web analytics
July 2, 2015 / 15 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Hagel: A Fringe Pick That Should Be Rejected

Chuck Hagel

Chuck Hagel

This week the Senate Armed Services Committee will begin questioning former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel during his confirmation hearing for secretary of defense. To put into perspective the importance of this position, the defense secretary is in charge of our nation’s largest employer, the Department of Defense, with some 3.5 million employees and a budget in excess of 600 billion dollars. Outside of the president, in terms of responsibility and decision-making powers this is the single most important position in the executive branch of government and requires a person of exceptional skill and exceptional judgment to manage these duties.

This nomination is problematic and should be declined. Hagel’s record, at least as it relates to his potential future possible responsibilities, can accurately be described as fringe.

Take for example one of the primary responsibilities of the Defense Department: to prevent the terrorism, expansionism, and nuclear ambitions of Iran. The most outstanding thing about the senator’s record on the threats America and its allies face is the consistent solicitude he has shown toward Iran and the terrorist organizations and states it funds: Hizbullah, Hamas, and Syria.

In July 2001, Hagel was in a minority of only two senators to vote againstextending the original Iran-Libya sanctions bill, designed to deny both regimes revenues that would assist their weapons of mass destruction programs.

In April 2002, Hagel was one of only 10 senators to oppose banning the import to America of Iraqi oil until Iraq stopped compensating the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. In November 2003, he failed to vote on the Syria Accountability Act (passed by 89 to 4) imposing sanctions on Syria for its support of terrorism and occupation of Lebanon.

In 2004, Hagel refused to sign a letter urging President Bush to highlight Iran’s nuclear program at the G-8 summit.

In 2004, 2007 and 2008 Hagel opposed Iran sanctions.

In 2007, Hagel declined to support the bipartisan Iran Counter Proliferation Act aimed at targeting governments and businesses that assist Iran’s nuclear program. The following year, a congressional aide told the Huffington Post that Hagel was “solely responsible” for blocking an Iran sanctions bill.

His refusal to acknowledge the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran and his consistent opposition to every legislative effort to contain this treat contrasts starkly with the record of almost every other member of the Senate. Despite his recent assurances that he would implement the administration’s policy, Hagel has been so far out of the mainstream on these issues of national security that it defies rational thinking.

Senators by and large are an exceptionally talented and disciplined group. So when such people say things that can embarrass the office, or vote well out of the mainstream, it is usually because they are unable to keep their emotional feelings about the issue in check.

His unfortunate comments about the “Jewish Lobby”; his statement that “I’m not an Israeli senator”; his chairing the Atlantic Council which published an article titled “Israel’s Apartheid Policy,” equating Israel with South Africa’s historic racist policy; his being one of only twelve senators not to urge that Hizbullah be designated a terrorist organization by the European Union; and his being the lone senator to refuse to sign a letter condemning anti-Semitism in Russia should give you insight into his beliefs.

Hagel has other pet peeves. He opposed abortion in cases of rape and incest because those cases are “rare.” He consistently opposed gay rights; among other things, he voted against extending basic employment nondiscrimination protections and the federal hate-crimes law to cover gay Americans.

Is this the person Americans want to be in charge of national defense and to manage the nation’s largest employer?

It is telling that virtually none of Hagel’s former colleagues, even in his own party, are embracing this nomination. Those senators that know him best are opposed.

Most of President Obama’s appointments on his new cabinet vacancies make sense. Senator John Kerry, set to replace Hilary Clinton as secretary of state, is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has built tremendous crossroads to Republicans across the aisle. His ability to work across party lines to get legislation passed makes Kerry a strong pick to serve as the nation’s top diplomat.

About the Author: Dr. Ben Chouake is president of NORPAC, a non-partisan political action committee whose primary purpose is to support candidates and sitting members of the Senate and House of Representatives who demonstrate a genuine commitment to the strength, security, and survival of Israel.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Hagel: A Fringe Pick That Should Be Rejected”

  1. Even if you could believe that Chuck Hagel has truly changed his beliefs on issues like planning for a military option against Iran's nuclear weapons, the Iranians do not believe such an unlikely truth.

    Iran’s English language propaganda arm said last week that the choice of Chuck Hagel for secretary of Defense indicates that the United States would allow Iran to get a nuclear bomb rather than confront the Islamic Republic. The Iranians used a former Democratic Senator, Mike Gravel, as the centerpiece of their report.

    This confirmation would make success in negotiating an end to their program much more difficult as they are less likely to be pressured by the military threat.

    I hope one Senator will do the right thing and filabuster this horrible choice and make a peaceful outcome more probable.

  2. Anonymous says:

    only an ignoramus like obama would select a miscreant like Hagel my God what have we done by electing this buffoon for president.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
investing-in-gold_4548807_lrg
What Sanctions? Iran Receives 13 Tons of Gold From S. Africa
Latest Indepth Stories
The Marianne boat, carrying humanitarian aid such, as a single and useless solar panel.

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

Donald Trump

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.

Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel

In addition to the palace’s tremendous size it was home to the “hanging gardens,” which were counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Rather than asserting Jewish rights on Temple Mount or protecting Jewish lives Israel chooses soccer

Nothing in the NEW Paris Proposal differs much from what was offered by Olmert and rejected by Abbas

No longer will delegitimization efforts go unchallenged. That’s a silence we will continue to break.

Increasingly, Sweden is becoming a country where anti-Semitism & supporting terrorism is acceptable.

Rabbi Pfeffer points out that at his site, there are no one-line answers. “We want to show the people we’re interested in their questions,” he says.

The problem with US treatment of Israel did not start with Obama but with birth of Jewish State

The pathetic failure of the Marianne to reach Gaza is the best thing that has happened to Israel since Hamas mis-fired a rocket on its own civilians.

Wonder why Israel has the world’s most insane rules of engagement imposed on its military? Read on..

More Articles from Dr. Ben Chouake
Chuck Hagel

This nomination is problematic and should be declined. Hagel’s record, at least as it relates to his potential future possible responsibilities, can accurately be described as fringe.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/hagel-a-fringe-pick-that-should-be-rejected/2013/01/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: