask, Is so-and-so nominee pro-Canada or pro-France enough?
     

    • scottmartin49

      Canada! Those beady eyed, flapping headed little snow monkeys?

      John Bolton would know what to do with those ice beaners- why, Mitt all but disposessed their oil all by himself during his long election lie-athon!

      • JGC

        What the..!  “Beady eyed, flapping headed little snow monkeys” ?!?!  If I ever get you in a dark alley, I will stuff you so full of poutine and Timbits, you will be BEGGING for an  illegally obtained second tier prescription of Lipitor Lookalike delivered from a backalley Canadian pharmacy…  

        • scottmartin49

          Poutine? Isn’t he the Prime Minister of Quebec?;)

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I thought it meant “courtesan” in French.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1270763537 Douglas R. Lederer

    It is sickening to me to see that the republican party has truly become the party of close minds.  There appears to be no room for dissent on any issue, and that is why they lost the election. Chuck Hagel angered the Republican Party because he never bought into the lies that were told about Iraq.  
    I am a supporter of Israel but there is certainly room for opposition to the extremist views of Benjamin Netanyahu and his agenda.  We did not support apartheid in south Africa.  Separate but equal failed in this country, and it is illogical to believe that these policies will succeed in Israel.  It is time to change the dialogue.  That is the view that Chuck Hagel has shared.
    I am an independent voter who has always supported Mr. Hagel.  He seems to be the last politician who stood for what he believed was right and not for extreme party lines or what would get him elected.  His integrity is outstanding.  Has he made mistakes – yes.  Has he admitted as much, and worked to correct them, yes.  I firmly believe that he will be able to guide the department of defense in a way that will make it leaner, stronger and more sustainable.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Maybe he chose Hagel because the USA has been pandering to Israel far too long.

    Sounds like Hagel understands things a lot better than those that claim he is anti-Israel. To them, support for Israel means unquestioned support no matter what they do, no matter how many decades they ignore UN resolutions, no matter how many homes they build in illegally occupied land. Israel good, everyone else bad.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Yeah, we don’t even treat our own government like that, skin to skin, without any room for focusing with two eyes.  We consider it our duty as citizens to question it pretty ferociously.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

    i find it really hard how people can describe jewish people… 

    anything there is a jewish this or jewish that… eg. jewish lobbyist… such description is deemed racist??? are people brain farting? 

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    No one should have to defend themselves for questioning our relationship with Israel. I have had Jewish friends all of my life who have been highly critical of the hardline Zionists in Israel and their gross hypocrisy. Are they then anti-Semites as well?

    If someone in another country is outspoken and critical of our own home-grown extremist Tea Baggers, I welcome that discourse.

  • Ellen Dibble

    It is brilliant that Peter Beinert is able to counter Danielle Pletko on Hagel’s not signing the letter of protest to Boris Yeltsin (holding out as 1 of 100), protesting growing anti-semitism in the USSR, by saying Hagel had written a letter to Clinton, expounding a way of countering anti-semitism without intruding on internal USSR politics.  
        That’s the way I understand it, and it does exemplify independent thinking, looking for new and better ways of doing things that are less provocative.  

    • scottmartin49

      Heard Pletko on another program yesterday. Really the worst sort of right wing loon- no respect for facts, truth, or alternate perspectives at all.

      • Ellen Dibble

        It’s too bad; the Jewish people I talk to have been sort of apologetic about certain perspectives, asking me do I agree with every Christian sect?  No, they are like relatives; you live with them.

        • scottmartin49

          OT (sort of…), but do you see the similarities between Israel’s being held hostage by their fundamentalists and our own situation here? Truly saddening.

    • 1Brett1

      Excellent comment!

  • Flytrap

    I think there are about a million people that could be Sec Def and could fly through the nomination process.  So why did Obama nominate Hagel?  To me it seems that instead of leading the nation he wants to fight with the Republicans.  He seems more comfortable fighting than leading.   

    • Mike_Card

      Give us the names of two of those million.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Is AIPAC in favor of the walling in of Palestinians, the intrusive settlement in the West Bank?  Or is that one particular party in Israel that holds those views?

  • http://www.facebook.com/helenmilton.mill Helen Milton Mill

    Nothing seemed to stop Neten-YAHOO! from commenting on the recent Presidential election.

  • MarkVII88

    My read on the opposition among some Republicans to Chuck Hagel’s nomination is that they are afraid of him.  They’re afraid of him because he seems to be relatively pragmatic, interested in getting the job done well, and is probably someone who is beyond the control of the Republican establishment (ie, he has a  mind of his own).  Mr. Hagel’s conservatism is tempered by the situation “on the ground” and what is necessary to achieve his mission.

