web analytics
July 29, 2015 / 13 Av, 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.

Jack Lew also makes sense as the successor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Before becoming Obama’s chief of staff, Lew was the director of the Office of Management and Budget and had prior success working with President Clinton advising on fiscal policy.

There are many qualified individuals in both parties who would make a superb secretary of defense and further the interests of the United States. Chuck Hagel is not one of them.

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
President Obama overlaid against photo of Jonathan Pollard.
Jonathan Pollard To Be Freed in November
Latest Indepth Stories
Open Tent

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through} Some passionate and eloquent liberals have bemoaned the state of inclusiveness among Jews today. Leon Wieseltier, editor of the New Republic penned an angry piece “J Street’s Rejection Is a Scandal” about the exclusion in 2014 of J Street from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. […]

Hamas on the Temple Mount - Jul 3, 2015

Magnanimity by Moshe Dayan, allowing Muslim control of the Temple Mount, led to today’s situation.

Community-Jewels-logo

It was modeled upon a similar fund that had been set up by Sephardic Jews in Venice. But Amsterdam’s Dotar was initially more ambitious in scope.

Brudner-072415-Rav-Aharon

Rav Aharon Margalit is a bestselling author – his book, As Long As I Live, has been translated into four languages – and a standing-room only lecturer. Both religious and non-religious audiences flock to hear him. What makes him so extraordinary? Rav Margalit is a Chasidic Jew who experienced incredible challenges from a very young […]

J Street is the vanguard (Jewish face)in support of Obama’s Vienna Accords Nuclear Deal with Iran

“I hold the woman’s place over that of men in every fundamental aspect of public and private life.”

The US-UNRWA accord is another example of this White House, hostile to Israel, disregarding truth.

On the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, Tisha B’av, a reflection on the dangerous deal with Iran

The Kotel gained significance around 1550. Previously, many Jews prayed on the Temple Mount itself.

All Jews MUST stand together to oppose boycotts against Israel. So why does NIF & JCF support BDS?

This year it is hard to concentrate on anything but Iran building nuclear weapons to destroy Israel

Bibi failed the moment he transferred Israel’s Iran problem to the international arena.

I was entranced by Kaddish, a song of sorrow of the whole of Israel for the 1000s of years of exile

Like the Avos, we are invested with the mission to inspire humanity to become nobler and greater

Iran accords are worse than Munich; even Chamberlain would be shocked at what is transpiring again.

An unhappy person cannot become happy by acquiring items. Happiness has to come from somewhere else.

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: