Foreign and Defense Policy, Defense

Don’t like Chuck Hagel’s views? Wait a few

Image Credit: REUTERS/Jason Reed

Image Credit: REUTERS/Jason Reed

“Courage”: A word we hear tossed around promiscuously about Chuck Hagel. About his Vietnam career? Nope. About personal travails? Nope. Chuck Hagel is a “courageous” man because he changes his mind. A lot.

Bret Stephens of the WSJ was among the first to detail Hagel’s lemming-like political transformations. Hate the gays when no one cared; love the gays when they do. Hate gays in the military when it was cool; love it when it isn’t. Iraq war? Yes, then no.

And today, Eli Lake has a fine piece up on the Daily Beast detailing Hagel’s determined climb up the greasy pole of political favor. In 2000, he reportedly begged to endorse George W. Bush. But when John McCain’s star began rising, Hagel clambered over Bush and endorsed McCain.

Now that he’s up for SecDef, Hagel is busy repudiating all of his old views, leaking via Obama administration officials and cronies in DC that he has once again grown in office, showing the courage that is his hallmark. Suddenly, he’s tough on Iran.  Believes strongly in the US-Israel alliance. Loves the gays. It remains to be seen whether he will learn to love abortion and hate guns, but anything is possible.

Hagel’s, er, mercurial nature is yet another reason to wonder why Barack Obama wished this man to hold a cabinet posting. Because one thing is for certain, it will only be a matter of time before he changes his mind about the principles he insists upon today.

9 thoughts on “Don’t like Chuck Hagel’s views? Wait a few

  1. Ms. Pletka-

    the ability to change one’s mind as the situation develops is generally considered a STRENGTH, not a weakness.

    If this were done in the VietNam era, a lot of young Americans would have their lives today- and quite a few Vietnamese as well, although of course, they don’t count as human life, in your view.

  2. yet another hit piece from the NeoCons….

    Hagel is no Saint but if you want Saint Status for DOD, you’re out of luck.

    this is nothing more than a slimy smear campaign coming from the NeoCons – plain and simple.

    • LarryG:
      Are you capable of rational argument? Your comments are unrelated in any way to the points Pletka makes in her article. It is a matter of public record that Hagel previously held certain views considered by many to be distasteful and which he now claims to repudiate. How does pointing this out constitute a “slimy smear campaign?”
      Is there a reason why you attack Pletka instead of supporting Hagel? She’s not being considered for SOD. If he is the best person for the job, tell us why.

      • re: best person for the job – in the opinion of the POTUS with concurrence of the Senate…

        The Neocons do not like Hagel because he is not a saber-rattler… so they attack him as a person on really flimsy things… as if no others who have served as SOD ever had similar but different flaws.

        I’m not attacking any person – but the mindset of the newcons and their tactics… which are repugnant and odious IMHO of course.

      • so basically you read this article or someone else in your insular little bubble and assumed…

        Here’s who supports chuck hagel. Compare their credentials to your pundits.

        Robert Gates, (Secretary of Defense Bush, Obama)
        Colin Powell (Secretary of Defense, Bush)
        James L Jones, (National Security Adviser, Obama)
        Brent Scowcroft (National Security Adviser, HW Bush, Ford)
        Zbigniew Brzezinski (National Security Adviser, Carter)
        Frank Carlucci ((National Security Adviser, Reagan)
        William S. Cohen, Former Secretary of Defense

        Admiral William J. Fallon (Commander, CENTCOM)
        General Lester L Lyles (Vice Chief of Staff, US Air Force)
        Admiral Robert J Natter (Commander, US Atlantic Fleet)
        General Chuck Wald (Deputy Commander, EUCOM)
        General Anthony Zinni (Commander, CENTCOM)
        John Warner, Secretary of the Navy, Nixon/Ford
        Lieutenant General John “Glad” Castellaw
        Lieutenant General Robert G. Gard, Jr.
        Brigadier General Stephen Cheney
        Brigadier General Dr. John H Johns.

        Ambassador Alon Pinkas (Israel’s former Consul General to the USA)

        Nicholas Burns (Under Secretary of State, Former Ambassador to NATO)
        Ryan Crocker (US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq)
        Edward Djerejian (US Ambassador to Israel, Syria)
        William Harrop (US Ambassador to Israel)
        Daniel Kurzter (US Ambassador to Israel, Egypt, GW Bush)
        Sam Lewis (US Ambassador to Israel)
        William H. Luers (US Ambassador to Venezuela, Czechoslovakia)
        Thomas R. Pickering (US Ambassador to Israel, Russia)
        Frank G. Wisner (US Ambassador to India, Egypt)

        Tom Ridge, Head of Dept. of Homeland Security, GW Bush
        Paul Volcker, Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve
        James Wolfensohn, Former President of World Bank Group
        Carla Hills, Former USTA Representative

  3. Flip flopping is a strength if you are trying to appease everyone. It is not a sign of good character or a person you can rely upon. I guess he would fit in with another famous flip flopper, Senator-vote-for-it-before-voting-against-it-Kerry, at those Cabinet meetings.

    • how about you do 5 minutes of internet searching?

      Hagel is a Vietnam War veteran, having served in the United States Army infantry from 1967 to 1968. Holding the rank of Sergeant (E-5), he served as an infantry squad leader in the 9th Infantry Division.[7] Hagel served in the same infantry squad as his younger brother Tom, and they are believed to be the only American siblings to have done so during the Vietnam War.[8] They also ended up saving each other’s lives on separate occasions.[8] While serving during the war, he received the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, two Purple Hearts, Army Commendation Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.[9]

      How this author can criticize his “courage” is beyond offensive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>