  • http://twitter.com/setaspellmedia setaspell media

    I agree.. how is “a Jewish lobby” anti semeitic??  does that mean  “christian lobby” is anti christian?  or “big oil lobby”  anti oil?? or “republican lobby” anti-republican…   this topic just shows me time and time again that the Republicans must be a part of the  “obama Lobby” anti_obama.. It all seems racist to me.. what ever Obama says, the Republicans say the opposite because he “must be a Muslim Kenyan”. ( ie black scary non-american)..Get over the loss Republicans.. Give an up or down vote on ALL the “waiting to be confirmed” appointments!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/helenmilton.mill Helen Milton Mill

    Interfering with US politics didn’t stop Netan-YAHOO! from getting involved with the recent US presidential election.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Ms. Pletka’s logical gyrations simply make the point that it is not that Senator Hagel is “anti-Israel” – but rather that he doesn’t agree with her.

    Neil

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Mr. Ignatius says that leaving too quickly tends to leave a power vacuum that can lead to civil war.  That is not correct – it is *starting a war* that leaves a power vacuum.

      Neil

      • Ray in VT

        Starting a war can certainly create a power vacuum, but the absence of an authority strong enough to hold things together can lead to war as well.  I think that it depends upon the individual circumstance.  Yugoslavia and 1990s Afghanistan are, I think, both good examples of this.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Should be interesting to see past statements about how much they love Hagel from the senators that oppose him now. Even our righty media ought to be capable of doing that.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Whose ox will be gored by a draw-down in defense spending?  California’s, for one.  So I’m thinking two female senators from California might dare to approve Hagel as opposed to most other choices.  But the economy will have to struggle to replace all those economic engines if we dare to wind them down.

  • keltcrusader

    Heard Ms. Pletka this morning on a different show. Talk about condesending, she needs to get over herself.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I may have missed it, but to me, the issue is who can address the Iran issue without having to be in lockstep with Israel.  Israel may have once been the determinative part of our approach to any part of the Arab world, but I’m thinking Israel ought to appreciate that we have a little more distance and perspective, if not intimate knowledge, of the tensions there.

  • 65noname

    Here we go again.  First, the so-called guests are a pro-Israeli spin writer, an extreme zionist, and a zionist lite.   But we’ve come to expect the spinners to be right of center and right of right of center.  But then, like other government radio shows, they start relying on quotes and thoughts from elliot abrams.  But vthey do not mention that abrams was found guilty of lying to congress about the US government’s actions to arm terrorists in Latin america. Yet this show and government radio acts as if abrams is an honest analyst of world events.

    These guys lie like a rug and government radio presents these guys as if they are putting forth a full, honest range of opinion. 

    Hey guys; don’t forget to demand that we send money to you!!!!!

     

    • scottmartin49

      Re; ‘Pinocchio’ Abrams- it was a teachable moment here last night at Comintern North. I got the chance to describe Iran/Contra to my Smith bound 17 year old daughter!

      Agreed- why does anyone still listen to him?

      • 65noname

        government radio (and TV) continues to pesent abrams as if he is an honest, unbiased analyst rather than a convicted perjurer.  Yet, they can never seem to find a left wing analyst that passes their “smell” test.

  • nj_v2

    I just almost spewed my blueberry yogurt onto my screen when Ms. Pletka said, referring to the Vietnam War, something like, “a feckless administration unwilling to prosecute the war correctly.”

    What the hell does Ms. Pletka think we should have done? Nuke the entire peninsula? What, exactly, is the correct way to carry out an illegal, immoral war promulgated on lies?

    These g***dam neocon war mongers should be banished to some other planet.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Shorter Pletka: “Will we be allowed to win this time?”

      (h/t John Rambo)

    • Potter

      George W Bush ( the draft dodger) also had this view of Viet Nam.. that we were not allowed to pursue it as we should have. This an internal struggle we have to fight with those of that opinion still- that the US is exceptional and we can have all these weapons but no one else can. It’s as old as history: might makes right.  Neanderthal?

      • Mike_Card

        Cheney is the draft dodger; Bush is the deserter.

        • Gregg Smith

          Not really.

          • Mike_Card

            You disagree with which?

          • Gregg Smith

            Both, Cheney got deferments, he didn’t flee to Canada. They knew exactly where he was. That’s not a draft dodger. There is no evidence other than the accusation that Bush deserted squat.

          • Mike_Card

            I think we’ve both made up our minds on those.

        • Potter

          You guys can argue but in my mind, and as I remember Bush used his connections through his father to land a safe place so he could seem like he was serving. But he was obviously not interested; he was “phoning it in” even then. And in the campaign, this issue ( of character) was not brought out strongly and relentlessly enough by the opposition as such points would have been made  (and were actually) by Republicans against Gore and Kerry. 

    • hennorama

      Perhaps they could instead be put through basic training, armed and equipped, then put on a battlefield with live fire and trained soldiers opposing them.  Then they might get an idea of what “prosecuting a war correctly” is like.

    • jimino

      She apparently has three children.  Hopefully they are old enough to enlist and be in front leading the charge into Iran if her advice becomes the policy of our country.

    • TheDailyBuzzherd

      Yup … she continues to ignore the reality that even Robert McNamara came to rethink the war and his role in it, and blatantly ignores the fact that most of America’s recent adventures were about money under the thin veil of “national interests”.

    • Gregg Smith

      Yea, better not to get Congressional approval or be upfront with the public. Damn that warmonger Obama.

  • Polychrome

    Why does a foreign country, Israel–which illegally occupies Palestinian land and has committed many war crimes against imprisoned civilians–get to choose our U.S. Secretary of Defense?  How dare NPR keep allowing discredited Neo-Conservatives like Pletka and Elliott Abrams to smear Sen. Hagel with terrible charges of “anti-Semitism”?

  • sheryltr

    I don’t know how not wanting to walk in lockstep with Israel makes you an anti-Semite. He could be a real breath of fresh air in this government.

    • TheDailyBuzzherd

      They don’t want “fresh” or “reasonable”.

      What’s reasonable about establishing settlements beyond national borders and not expecting trouble?

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    When you have a really big hammer, everything tends to look like a nail.

    We won’t come close to solving our budget problems without big cuts to our defense budget – which will be a good thing for our security.  We have thrown more money at the Pentagon than they know what to do with it, and we have gotten a false sense of security.  We need to work harder and think about it more and spend less – we simply cannot afford it.

    Neil

    • Mike_Card

      And yet, we’re already hearing murmuring about “job creators…”  The Pentagon is not really about making war or peace, it’s about spending tax money in congressional districts and awarding “defense” contracts on cost-plus terms.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Are the chiefs of staff in the White House the same?  The guys who present scenarios to POTUS?  Then I think Hagel will listen to them about maintaining the kind of footprints in the Middle East that Robert Gates felt were assuredly there.

  • William

    The war in Afghanistan is lost and we need to pull out.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EMFDTIVCOYWI7PDWQ2VGITB2Y4 Emory

    The nomination of Chuck Hagel is a clear sign that massive cuts in defense spending are on the horizon.

  • Potter

    The military, Danielle P. Says is about not fighting. The way guns are about not killing?

  • Michiganjf

    The caller was exactly correct…

      Over the last 75 years, the U.S. has gotten into military fiasco after fiasco, and all the while these same neo-con types, often the same exact people, have called for U.S. involvement and been ultimately proven extremely foolish!

     These are the same neo-cons and neo-con types now opposing Chuck Hagel.

    This is proof enough that Mr. Hagel is likely PRECISELY the right person for the job!

    BTW,
    Ms. Pletka’s employer, AEI, is among the worst of the neo-con havens, so her opinions should be immediately disqualified.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       You mean that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is NOT good foreign policy??? Say it ain’t so!

      • Ray in VT

        It can work in a tight spot, such as our alliance with the Soviet Union during World War II, but it often leads a nation supporting some pretty horrible people.

        • Gregg Smith

          Thanks for pointing that out. Dynamics change and sometimes the choices are not easy.

          • Ray in VT

            Unfortunately there are times when even the lesser of two evils is still a great evil.  Tito was pretty harsh, and a communist, but we backed him for years because he was not in line with the Soviets.  Politics, and foreign policy, sometimes makes strange bedfellows.  Unfortunately this does not appear to have been updated in some time, but check it out if you have a chance”

            http://www.cqpress.com/pages/bedfellows

          • Gregg Smith

            Mubarek was a good example of the lessor of two evils. 

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not so sure about that one.  Time will tell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carol.doeden Carol Lee Doeden

    I have been very proud of Senator Hagel for many years, and believe that his viewpoints are those of many of the silent majority of Americans. I certainly hope he becomes the next Secretary of Defense!

  • nj_v2

    Will there be show on Obomber’s appointment of Dr. Drone to CIA Director?

    This is more disturbing, and should be more controversial than Hagel, but don’t bet that “liberal” media will pay much attention.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/07/john-brennan-dishonesty-cia-director-nomination


    John Brennan’s extremism and dishonesty rewarded with CIA Director nomination

    Obama’s top terrorism adviser goes from unconfirmable in 2008 to uncontroversial in 2013, reflecting the Obama legacy

    [[ Prior to President Obama's first inauguration in 2009, a controversy erupted over reports that he intended to appoint John Brennan as CIA director. That controversy, in which I participated, centered around the fact that Brennan, as a Bush-era CIA official, had expressly endorsed Bush's programs of torture (other than waterboarding) and rendition and also was a vocal advocate of immunizing lawbreaking telecoms for their role in the illegal Bush NSA eavesdropping program. As a result, Brennan withdrew his name from consideration, issuing a bitter letter blaming "strong criticism in some quarters prompted by [his] previous service with the” CIA. ]]

    (excerpt)

    • Ellen Dibble

      Next  question, maybe there will be a replacement for John Brennan in the White House who is NOT a relic of our, um, security errors in the last decade.  I don’t know who plays which cards when in comes to policy and methods, but this could be shifting, not sort of expanding across D.C.

      • Gregg Smith

        I’m more concerned with the security errors at hand, Benghazi, and why we were lied to but I get your point.

        My prediction to replace Brennen is James Clapper. I think he’s a puppet but I should hold my fire until it happens. Maybe it won’t.

    • 65noname

      The problem is not that goverrnment media is “liberal”; rather that it is right of center and beholden to anyone either in power and/or who controls government purse strings

    • Gregg Smith

      “Obomber”, “Dr. Drone”: I feel sure the terrorists preferred club Gitmo. Indefinite Detention beats the hell out of assassination. 

      • Steve__T

         And lets not forget that Gitmo is still open 11 yrs latter and 3 yrs after BO said it would close. I hate politics and politicians, if they say they are going to do something expect the opposite.

        • Gregg Smith

          There was no way he was ever going to close Gitmo, ever. He knew he was lying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/arttoegemann Art Toegemann

    I am very leery about Mr. Hagel’s credential as a Vietnam war veteran. I don’t mean to tar with a broad brush, but such veterans have failed spectacularly here in Rhode Island. This comes with the bogus Vietnam War Commemoration being foisted upon the country for the next 13 years, trying to gin up honor for a dishonorable action. What is needed is an apology, official, from the US to the world at large for the US war with Vietnam. On this front, Obama is failing us. I suspect it is because he has no personal experience, is bullied and turned by the joint chiefs. And so we have this nomination who needs to be publicly, exhaustively interrogated about the “the tragedy and lessons” of a war the US still does not understand.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    President Obama nominate Sen. Hagel for crass political reasons.    He choose an anti gay Republican to show how bipartisan he is.  He choose a candidate that will make him look pro-Israel by comparison.  President Obama will remain above the fray and allow the confirmation process to be an ugly distraction from the serious issues of Debt, Deficit, and Budget.  Such rancor in congress will turn more people off to politics.  Well payed Mr. President.

  • Mike_Card

    This was a weird show.  I thought it was to be about Hagel as a nominee for Secretary of Defense.  Yet all 3 guests–whose military cred was never mentioned, but I’d bet among them, they don’t have 10 minutes’ military service–spent the hour talking about Israel.  WTF?

    Was this leftovers from Kerry’s nomination?  Or did the Brennan gang get called early?

    All I heard was that Hagel was a non-com with 2 purple hearts; is that the only thing On Point had to say about him?

  • William Ketch

    AFTER LISTENING TO YOUR PROGRAM RE: THE NOMINATION OF HAGEL, IT SEEMS TO ME THAT HAGEL HAS GOT IT RIGHT. I SUGGEST THAT THOSE WHO ARE APPOSED NEED TO READ THE BOOK, “THE GENERALS FROM WORLD WAR II TO NOW”.

    ITS A WONDER THAT WE WON THE WAR. AND IN KOREA WE COULD HAVE EASIALLY STARTED WORLD WAR III IF MCCARTHER  HAD HIS WAY.

    THE NEOCONS DO NOT WANT TO LEARN FROM HISTORY.

    • Brandstad

      The Hagel nomination represents the return of the radical Barack Obama, hitherto hidden under an opportunistic anti-terror persona.

      There is, as Bill Kristol observed last week, “no case for Hagel.” His supporters cannot cite any substantive reason he should be Secretary of Defense; instead, they argue that “Hagel must be appointed in order to spite many of his critics.” Peter Beinart of the Daily Beast confirms that assessment with his weak defense of Hagel this morning: he must be appointed, Beinart argues, to destroy “the Republican foreign policy establishment.”

      Not to defend the country, not to strengthen our military, but to win a political argument.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Please keep quoting Bill Kristol.

      • http://www.facebook.com/stewsburntmonkey David Stewart

        By radical choice you mean a choice which reaches across party lines to find a highly qualified candidate I assume.

        Chuck Hagel was a decorated soldier (and knows all too well the true realities of war).  He is a highly successful business man and politician.  Most recently he’s been a professor of foreign service.  I’m not sure how much more qualified he could be.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/4DULXO7EMXPKNL5S3CVA4MNFU4 Jim

        Hagel is a person with an open mind – a free thinker. The only thing that would satisfy the Right Wing is a close-minded ditto-head.

      • TheDailyBuzzherd

        “Not to defend the country, not to strengthen our military, but to win a political argument.”

        Sure hear this a lot, “O is letting us go over the Fiscal Cliff to score political points,” now this. I don’t see how one man is going to “destroy the Republican foreign policy establishment”, let alone any of the banks getting stimulus to “win more political points”.

        The problem about echoes is they bounce off walls and do little else.

      • nj_v2

        Signpost that anything that follows can be safely ignored: “Bill Kristol.”

        Oh, wait, it’s a Brandstad post, so make that “Brandstatd.”

      • hennorama

        Bill Kristol?  Why would anyone listen to this guy?  After all, in 2003 he said about the Iraq invasion – “This is gonna be a two month war not a three year war.”

        His ability as a forecaster is similar to that of Karl Rove, Michael Barone and Dick Morris on the last Presidential election – embarrassingly wrong, ridiculously wrong, and absurdly wrong.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nONm4myKwY8

  • 1Brett1

    Danielle Pietka was sure a piece of work this morning, from her characterization of Hagel (“anti-Israel”)–and whose characterization was effectively refuted, to which she simply dismissed the refutation as irrelevant–to her sentiment that our legislators  need not have to deal with such a controversial nomination, replete with a big battle on its hands, as they already have so many battles on their hands (when it’s the Republican obstructionism that creates these big battles), to her getting a neocon dig in about “entitlements.” She was such a transparent hack. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Re Pietka, I just heard the last bit, not knowing who she was. Did she actually say

      This is a “controversial nomination at a point when we didn’t need one”, there has been an “enormous amount of deference in the Senate” (to the President’s picks).

      Hilarious stuff from her. I await her idea of a non-controversial pick.

      • Ray in VT

        Anyone from the Council for National Policy or the Project for the New American Century.

        • TheDailyBuzzherd

          … or Jamie Dimon. Hear he’s got access to a public trust fund.

  • Potter

    Danielle Pletka is not talking about the consequences of war. Nor that Iran may want nuclear weapons to deter the US and Israel. After all Israel and the US have gone to war recklessly because they could. 

    When you have a hammer, problems look like nails.

  • http://twitter.com/vtaline Taline Voskeritchian

    The logic fails at the end of every phrase. 

  • Potter

    Peter Beinart is correct… and very articulate. 

    It’s absolutely relevant, if you are going to bring in support of Israel, to cite what leaders in Israel say.

    As for Lindsay Graham’s remark about this Obama appointment being an “in your face” choice,  I say, it’s about time Obama got in some faces. Beinart again right about Graham’s views being about yesterday and lessons not learned.

  • Potter

    How distasteful to hear comments about anti-Semitism. That charge has become more about those who make it, than those accused.

  • Brandstad

    OBAMA CIA PICK JOHN BRENNAN IN 2010: JIHAD A ‘LEGITIMATE TENET OF ISLAM’

  • Brandstad

    In May of 2010, Fox News reported Brennan defended Jihad as a “legitimate tenet of Islam.”:

    The president’s top counterterrorism adviser on Wednesday called jihad a “legitimate tenet of Islam,” arguing that the term “jihadists” should not be used to describe America’s enemies. During a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, John Brennan described violent extremists as victims of “political, economic and social forces,” but said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in “religious terms.”

    • Ray in VT

      Jihad basically means struggle, and it would seem to be a legitimate tenet of Islam.  It can be a political or military struggle, or it can be a struggle against one’s personal vices, if I understand the term correctly.

      It’s a loaded term, just like how our use of the term crusade has some other meanings within the Muslim world.  To criticize Brennan over this comment, as I heard Ms. Pletka do this morning on Morning Edition, is, I think, both highly political and religiously or culturally ignorant.

