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February 19, 2013

Chuck Hagel: Israel Must Negotiate with Terrorist Organization Hamas

And other Deep Thoughts from our lightweight prettyboy.

Some good analysis from David Foster. Responding to Jonathan Chait's bafflement over why the wise, moderate Obama would nominate such a dangerous ignoramus, Foster answers:

[A]s far as old Bill Occam and I are concerned, the most plausible explanation for why President Obama nominated Chuck Hagel is that . . . he wanted to. He thinks Chuck Hagel will be effective in administering the national-security policy of candidate Obama circa 2007 or 2008, and even of President Obama circa 2009. And that’s the policy President Obama is interested in pursuing in his second term. In other words, the reason President Obama’s defense nominee sucks is that President Obama’s defense policy sucks.

While the earnestly consternated in the political middle don’t seem to get this, the Hagel cheerleaders on both of their political flanks do, and they’re super psyched about it. Where I see in Hagel a man whose ceiling as SecDef is ineffectual bumbler disliked by Pentagon lifers (and he has no floor), these nouveau-America-Firsters, left and right, see a man who will preside bravely over a gradual withdrawal of the United States from whole theaters of geopolitics — and they positively beam at the prospect. But they are missing something else. In their war fatigue, they have refused to reckon with Hagel’s record as a poor organizational leader and domineering, ineffective manager of people; with his amorphous views and tenuous grasp of policy detail; and with his unremarkable intellect.

They ignore all this because they naively and narrowly view Hagel as above all else an “anti-war” figure....

The alternative to Hagel isn’t “more war” or the well-groomed love child of Dick Cheney and the Jewish Lobby. It’s basic strategic competence. It’s a man equal to the dangerous world he’ll be asked to stand sentry over.

Maybe the best way to illustrate what the far left, far right, and dead center are missing about Hagel is with the following dilemma: Hagel’s foreign-policy views are clearly to the left of the president’s rhetoric for the last couple of years. That’s not even debatable.

I like how Foster cuts to the obvious. We don't do enough of that. There are so many commentators now, all vying to say something clever and counterintuitive, that the obvious (and usually accurate) answer is ignored 90% of the time.

That won't get you hits, after all. It's not clever. It doesn't demonstrate that you, the Maker of Theories, are clever yourself.

It doesn't advertise you.

Now, why on earth would Chuck Hagel insist that Israel negotiate with a group directly funded by Iran?

Well, Chuck Hagel's speaking gigs are funded by Iran, too.

That's not really clever. That's just the fact of it.

It's About Competence: And Hagel doesn't have it.

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posted by Ace at 05:34 PM

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