Obama Picks Hagel For Defense; Anti-War, Anti-Israel Activists Rejoice

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It is official: President Barack Obama will announce the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense on Monday afternoon. In making his choice, the president has fulfilled the worst expectations of his foreign policy critics, while delighting anti-war activists and the anti-Israel left.

The Hagel nomination represents the return of the radical Barack Obama, hitherto hidden under an opportunistic anti-terror persona.

There is, as Bill Kristol observed last week, “no case for Hagel.” His supporters cannot cite any substantive reason he should be Secretary of Defense; instead, they argue that “Hagel must be appointed in order to spite many of his critics.” Peter Beinart of the Daily Beast confirms that assessment with his weak defense of Hagel this morning: he must be appointed, Beinart argues, to destroy “the Republican foreign policy establishment.”

Not to defend the country, not to strengthen our military, but to win a political argument.

Beinart–whose wife worked for the White House vetting operation, a fact that is rarely mentioned when he comments on politics but is perhaps relevant here–represents the left’s consensus on Hagel. (And on other matters–Beinart is so slavishly politically correct that he is careful to assign female gender to a hypothetical Martian in his piece.)

The case against Hagel is clear. He has opposed sanctions on Iran while supporting negotiations with Hamas, the terrorist Palestinian group. He voted for the Iraq war but opposed it at a time when pulling out would have led to civil war and genocide. He has openly expressed bigotry against gays (for which he has offered a belated apology). He prefers a smaller military and a humbler America on the world stage. As does Obama.


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