According to various reports, Obama will nominate Chuck Hagel for defense secretary. Beinart puts the nomination in context:You can go read what that pansy-ass non-serving neocon warmonger has to say if you want to.
What makes Hagel so important, and so threatening to the Republican foreign-policy elite, is that he is one of the few prominent Republican-aligned politicians and commentators (George Will and Francis Fukuyama are others, but such voices are rare) who was intellectually changed by Iraq. And Hagel was changed, in large measure, because he bore within him intellectual (and physical) scar tissue from Vietnam. As my former colleague John Judis captured brilliantly in a 2007 New Republic profile, the Iraq War sparked something visceral in Hagel, as the former Vietnam rifleman realized that, once again, detached and self-interested elites were sending working-class kids like himself to die in a war they couldn’t honestly defend.
To my mind, this is his core qualification. Unlike so many of the lemmings and partisans of Washington DC, Hagel actually called out the catastrophe of the Iraq War as it happened. The neocons cannot forgive him for exposing what they wrought on the nation and the world. For good measure, he has a Purple Heart and has served in combat. Not easy to say about most of the Iraq War armchair warriors and war criminals.
Which is to say, as Chuck Todd said this morning, this nomination is about accountability for the Iraq War. All those ducking responsibility for the calamity - Abrams, Kristol, Stephens - are determined that those of us honest enough to resist, having supported in the first place, be erased from history. Or smeared as anti-Semites. Or given that epithet which impresses them but baffles me: "outside the mainstream". Rephrase that as - after initial support - being "outside the Iraq War mainstream" in DC - and you have a major reason to back him. [...]
All of the Democratic alternatives to Hagel who have been seriously mentioned are nothing more than standard foreign policy technocrats, fully on-board with the DC consensus regarding war, militarism, Israel, Iran, and the Middle East. That's why Kristol, the Washington Post and other neocons were urging Obama to select them rather than Hagel: because those neocons know that, unlike Hagel, these Democratic technocrats pose no challenge whatsoever to their agenda of sustaining destructive US policy in the Middle East and commitment to endless war.
The language! We're not talking about dislike of people. We're talking about dislike of the mindset that got us into the Iaq War. We're talking about dislike of those who refuse to take moral responsibility for anything and actually believe, with the blood of tens of thousands on their hands, they have some right to question a veteran with two Purple Hearts. They need a reality check: Obama won the election, not Romney. It says a huge amount about the Greater Israel lobby that they assume that national elections in no way should impede their usual control of Middle East policy in Washington. Just showing them that the battle to retrieve our democracy from lobby groups is worth something.
And Hagel is not anti-Israel. Kristol is anti-Israel, having fanatically supported this Israeli government's suicidal behavior, and the toxic, illegal social engineering on the West Bank that will render Israel either a non-democracy or a non-Jewish state. [...]
And that is the real opportunity of this nomination. At the hearings, we can see McCain's vision versus Hagel's, and see the difference between a man who refuses to adjust his global mindset after Iraq and a man who has had the strength and character to do so. So many Americans are likely to agree with Hagel over military restraint, diplomatic patience, and cutting defense bloat. The reason the Greater Israel lobby is in such a froth is that the weakness of their arguments could be publicly exposed - by a Republican. And there isn't enough AIPAC money and intimidation to stop that happening.Please read the rest.
I like Hagel because he may be the man who can tell Israel to cool its jets or go down the memory hole.
Did I mention Hagel was an enlisted man? Enlisted men can tell the fucking Generals shit that someone who never served wouldn't have the balls to. And they fucking need it.
The word I am getting is that Hagel will be confirmed as SecDef pretty easily despite all the moaning and kvetching from the warmongers. Good.