  • noslack2327

    Mr. Ashbrook or staff,
    Please send the following comment to the woman from AEI. Politicians in the United States of America need to stop kowtowing to the pro-Israeli lobby, and make the United States and the United States people a greater priority than their election or reelection. Israel’s interests are not parallel with the United States. Israel lost the moral high ground at Deir Yassin. Backing Israel diminishes U.
S. standing, puts the American people at risk, and is morally bankrupt.
    Consider the following actions by our “ally” Israel…

    • the perfidy of Jonathan
Pollard, a spy for Israel

    • Israel’s air attack on
the U. S. S. Liberty in which U.S. sailors were killed and wounded

    • the massacres fomented 
and abetted by Ariel Sharon at Sabra and Shatila

    • the land grab of 
Palestinian territory

    • the on-going 
colonization of the West Bank with so-called settlements

    • war crimes in Gaza – yes,
 war crimes

    • Palestinian civilians 
killed in the Qana bombardment.

    If the foregoing points are unimportant, explain so to the Corries, whose daughter Rachel, a witness for peace and justice was crushed by an IDF bulldozer.

    • Craig S Armstrong

      What a GREAT summary of why USA should abandon it’s current policy on supporting Israel at any cost!  I would suggest that such a shift in policy will not take place until the greedy and narcissistic lawyers who occupy the seats of Congress are booted out!… a long road, but one that should begin the next term-election!  

      Again, thanks for your eloquence on this matter.

    • 1276kids3

       Well-Done!!

  • noslack2327

    Those of us who fight the wars are tired of hearing about Israel, especially so from persons who care more about Israel than the United States of America. If Israel is important enough to place greater priority on it than the U. S., persons who do so should move there.

    • hennorama

      noslack2327 – thank you for your service.  Hope you hear this daily, and never tire of it.

      • noslack2327

        You’re a gentleman or gentlewoman for saying so. I appreciate your doing so.

  • 1276kids3

    Israel supporters have demanded dangerously unconditional support from
    U.S. policiticians. Any UN attempt to censor ruthlessly brutal Israeli
    policies has been blocked by the U.S. Any attempt to require that Israel
    adhere to accepted humanitarian principles is likewise blocked. AIPAC
    and other zionist organizatons have inordinate influence over the
    American Congress. We can not continue to let a foreign country dictate
    American Mid-East policy.  Hagel appears to be a man who does not pander
    to political pressure. We need a man like that in the Cabinet.

    Israel supporters can continue to shout down any criticism with
    slanderous charges of anti-Semitism, but maybe Hagel will be able to
    hear the cries of Israel’s victims

  • hennorama

    Chuck Hagel’s nomination is upsetting to some Democrats and some Republicans.  This simple fact means he’s probably a good choice.

    As to the former Senator’s inelegant past remarks – if saying something insensitive or stupid in one’s past was a disqualifier from public service, the halls of government would be virtually empty.  Sen. Hagel has always struck me as prickly, pugnacious and principled.  Those seem like pretty good qualities for a Secretary of Defense.

    • TheDailyBuzzherd

       Go to ProPublica’s page. They post a new quote every day!

    • Gregg Smith

      I don’t agree that both sides being upset makes him a good choice. It’s better if both sides see it as a good pick. Ruth Bater Ginsburg was confirmed 96-3. Antonin Scalia was confirmed 98-0. 

  • marygrav

    I cannot listen to past shows or even today’s show with the options you are offering.  Why don’t you just have a download application as you have had in the past.  Every improvement only seems to make things worst.

  • jimino

    Heard this Pletka fool both on Morning Edition and here.  If she’s against something, it must be the right thing to do.  She’s cut from the same cloth as all the other hyperbolic chicken-hawk neocons who have been so instrumental in destroying whatever  reputation for honesty and competence we had throughout the world. 

    • Gregg Smith

      Yadda yadda but seriously, aren’t you in Nebraska? Do you have any unique insight on Hagel? I always thought he and Ben Nelson weren’t too far apart even though they were in different parties. There were times (as I recall, don’t hold me to it) that Nelson voted with Republicans while Hagel voted with Democrats.

      • jimino

        Sorry, but she truly has nothing of actual practical value to contribute to this discussion.

        Nelson is a pure old-fashioned politician.  I really think Hagel detested that role, rejecting chances for earmark money and all the bring-home-the-bacon stuff.   I believe him to be principled in a way that Nelson (and most elected officials) is incapable of, and pragmatic about how we use our military.  Both crossed party lines on votes and pissed off their respective parties here.

