Friday May 24, 2013
Hagel Confirmed Despite Petulant SenatorsDr. James M. Wall Salem-News.com
The start of Obama’s second term is the right time for him to instruct his new team.
(CHICAGO) - Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel assumed command of the Pentagon this week.
Hagel was sworn in after an extended and contentious encounter with neocon, petulant Republican senators, each in his or her own way, determined to damage both the nominee and President Obama.
Not since Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy hunted non-existent communists in Dwight Eisenhower’s executive branch, has the country seen such a vitriolic legislative performance.
Paul Craig Roberts wrote for Global Research, “lawmakers owned by the Israel Lobby” shamed America by their attacks on Hagel.
This would have indeed, “written off his nomination”. Hagel, however, refused to take the bait Graham offered.
The morning after the Senate approved his confirmation, Hagel went to his Arlington, Virginia, headquarters, where he was greeted (picture above) by USMC Lt. General Thomas Waldhauser, who will serve as Hagel’s Senior Private Military Assistant.
Jonathan Tobin put his neoconservative spin on Hagel’s confirmation process, writing in Commentary
On his War in Context site, Paul Woodward described Tobin’s conclusions as evidence that the US alliance with Israel “is the sine qua non of American politics”.
Which is to say, the alliance is “something absolutely indispensable”. Religiously conservative pro-Israel voices affirmed the alliance with the fervor only absolutists could muster. One example:
For Commentary, Tobin describes what the alliance involves in his above-the-radar language rarely used in public in US political discourse:
Woodward explains the power of the alliance:
Dana Milbank writes in the Washington Post that in a political fight they knew they would not win, Hagel’s Republican opponents are elated over the attacks on Hagel:
Cornyn’s colleague, Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), told Fox News Sunday the good news about the next defense secretary:
Neoconservative Republicans are rejoicing because the Pentagon is now in the hands of a leader they claim to have personally weakened.
What led such arch patriotic politicians to reach this conclusion?
Juan Cole offers an answer:
The final confirmation success for Hagel was a foregone conclusion when it became clear that influential members of the Zionist left would support him.
New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer announced he was satisfied that Hagel was not an enemy of Israel, and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote an endorsement he called, “Give Chuck a Chance”.
Friedman’s column appeared Christmas Day, 2012. In the spirit of the season he was charitable while clearly retaining his liberal Zionist stance..
Friedman begins his analysis this way:
When the hearings and voting ordeal finally ended, Hagel was sworn in. On his first day on the job he spoke to his Pentagon staff in words that demonstrated a man determined not only to reach out to current allies, but to find new allies.
Next up for final confirmation, John Brennan as new CIA chief. Senate members want to hear more from Brennan about the US government’s drone program as a method for assassinating terror suspects.
The drone program is our latest technological method used to kill those we believe seek to do us harm.
In their book, Morality Wars: How Empires, the Born Again, and the Politically Correct Do Evil in the Name of Good, Charles Derber and Yale R. Magrass introduce the concept of “immoral morality”, which empires have used to justify their conduct as empires.
The authors of this book have studied the hegemonic behavior of three empires, Roman, British and American. They conclude that each of the three empires had its own unique moralization rationale to justify its behavior, because an empire is:
“inherently exploitable and unaccountable. Naked force—the barrel of a gun—can secure such force but not sustain it: only moral and spiritual stories captivating hearts and minds can do that.” Derber and Magrass maintain that as “hegemonic power grows, so, inevitably must the moral stories we describe in this book”. It must be noted that the Bush-Cheney wars were carried out to “spread democracy for the good of the nations under attack”, just one of the moral stories utilized to mesmerize the American public. Morality tales are used to justify the existence of hegemonic power. To illustrate this practice, Derber and Magrass write:
Please visit Jim's Website, Wall Writings
Journalism was Jim Wall’s undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. An ordained United Methodist clergy person; he and his wife, Mary Eleanor, are the parents of three sons, and the grandparents of four grandchildren. They live in Elmhurst, Illinois.
Jim served for two years on active duty in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF (inactive) reserve. While serving with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years, starting in 1972. Time magazine wrote about the new editor, who arrived at the Christian Century determined to turn the magazine into a hard-hitting news publication. The inspiration for Wall Writings comes from that mindset and from many other sources that have influenced Jim’s writings over the years, including politics, cinema, media, American culture, and the political struggles in the Middle East. Jim has made more than 20 trips to that region as a journalist, during which he covered such events as Anwar Sadat’s 1977 trip to Jerusalem, and the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. He has interviewed, and written about, journalists, religious leaders, political leaders and private citizens in the region. You can write to Jim Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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