Chuck Hagel, the former two-term U.S. Senator from Nebraska, went before a Senate committee to pursue confirmation to become the next Secretary of Defense. His awkward presentation was undeniably due to lack of preparation and his underlying belief that his approval was virtually assured. Those he confronted on the other side of the table were well-prepared with tough questions for this borderline candidate. Hagel’s illustrious record as a war hero in Vietnam deserves the highest praise, yet it may not be enough to carry him over the finish line for the present position he seeks. Tough questions came at him from both sides of the aisle. Even his prior Republican colleagues questioned his abilities, prior stances on certain issues and his quasi approval of terrorist states. When questioned about his prior statements on Iran, which noted its government has a legitimate right to rule that country, his nebulous answers gave many a reason to pause in their consideration of him. When questioned about his views on Israel, which had a negative tint to them in the past, he hemmed and hawed without providing clear answers. Senator John McCain, a fellow Vietnam War veteran, attempted to hammer Hagel on his views of the Iraq troop surge. Hagel bobbed and weaved as he ducted the question by stating, “I am not going to give you a yes or no—I think it is far more complicated than that---I will defer that judgment to history.” When further questioned on Israel, his pro-Palestinian views became more evident. Accusing Israel of “caging Palestinians like animals”in a prior quote, raised a number of eyebrows as the hearing moved forth. Another Senator reviewed Hagel’s interview with Al Jazeera. Several callers to this show accused Israel of war crimes and America of being the World’s bully, neither comment received a denial by him. Chuck Hagel’s hearing did not go well for him. He stumbled through most of it and deferred many of the questions to history or some other irrelevant diversion. Too many questions arise about Hagel’s past, which continue to haunt him. His inability to articulate clear positions on current international affairs should be a major consideration for those who must vote on this nominee for Secretary of Defense. The World is full of tensions and dangers, which could be trigger points for a major war that no one wants. America does not need another incompetent at the helm, the Executive branch has too many already. Mark Davis MD, firstname.lastname@example.org. www.healthnetsreviewservices.com Author of the forthcoming book, Obamacare: Dead on Arrival, A Prescription for Disaster.
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