Confirmation Hearing For Chuck Hagel

This story is based on two articles–one posted by Paul Mirengoff at Power Line today and one posted at the Los Angeles Times today. Both articles were reporting on the Senate confirmation hearings of former Senator Chuck Hagel.

The headline on the Los Angeles Times article is “Chuck Hagel, an antiwar secretary of Defense.” That is an interesting statement.

The article at Power Line reports:

First, Cruz (Senator Ted Cruz) played excerpts from a tape of Hagel’s 2009 appearance on al Jazeera, in which a caller suggested that Israel had committed war crimes. In responding to the question, Hagel did not dispute the caller’’s statement. Cruz also pointed to statement by Hagel that Israel had engaged in “the sickening slaughter” of Hezbollah, which sounds a bit like war crimes.

The American friendship with Israel goes back to 1948 when Israel became a nation. To accuse Israel of slaughter when Hezbollah routinely lobs rockets into civilian Israeli population centers is simply not factual. Senator Hagel may represent the President’s views on Israel, but those views are not good for either America or Israel.

The Power Line article further reported:

Next, Cruz played an excerpt from the same interview in which the al Jazeera host read a reader e-mail claiming that the United States has served as the world’’s “bully.” This time Hagel not only failed to take exception and stick up for his country, he said on al Jazeera he found some merit in the claim, calling it “a good observation” (the Washington Post report linked to above fails to report this fact).

To me, this is the problem with the nomination. Traditionally America has acted as a policeman in the world–coming to the aid of people when democracy was in danger. We have not played that role under President Obama–we have supported a revolution in Egypt that has led to a government that is anything but democratic and we refused to help the green revolution in Iran.

I suspect Senator Hagel will be confirmed. Unless there is some major scandal associated with a President’s cabinet nominee, I believe the candidate should be confirmed. Elections have consequences. President Obama was legally elected. Unfortunately, I think the cabinet appointments of Senator Kerry as Secretary of State and Senator Hagel as Secretary of Defense will hurt America in the long run.