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Why Obama picked Hagel

By Bob Woodward | Washington Post | January 27, 2013

Bob Woodward is an associate editor of The Post. His latest book is “The Price of Politics.” Evelyn M. Duffy contributed to this column.

In the first months of the Obama presidency in 2009, Chuck Hagel, who had just finished two terms as a U.S. senator, went to the White House to visit with the friend he had made during the four years they overlapped in the Senate.

So, President Obama asked, what do you think about foreign policy and defense issues?

According to an account that Hagel later gave, and is reported here for the first time, he told Obama: “We are at a time where there is a new world order. We don’t control it. You must question everything, every assumption, everything they” — the military and diplomats — “tell you. Any assumption 10 years old is out of date. You need to question our role. You need to question the military. You need to question what are we using the military for.

“Afghanistan will be defining for your presidency in the first term,” Hagel also said, according to his own account, “perhaps even for a second term.” The key was not to get “bogged down.”

Obama did not say much but listened. At the time, Hagel considered Obama a “loner,” inclined to keep a distance and his own counsel. But Hagel’s comments help explain why Obama nominated his former Senate colleague to be his next secretary of defense. The two share similar views and philosophies as the Obama administration attempts to define the role of the United States in the transition to a post-superpower world.

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As Dr Ron Paul recently

As Dr Ron Paul recently wrote, don't be fooled....Hagel will carry out Obama's neocon foreign policy.

Don't be duped!


Eh.... not quite accurate.

"Nevertheless because he does represent a more moderate voice in foreign policy than the neo-conservatives can tolerate, they are dragging his name through the mud. In choosing Hagel, then, we can hope the president is signaling that he will pursue a less aggressive foreign policy in his second term. But we cannot count on it."

"So we should be optimistic that the president may see the wisdom in pursuing a foreign policy that is truly in our national interest, but we should always keep an eye on the policies over the personnel."

That kind of puts your comment in a different light, as Dr. Paul was not so much objecting to Hagel as he was to Brennan and others who surround the President.

“It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life.”
―Emmet Fox

"Chuck Hagal" vs "David Petraeus" ~ Google hits by year

Year | Hagal | Petraeus
2013 4.8 m 37.7 m ~ w/o sex = 6.8 m
2012 1.5 m 6.2 m
2011 0.7 m 2.1 m
2010 0.6 m 1.3 m
2009 0.5 m 1.0 m
2008 0.4 m 0.8 m
2007 0.3 m 0.6 m
2006 0.3 m 0.5 m

Google Trends: Hagel usually had 0 press headlines. Jan 2013 show 37.
Petraeus was hardly mentioned either, "+sex" got more press.

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

No wonder Hagel got so few hits

They kept spellin his name wrong...no child left behind indeed.


“Afghanistan will be defining for your presidency in the first term,” Hagel also said, according to his own account, “perhaps even for a second term.”

Impossible! No Republican senator would say in that way mentioning the second term. Pure baloney. Either the reporter added things up or, more likely, Hagel paraphrased his old speeches in order to sound better. Poor memory and wishful thinking may play their role too.

Rachel Maddow is reporting that Bill Kristol

is behind the anti-Hagel ad buys.

While pretending to be a liberal. The irony of that is spectacular.

Bill Kristol: Class A neo-con moron.

But Israel did not object

When frantic reporters pressed Israeli officials they responded:

"It is not our business whom American people elect and whom the US government appoints. From past experience we know, some people who sounded hostile to Israel turned out to be friends and those who used friendly rhetoric turned out to be opposite in action."

Probably the entire Mossad organization

Is relieved Hagel will probably be confirmed. It is mainly Likudists and Neo-Cons who do not like Hagel.

In general, most Israelis would be indifferent, I agree.

I don't doubt that Shimon Perez and Ehud Barak would also be happy to see Hagel confirmed.

The one thing that bothers me

The one thing that bothers me about Hagel is he belongs to the CFR. Other than that, he seems to be the best we have for the job. Assuming he is confirmed, I hope he will keep us out of a war with Iran (Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense, said that anyone wanting another war in the Middle East needs their head examined -- I could not agree more).

I think he's a good pick

I like his choice of words "don't get bogged down"......

Because that is exactly what happened in Iraq under the pathetically inept Donald Rumsfeld.

'Bout the only thing good about Obama is he sure seems bound and determined to purge the neo-cons from every point of power in the government.

The heart of the matter

Two things stand out. He gets that the Pentagon has overreached its power and authority . He also gets the corruption of wars .
“The president has not had commander-in-chief control of the Pentagon since Bush senior was president,” Hagel said privately in 2011.
“And then there was the saddest lesson, to be learned again and again . . . that war is corrupting, that it corrodes the soul and tarnishes the spirit, that even the excellent and the superior can be defiled, and that no heart would remain unstained.”

Support from four former national security advisers and four former U.S. ambassadors to Israel will help buttress the anti-Hagel drive.

Hagel is being supported by:
... retired senior military, intelligence, and foreign service officers who share a "realist" foreign policy perspective and oppose the kind of adventurism favoured by neo-conservatives, including Kristol, who led the charge into Iraq 10 years ago and are now beating the drums for war with Iran...
...four former national security advisers, including Brent Scowcroft (Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan), Zbigniew Brzezinski (Jimmy Carter), Gen. James Jones (Obama), and a former Reagan defence secretary, Frank Carlucci, as well as several former chiefs of the U.S. Central Command (CentCom) have signed letters in support of Hagel."

Only Secretary of Defense in 30 years with combat experience
Obama needs Hagel in the Pentagon

Post-superpower world?

Is this guy getting paid by the letter to include that kinda propaganda? When did the US, EU and the Far East set targets date to vacate superpower status?

"The rich man writes the book of laws the poor man must defend, but the highest laws are written on the hearts of honest men."

You Did It Again Bob - 45 !! Posted This Morning (See Below)


Why Obama Picked Chuck Hagel
Submitted by emalvini on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 10:04

Politics, General + Law(s)
Why Obama Picked Chuck Hagel

By Bob Woodward
Published January 27, 2013

Just sayin Bob - 45

Obama picked Hagel..

to piss Israel off. He's going to throw Israel under the bus in his second term.

That's Secretary of Defense of AMERICA

Not Israel.

If Israel concerns you more than the U.S. I suggest you are in the wrong forum.

The anti-war people are the only ones for Hagel.

The only positive articles I read about him are from Glenn Greenwald and Antiwar.com. In Texas, MSNBC is running anti-Hagel ads.

In Sou. Florida, Hagel is being slammed by negative ads

Accusing him of accepting campaign contributions from lobbyists, is on the board of Exxon (military contracts) and a private equity firm, etc. They're working it hard! It looks like this is going on all over the country and pro-Israel groups are behind the majority of them although Repubs have their hands dirty too.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know Peace." - Jimi Hendrix

This is an important test for

This is an important test for Rand. Will he oppose Hagel? I think that Rand, ever the opportunist, will oppose Hagel and thus please his new right wing allies, such as Hannity and Beck.

If, on the other hand, Rand supports Hagel, he will show an admirable streak of independence.

Maybe why all the firing of generals and admirals the past year

I think Hagel is going to try to strip down the DOD so Obama won't have to do cuts in all the benefits like SS and medicare, etc. This could be very dangerous for one of them. TPTB will try and do something drastic to prevent it from happening.