As we watch our ally Israel prepare for a potential attack at their northern border, we witnessed the confirmation hearings of Senator Chuck Hagel as he attempts to secure the post for which President Obama has nominated him- Secretary of Defense.
As the most powerful civilian commander of our military forces–after the President–the Secretary of Defense should, at least one would expect, have the best interests both of the U.S. and our allies in mind as he navigates the murky waters of the terror-filled world in which we currently find ourselves.
A rarity in a sea of liberal fops, Ted Cruz emerged as a principled conservative willing to deny confirmation even to one in his own party– Senator Hagel is a Republican. From speeches to video clips with Al Jazeera (you know, the oil-backed Islamist newsreel joint to which environmental prince Al Gore sold his TV network), Cruz demanded answers for Hagel’s less-than-appropriate stance on radical Islam and Israel. Watch the full exchange here:
From a 2009 Interview with Al Jazeera, in which it was suggested that Israel had committed war crimes, to which Hagel responded “I think that’s exactly right.” When pressed by Senator Ted Cruz, after have just played video evidence of the same, Hagel backtracked.
Another reference from 2006 shows Hagel giving a speech on the Senate floor in which Senator Cruz recalls that Hagel “referred to Israel’s military campaign against the terrorist group Hezbollah a ‘sickening slaughter.'” Senator Cruz again pressed him for answers. Hagel AGAIN flopped around, saying he’d have to re-read his own speech to determine what he had meant.
“The sickening slaughter on both sides must end, and it must end now. President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop. The Middle East today is more combustible and complex than it has ever been. Uncertain popular support for regime legitimacy continues to weaken governments in the Middle East. Economic stagnation, persistent unemployment, deepening despair, and wider unrest enhance the ability of terrorists to recruit and succeed.”
The Daily Beast: “Yes, what a terrible thing to say. At this point, Hagel seems to be to the left of his President on the Israel/Palestine issue, but mourning the price of constant war is not a smear on Israel. It’s a reaction to violence and human suffering. Hagel was not accusing Israel of being at fault for the “sickening slaughter.
Indeed, read these paragraphs from later in Hagel’s speech:
The world has rightly condemned the despicable actions of Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists who attacked Israel and kidnapped Israeli soldiers. Israel has the undeniable right to defend itself against aggression. This is the right of all nations.”
True- Hagel does go on to point out that Israel WAS attacked by terrorists, and had the right to defend themselves. So– why refer to the actions of BOTH sides as a “sickening slaughter”? Ted Cruz’s attack was hardly (as Slate.com puts it) “bogus.” Remember– Hagel urged President Obama to open up DIRECT negotiations with Hamas. Last time I checked, we don’t negotiate with terrorists. Furthermore, Hagel refused to sign a letter in that SAME YEAR (2006) which would have labeled Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Do your research, Ye Old Beast.
A second expert of the interview showed Hagel responding to a question in the same Al Jazeera interview that suggested that the United States was the “world’s bully.” In context: “‘can the rest of the world be persuaded to give up their arsenal when the image of the United States is that of the world’s bullying, don’t we indeed need to change the perception and the reality before asking folks to lay down their arms, nuclear or otherwise?’ (Hagel): Well her observation is a good one and it’s relevant. Yes, to her question.” Cruz pressed him by asking if he thought it was “appropriate for the chief civilian officer of the U.S. military forces to agree with the statement that both the ‘perception’ and the ‘reality’ that the United States is ‘the world’s bully?’ Hagel brazenly responded that he hadn’t fully heard the question in that interview and further, that he “didn’t think he had agreed with it.” For your reading pleasure, Hagel’s answer to that question, once again:
“Well her observation is a good one and it’s relevant. Yes, to her question.”
Cruz, visibly frustrated yet calm and collected, responded that “the United States has spilled more blood, more treasure, standing for freedom, liberating people across the world, and to go on Al Jazeera, a foreign network, broadcasting propaganda to nations that are hostile to us, and to explicitly agree with the characterization of the United States as ‘the world’s bully’ I would suggest is not the conduct one would expect of a Secretary of Defense.”
Despite being on TAPE responding in the affirmative, Hagel continued to deny the charge.
For your viewing pleasure, here is the interview with Al Jazeera in its entirety:
This shouldn’t surprise us, however, as these were not isolated incidents in the life and times of Senator Chuck Hagel.
-Hagel is a proponent of the “Global Zero” initiative, which seeks to eliminate all nuclear weapons world-wide. That’s an awfully nice sentiment, and one I believe most would like to agree with. Until you can convince terrorists willing to blow themselves up in the name of jihad to quit doing what they’re doing; until you can convince the Muslim world to respect Israel rather than referring to its people as “descendants of apes and pigs” and wish their total “elimination,” I’m not holding my breath for them to give up their nuclear capabilities. And as long as they don’t, we KEEP our stockpile. In other words, we live in a nuclear world. Call me crazy, but I want the biggest pile.
-The controversial Muslim group CAIR is cited as having praised Hagel on their website for his statements on a Mideast cease-fire. That group also endorsed Hagel as a potential presidential candidate in 2008.
-“While in the Senate, Hagel voted against designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, refused to call on the E.U. to designate Hezbollah a terrorist group, and consistently voted against sanctions on Iran for their illicit pursuit of nuclear weapons capability”
- “In October 2000, Hagel was one of only 4 Senators who refused to sign a Senate letter in support of Israel.
- In November 2001, Hagel was one of only 11 Senators who refused to sign a letter urging President Bush not to meet with the late Yasir Arafat until his forces ended the violence against Israel.
- In June 2004, Hagel refused to sign a letter urging President Bush to highlight Iran’s nuclear program at the G-8 summit.
- In December 2005, Hagel was one of only 27 who refused to sign a letter to President Bush to pressure the Palestinian Authority to ban terrorist groups from participating in Palestinian legislative elections.”
A few more gems from The Republican Jewish Coalition’s observations:
- “In 2007 Hagel wanted to open direct, unconditional talks with Iran. (“It could create a historic new dynamic in US-Iran relations, in part forcing the Iranians to react to the possibility of better relations with the West.”) In 2007 he voted against designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.
- “In 2008, Hagel single-handedly killed an Iran sanctions bill in the waning days of the congressional session. (The bill in question was actually sponsored by then-Senator Obama!)
- In 2009, “Hagel signed a letter urging Obama to open direct negotiations with Hamas…”
In a world in which nine-tenths of our international threats come from the world of radical Islam and the governments that prop it up. . . Hagel seems an obvious NO. Remember, however- it’s politically incorrect to insinuate that Islam isn’t the peaceful religion everyone says it is. Don’t get me wrong- I KNOW peaceful Muslims, who wouldn’t hurt a fly. It MUST be understood, however, that if anything, THEY are the radicals- breaking ties with the violent example and even more violent teachings of their religion’s founder. Read the Qur’an and the Hadith — the fundamentalists are just that- adhering to Muhammad’s teachings word for word. Forgive my momentary digression. . . back to the soon-to-be-approved leader of our armed forces; a man whose words should flat-line his approval – yet if I know anything about our irresponsible Senate, Mr. “They Aren’t REEEEALLLY Terrorists” will likely sale through with flying colors. Then again, this is the same Senate that can’t seem to find time in their busy interview-filled days to pass a budget. . . so I suppose we shouldn’t let their lack of discretion surprise us.
The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) has issued a petition to stop the confirmation of Senator Hagel. You can sign the petition here.