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Hagel Hearings: New Reality Show; “The Bully and the Eunuch”

by John on 02/01/2013

 

Sure, Hagel stumbled.

He either stayed up all night preparing and not sleeping or he doesn’t take tests well.  Or as Claire McCaskill said, he’s better at asking questions than answering them.

Are these grounds to not confirm him?  Yes, he needs to prove he can stand up to tough questioning – especially from self-interested types like dictators or members of the Senate, both of which there is little difference.  In short, Democrats will have to make the case to make him Defense Secretary.

But there are other disturbing and continuous themes from this theater of the absurd in the Senate.  Here are my take-aways:

  • The Senate dwelled too much on past issues like Iraq.  Afghanistan was a mere blip of a mention.  Asia is where the future of our defense and global might will be tested.  We need to be looking forward about the way we respond to aggression – not how we used to respond.  Clearly, we are moving away from boots on the ground.  Instead, we’re going to increase strategic Navy Seal-type operations and more drone attacks.  How do we do that?  This is another example of our problem in America: we are reactive and not proactive.
  • Hagel was bullied.  (Yes, Democrats did their share for Bush appointees; it still doesn’t make it right.)  Hagel was denied a chance to answer questions his way.  How many times has John McCain been forced to answer a question with just a “yes” or “no”?   The Informed Not Inflamed response if the surge worked:  Who knows?  It could have also been all the bribes to Iraqi tribes that worked.  Furthermore, why wasn’t John Kerry grilled on his opposition to the surge?
  • James Inhoffe is a sorry excuse for a committee chairman.  Iran endorsed Hagel?  I can’t find anything credible to can confirm anything close to this.  Don’t point to Drudge: I said credible.
  • McCain is one pissed off puppy.  Is there any other suggestion here that JohnnyMac is hurt or scorned from Hagel not backing him in 2008 for the presidency?  I don’t think so.  Again, McCain has provided a nice example to our children about how to bully someone when you don’t get your way.
  • Hagel was probably instructed to not fight back.  He was probably told to let the Senators get their taste of blood.  Hagel is a warrior; he may have been playing possum.  He actually came across as a punching bag like Susan Rice who took the hits for Obama.  Remember, there is a strong current of belief in this country that does not like this sort of behavior in our leaders.  Still, what hurt Hagel was the corrections that had to be made – for him – by Democrats on the panel.
  • Senators were protecting their pockets.  First, there is a pro-Israeli lobby.  AIPAC controls many elected officials.  Many people think AIPAC speaks for all Jews, but that is not the case; they really speak for right-wing Israelis.  Clearly, Lindsey Graham is carrying the water for AIPAC.  And there is more than enough evidence of their lobbying efforts to distort Hagel’s record.
  • These so-called champions of the military have probably pissed off the swarm of enlisted military personnel – if this piece is any indication.
  • Second, Senators are more concerned about losing federal dollars in their states.  I hope when these people are being grilled about their stand on deficits these video clips of their grilling of Hagel will be used.  “I am for military budget cuts … err … except in my state or district.”
  • I call this the new reality show “The Bully and The Eunuch.”  McCain is the bully who wants his way and he can’t get it; Graham is the eunuch.  Will someone get him a “man card”?

(I know some of you will think that is an anti-gay slur pointed at Graham.  It is not.  First, I am calling him a eunuch, someone who is castrated.  So clearly, I am saying he is someone with no balls.  Secondly, I have too many gay friends and I would never insult them by equating them to this corrupt official.  OK, now you’re going to ask for evidence he is corrupt.  He has clearly taken money from special interest groups and then voted for their interests without recusing himself.  Why do judges and journalists have to do this, but members of Congress don’t?  Sure, all politicians do that.  And yes, all elected officials in Congress can be described as corrupt.  They have created for themselves a system of legal bribery.)

That brings us to the Israeli question.

There is a real good piece by Jeffrey Goldberg on the hearings.  Goldberg is actually a good read on Israeli matters.   However, he is clearly pro-Israeli.

But he raises the question of whether we need to solve the Palestinian question and whether it will change the problems in the Middle East and for Israel.

Look at these two things:

The Palestinians – mainly through their terrorist groups – have vowed to destroy Israel no matter what.

And the Arab Spring launched itself without the Palestinian question being answered; it had little relevance when it is the Arab and Muslim dictators were/are the problems.

So, Goldberg and others would argue that those points alone should end any discussion of creating a two state policy.  It’s hard to argue against that.

But at the same time, how can we not argue that Palestinians don’t have a right to self-determination?  We are the United States of America who fought for representative government and our freedom from England.

And, we have to think of our allies.  Europeans are uncomfortable with the Israeli actions – mainly the building of settlements in the Occupied Territories.  We seem to be standing alone with Israel while the government there allows its extremists to roil the rest of the world.  After all, we are not going it alone anymore.  Plus, by not answering this question of Israeli control of those regions, we give the Middle East crazies more fodder.

I am not saying there is a right or wrong answer to Israel or Palestine that we Americans can decide.  Those folks have to do it.  But Americans spend a lot of dollars – in foreign aid and gasoline dollars – to allow this upheaval and waste to continue.  We’re funding all this nonsense.  And what has it gotten us?  Two wars and trillions in debt.

But here’s the big question.  Will we care about this region in the future?  Asia is where the economic activity is.  Plus, we are becoming more energy independent thanks to shale.

There’s a good chance these Senators may be taking more money from Asian interests and could tell the Midldle East oil interests and folks like AIPAC to go pound sand.

 

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