        • Mike_Card

          Don’t forget Nelson’s extorting the Cornhusker Dividend for his vote on the ACA.

          • Gregg Smith

            We call it the “Cornhusker Kickback” in my circles.

          • Mike_Card

            Probably one of the few printable terms applied to that “deal.”

          • Gregg Smith

            Well, there was Landrieu and the “Louisiana Purchase”. I never heard a nickname for Stupek’s crew.

        • Gregg Smith

          Thanks.

        • Mike_Card

          There won’t be any of that confusing bipartisanship with Deb Fischer.

  • TheDailyBuzzherd

    I’m probably not wrong in thinking those who will fight Hagel want someone who’ll rubber stamp all their purchase orders …

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003528855101 Neil Bahnemann

    Pletka is super stupid

  • nj_v2

    Disqus fail.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Obama is an old-style centrist republican, and he nominated an old-style centrist republican for Sec Def. How about that :) It’s funny to hear the wingnuts calling it an “in your face” appointment. How confrontational, nominating a member of your own party!

    Hagel seems like an interesting guy with a brain who doesn’t follow a single Party Line. He’s actually been to war, so he doesn’t love war as much as the DC neocon chicken hawks, and they hate him for it. 

    I expect he thinks drone strikes are fine, but otherwise as good as we can expect. 

    • Gregg Smith

      Yea, he probably is as good as we can expect. I agree with that. I feel sure he’ll be cleared.

  • Gregg Smith

    Iran is happy and Israel is not. That has to mean something.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57562677/hagel-nomination-cheers-iran-worries-israel/

    I’m actually looking forward to the confirmation hearings. I know a bit about Hagel but not enough to know if the media or Conservatives are over-simplifying his views. I always trust seeing it for myself on C-Span over the spin machine.

  • hennorama

    To the many new posters – Welcome!

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    Hagel is good – congrats to BO for seeming to grow some more cajones after the Fried Rice episode. That he is so independent that he may criticize the often brutal and racist behavior of Israel towards the Palestinians they occupy is very good- America has been so cowardly and subservient to Israeli/evangelical/neocon bullies that a correction is long ovedue. Without us pushing it, any settlement will be impossible.

    Hagel is a plain-spoken warrior, someone who knows what war and death mean.. unlike the traitorous scum neoncons like Elliot Abrams (come-on Tom, this guy has the blood of thousands on his hands, what does it take to be blackballed forever) or Pletka.. who don’t even acknowledge Iraq was a mistake, let alone a disaster, or a war crime. That’s the kind of person who should be in charge of Defense- someone who will kick ass against the contractor payolla scams that get troops killed, that will stand up to the chicken-hawk Repub pukes like Cornyn, who wouldn’t go to war if it involved mussing his $200 haircut.

  • Marianne Kamp

    Hagel is being nominated for Secretary of Defense, not Secretary of State. Why are the panelists concerned about his attitudes on Israel? The Secretary of Defense does not make policy on Israel and is not involved in the non-existent peace negotiations (and Israel is going to elect their anti-peace PM in any case).
    As Defense Secretary, Hagel will at least be willing to think outside the box.

  • edwingolla

    I am sorry to see the allegations of antisemitism against Chuck Hagel. He has politely questioned some of the policies of the state of Israel, something that those congressmen representing conservative Christians can’t do.

    Israel’s policies of settlement, taxation without representation, and wanton destruction of Palestinian property and orchards are untenable and unsustainable.

    To charge Chuck Hagel with antisemitism is a sad attachment of of an unshakable moniker that will ensure avid opposition to his nomination.

  • http://twitter.com/Heavyliftzz Keith Lott

    So sick of NPR in an effort to be balanced getting these Right-Wing Nut cases. I serve in the military and we know there risks but it’s not what we service members “sign up for”; Pletka then turns around and says having a military is about not fighting.  What she’s trying to say is “Persuasive in Peace; Unbeatable in War”, which she’d know if she’d ever served.  Would be interested if she’s ever visited Veteran Homes or have any family in the military.

    • Gregg Smith

      Why do NPR listeners hate opposing opinions?

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I am no longer surprised at the reactionary and dogmatic comments coming from those that claim to be liberal.  

        • Ray in VT

          Being liberal does not mean that one has to accept utter nonsense, although one should be open to hearing it, at least from time to time.

