Chuck Hagel

Just a note to his defenders: Being a Vietnam vet, even a decorated one, is neither a necessary or sufficient condition to be Secretary of Defense.

[Late afternoon update]

In response to Chris Gerrib’s question in comments, here’s why he would be a bad SecDef (not to mention difficult to confirm):

…isn’t Hagel’s statement a direct attack on the motives and honesty of those senators who supported the war—including Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry? Indeed, what does it say about Chuck Hagel, who voted to authorize the war in October 2002? He knew it was a war for oil, didn’t say so at the time, but voted for it anyway? And then, a few years later, at the height of the fighting by American soldiers in Iraq, he proclaims with false braggadocio the alleged truth that it’s all just a war for oil?

Is President Obama really going to nominate this man as secretary of defense?

He’s done worse. And will.

16 thoughts on “Chuck Hagel

  1. Mike James

    Neither is being Leon Panetta. Hoo boy.

    The above comment is not intended as a defense of a possible Hagel nomination. In fact, I don’t think serving in this administration will turn out well for just about anyone. There’s no percentage in reaching across the aisle with this mob. Much blame, soon come.

  2. Chris Gerrib

    Vietnam vet, even a decorated one, is neither a necessary or sufficient condition to be Secretary of Defense.

    True, which begs the question, why wouldn’t he be a good SecDef?

      1. chris gerrib

        We cared enough to go to war in Iraq the first time because of Kuwaiti oil. Iraq 1 led to Iraq 2. So, yes Iraq was about oil. Since we actually need oil, that does make it a vital national interest. In short Hagel was right.

        1. George Turner

          And the Japanese at Guadalcanal were fighting to save the Austria-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires…

          The Gulf War was about stopping Saddam from keeping Kuwait and rolling into Saudi Arabia, gaining dictatorial control of much of the world’s oil supply. The first phase was called “Desert Shield” because we were shielding Saudi Arabia.

          We don’t actually import much oil from the Middle East, and almost none from Iraq.

        2. DaveP.

          Isn’t it amazing that, after eight years of “Bush Lied!” and “Iraq was all about the oil!” and four years of a profoundly Leftist Democratic President having full access to all the files and appointing all the Secretaries… there still hasn’t been any proof released that GWB ‘lied’ or that the war was ‘about oil’? You’d think there’d be at least a revealing document dump, if not actual prosecutions.

          Which leads to one of two possibilities:
          Either the Democratic Party, en masse, spent eight years shamelessly lying to the American people and undercutting the nation in wartime in order to gain political power…
          …or Obama is in on the plot as a tool of the Bushes.

  3. wodun

    It is rather amazing that as Afghanistan has been doing poorly and the Democrats have been increasingly referring to it as VN, that Obama has faced zero scrutiny either from his own party or the media. Maybe they want a R as Secretary of Defense for scapegoat purposes.

  4. Karl Hallowell

    Wait a minute. Chuck Hagel is the guy who called for bringing back the draft for an absurdly stupid reason.

    Sen. Chuck Hagel, Nebraska Republican, recently invited the country to debate reviving the military draft. “Why shouldn’t we ask all of our citizens to bear some responsibility and pay some price,” Mr. Hagel said.

    That’s not a person you want anywhere near the job, especially, if draft rumors start circulating around.

      1. Rick C

        “Why shouldn’t more people have a stake in our wars?”

        Gee, maybe because the military doesn’t want conscripts these days, Chris. I’m sure you already knew that, though.

      2. Karl Hallowell

        What about avoiding the free rider effect? Why shouldn’t more people have a stake in our wars?

        Because conscripts, who strangely enough don’t have a stake in the fight aside from not getting killed and who often are pretty damn incompetent, don’t fight as well as selected volunteers. And somehow I don’t see 82 year old ex-congresscritters getting drafted so that they too can have a “stake” in our wars.

        It’s worth noting here that no matter what sort of conscription policies are enacted, the decision makers aren’t going to risk anything unless they and their own are in the war.

        Rangel’s statement was just something to get the clueless all riled up. I recall a few years later seeing misguided protests on my then college campus (University of California at Davis) just because of that Rangel statement of a few years earlier.

      3. George Turner

        But Karl, if we tried to bring back the draft, college men would start burning their draft cards, and then co-eds might start burning their bras just to stay relevant. I, for one, might go watch that.

      4. Leland

        The US Military turns away volunteers daily. These volunteers fail to meet various standards. Some of those standards have been in place since the first US formation, but many others have been put in place due to budget cuts proposed routinely by Democrat Congressmen, who claim to oppose the need for a large standing military force. If you want to increase participation in the military, increase funding to it.

        Free rider is a stupid argument for a draft. Free rider would only be an argument if everyone who wanted to be in the US military could be in the US military. We aren’t even close to such a situation.

  5. Dale Amon

    Or perhaps because it is absurd to defend a free nation with a slave army. If free citizens are unwilling to stand and fight for their own interests, then their nation does not deserve to survive.

  6. ken anthony

    What about avoiding the free rider effect?: a situation in which individuals or organizations consume more than their fair share of a resource

    I’m with ya here Chris. We need to start at the top… politicians that funnel tax money to their causes (the main cause being to get reelected.)

    But if you’re saying a volunteer military produces a free rider effect you are wrong.

    Those not in the military are not free riders. They are paying for it and deserve the best they can get. Any contrary argument is being made by those that would weaken our military (while at the same time taking umbrage at the thought of being considered unpatriotic.)

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