Chuck Hagel is a republican, but he went against his party over the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He is friends with liberals, but has been known to disparage the homosexual community, including saying that Bill Clinton’s appointment of ambassador to Luxembourg, James C. Hormel, was “openly, aggressively gay.” If and when his appointment is announced on Monday, he has only one thing really going for him in the Barack Obama’s eyes. He has been open with his criticism of Israel.
According to Politico:
Neoconservative Republicans have rallied against Hagel. More damaging in the Democratic-controlled Senate, pro-Israel groups and gay-rights groups have marshaled opposition.
This appointment will send a message to the world that we the US will not be beholden to Israel when it comes to defense. As Secretary of Defense, he will accelerate the removal of troops from the Middle East and continue the administrations subtle but clear distancing between the US and Israel. Is that the President’s intention? One would think that having such a battle on his hands coming from both sides of the aisle would be detrimental to the President’s other goals, that he could make a bigger and faster impact domestically and abroad if he picked someone that his own party could rally behind and that the republicans would be less likely to oppose.
This is meaningful to Obama for some reason. Is that reason Israel? There doesn’t seem to be another explanation.
- Obama to name former Senator Hagel for defense secretary: Democratic aide (reuters.com)
- Barack Obama ‘poised to appoint Chuck Hagel as new US defence secretary’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- Obama to name former Senator Hagel for defense secretary: Democratic aide – Reuters (reuters.com)
- Graham calls Hagel an ‘in-your-face’ pick (politico.com)
- Obama may round out national security team this week with Hagel (rep-am.com)