          I heard Ms. Pletka twice yesterday, and it was more than enough.  The first time she said something to the effect that Hagel’s criticism of a particular policy position of the government of Israel was just a convenient way of masking antisemitism, and this hour she said something about how a feckless or cowardly administration lost us Vietnam.  I don’t think that either of those positions are supportable, and I find the composition of the panel a bit flawed when it’s two journalists and someone from a right-wing think tank.  All in all, I found her statements to be unhelpful and uninformative regarding the topic at hand. 

      • Ray in VT

        I find that most of them don’t hate opposing positions.  Many of them do seem strongly dislike opinions that are so out on the fringes as to lack credibility.  There are a number of historical interpretations that I see aired here on occasion as to be so unfounded as to range into the realm of stupid.  If labeling them as such makes me wrong or intolerant in the eyes of some, then I am fine with that.  Not all opinions are valid.  Factually speaking.

        • Gregg Smith

          I get that and understand it but staying in a bubble makes some viewpoints seem incredible when in fact they are not. I have not heard the show so I’m speaking in general, there have been many times that I have read this blog and seen commenters railing against this or that person (almost never a liberal) and when I hear the show they sound perfectly reasonable to me. Other times I hear guests or even Mr. Ashbrook and I wonder how he has a show. But I listen and I’m glad to hear it. I am quite familiar with most of the viewpoints and am not surprised to hear them. I hear them dissected in context and analyzed fully all the time.

          This is just an example and I don’t intends to debate it: One commenter recently, and I might add gratuitously, informed another commenter who replied to me that I was not credible because I like Rush and think Paul Krugman is a crackpot. My thought was, “well duh, how could anyone disagree with that?” I think I replied that I like Sarah Palin too. To my way of thinking it’s completely logical but I think in some circles the notion is unthinkable. It’s funny because I took the intended insult as a compliment.

          • Gregg Smith

            I should add that usually the criticism is not specific as is the case with the comment I replied to from Keith Lott. He cited a what he thought to be incredible statements but did not refute them other than to call her a nut case. I don’t consider his attempt to say what she is thinking (“What she is trying to say…”) and criticizing her for thinking it to be a valid argument. I see that a lot.

      • Mike_Card

        But now you’re saying what NPR listeners are thinking!

        • Gregg Smith

          Nope, I’m asking a question.

          • Mike_Card

            What’s sauce for the goose…

          • Gregg Smith

            Not sure I get it but I will admit my question may have had an assumption built into it. But reading the comments, including the one I replied to here, I’m being generous to call it an “assumption”. I’ll edit it for you just to go above and beyond the call of duty.

      • Mike_Card

        That’s fair enough; you’re including all NPR listeners?

        • Gregg Smith

          Alright, alright. Geez.

    • 228929292AABBB

      That’s NPR’s problem all right, too much deference to the conservative viewpoint.  Hay de mi.

  • Thomas_78

    I thought this was a well moderated debate where opposing viewpoints were allowed equal uninterrupted time. Even when the subjects took jabs at one another, the host did not show a bias which, I feel often occurs in hot topic conversations on NPR. This was journalism at its best and I wish there was more of it. 

    Personally, I found Danielle Pletka POV to be disingenuous and down right dirty. She was hiding behind antisemitic accusations when the real issue is a political one. 

    The positive thing that could come out of this sure to be heated confirmation hearing is a new round of discussions about lobbyist groups (such as the ones Israel is employing in this particular instance) and their influence in American politics.

  • Dee

    Chuck Hagel is right where a lot of Americans are today in their 
    opposition to the state of Israel dictating US / Israel/Palestine 
    policy and regional Arab policy…It must stop and end.

    Indeed, I am one of those people today ready to call for Israel to be shut down as a state failing to reflect a moral good in 
    the region and in the world today…

    Jews cannot suppress and deprive the Palestinian people of their sovereign land and human rights promote their Jewish-
    ness in Palestine and expect Americans and others to believe 
    that is their “right” 

    Enough of this bullsh*t …I oppose my tax dollars being used 
    for such an evil deception and an injustice against the Pale-
    stinian people and their neighbors in the region. …

    There is no way I am accepting AIPAC and the Right Wing 
    (apologist) Think Tanks in Washington dictating US /Middle 
    East policy anymore. 

    The Palestinian people and young Arabs in region deserve better from us…And by golly they will get it today as Israel 
    is not only on the wrong side of law today but history itself.

    It must change or be shut down….Dee

    Listen to Maya Wind & Salman Abu Sitta and hear their story
     
    Maya Wind, An Israeli activist against the Occupation 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTAvst5mxW4

    Salman Abu Sitta, a victim of Zionist terrorism in 1948 
    http://www.alternatefocus.org/SittaShow.html

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