Post Hit Piece on Hagel

Chuck HagelI’ve had my problems with the idea of Chuck Hagel as the new Defense Secretary. Why is it not possible to have a liberal? Why does Obama continue to try to court the right by having Republicans in his cabinet? But the Washington Post has a different take on this in an editorial, Chuck Hagel Is Not the Right Choice for Defense Secretary. According to them, Hagel is to the left of Obama, and that’s a bad thing.

So what are Hagel’s sins? First, they claim that nominating a Republican is only done in the name of bipartisanship. Somehow they don’t even consider that maybe Republicans of only a few years ago are now to the left of our current president. That can’t be. Obama’s choice of Hagel would only be to make nice with the right and so he apparently has to pick someone like Allen West.

The biggest problem for the Washington Post is that Hagel thinks going to war with Iran is a bad idea. “Mr. Obama may be forced to contemplate military action if Iran refuses to negotiate…” But the Post does not know how Hagel would act in that situation. Regardless, he would be pursuing Obama’s agenda, not his own.

There’s more. Hagel thinks the defense budget is bloated. This is indisputable. The military says the same thing. The only people who want to continue to throw more and more money at the Pentagon are chicken hawks like those at the Washington Post. Hagel, having actually been at war, thinks a little more carefully about these things.

What is most telling in the editorial is that it is filled with caveats. The truth is, even from their own perspective, they don’t have the goods on Hagel. They just think that there are “other possible nominees who are considerably closer to the mainstream.” The mainstream of the Villagers who the Post represents. This is nothing more than a hit job.

It isn’t just because the Washington Post is conservative that people call it “Fox on 15th Street.” But I guess we should be pleased that this article was put on the opinion page rather then on the front page where many of their editorials go.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Post Hit Piece on Hagel

  1. The Iran thing is just madness, in at least two significant directions.

    1: Are we going to occupy the country? We can’t do that. Not just morally/legally, we can’t DO IT.

    2: Are we going to bomb (or give Israel the OK to bomb) an enriching-uranium site? I’m no expert, and I don’t know what that means, but I know that uranium is deadly poison, and downwind from Iran are Pakistan and India, two ostensible allies.

    This is taking on the tone of LBJ’s attitude towards Vietnam. LBJ wanted out, but knew Caving To Commies would be political suicide. I’m starting to feel we’ll soon be attacking Iraq sheerly for the sake of momentum. Maybe all our wars started this way.

    Note: today I had lunch with a semi-estranged brother (we’re working on it.) He picked a Kurdish restaurant, which was excellent, and I asked him why he made such an obscure choice.

    Well, when he was stationed in Iraq, he was put up north, where the Kurds lived, and he liked their food. He suggested that we should have gone to war, if we even needed going to war, by protecting the Kurds first and foremost. They were the only locals who wanted us there; if we needed local bases to secure our regional interests, we could have put them in Kurdish territory, like we did in South Korea.

    Good point, I responded, but mentioned that Turkey is our major Caspian/energy ally and the Turks get cranky whenever anyone suggests that a population such as the Kurds even exists, given a brutal ethnic tension history.

    "You’re right," he said. End of argument. So someone with on-the-ground experience and someone who’s just read analysis found a place to agree. The key is, although our sources of information differ, we share a belief in objective reality.

    The Iran-war pimpers (like the Iraq-war pimpers) are utterly disengaged from reality; it gets in the way of their fantasies. There is no imaginable universe where attacking Iran makes sense to anyone, anywhere. Fantasy, I guess, is a hell of a drug.

  2. @JMF – I agree pretty much down the line. As I recall, before the Iraq invasion, the Kurds had de facto autonomy. The whole invasion actually made their situation harder. I also recall that there are Kurds in Turkey that the Iraqi Kurds would like to reunite with. It is all very delicate.

    What is Kurdish food like? I’ve had Iranian and Turkish food, both of which I liked. I’ve seen Kurdish restaurants in SF, but I’ve never been.

  3. @FM — Kurdish food (and my brother said the restaurant here was a lot like food he got over there) is just your basic, healthy, Mediterranean-type stuff. Yogurt, vinegar, olives, cucumbers, rice, garbanzo beans. Meat as flavoring, not a main ingredient.

    Very good stuff. Why there’s one in Minnesota, I have no clue. But it’s been here for decades.

  4. @JMF – Thanks. That sounds good. I’m hungry. There used to be a falafel place down the road. Then over night it turned into a Mexican place. Same staff. Now they just do Mexican food. And it is very good. But there is no shortage of Mexican food here in California.

    That’s one of the best (in a totally selfish way) things about having so many immigrants: lots of great food.

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