I see my colleague John Glaser has taken to the hustings to once again express his skepticism of All Things Hagel. He’s convinced that our boy Chuck has “flipped and flopped like a fish out of water” in response to the Other Chuck’s (Chuck Schumer, that is) interrogation. His evidence? A Los Angeles Times story which he quotes at this point: “According to Schumer …” So we are getting the story second-hand.
Another reason to be skeptical of Glaser’s skepticism: among Hagel’s alleged mortal sins is the assertion by Schumer that “Hagel promised to make planning military options against Iran his ‘top priority,'” a prospect that, on the surface, seems ominous — unless one looks at what sort of “option” it might be. For Hagel has said that air strikes will not suffice, and that we’ll need at least 100,000 troops on the ground in any conflict with the Iranians. In short, it will be another Iraq — only worse.
“Make planning military options against Iran his ‘top priority'”? I say go for it, Chuck. Because, given his grim prognosis, it’s hard to imagine the President will go for it.
As for disavowing his previous support for opening negotiations with Hamas: since this was never a possibility, it’s hard to be disappointed. On sanctions: it’s not within the Pentagon’s purview to make policy on this issue, and so — again — this is simply not relevant.
Glaser misses the real point of the Hagel nomination fight, and it is this: a victory for Hagel would be a huge defeat for the War Party, which has gone after Hagel hammer and tongs. That in and of itself would strike a big blow for peace. Why this is so hard to understand is … hard to understand. As one of the commenters on John’s post put it:
“The ONLY thing that matters is that Hagel stops Netanyahu and the Israel Lobby from an attack on Iran – THAT’S IT. It’s a ‘single issue’ “