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2013 January 14 Monday
Chuck Hagel Not Crazy And Foolish Enough To Be SecDef?

It isn't worth much time to follow closely Obama's nomination of former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel's nomination for US Secretary of Defense. But it has some entertaining angles. While Chuck Hagel favors "a very careful decision-making process" if he's using one he's certainly not using it well. Doug Bandow points out some of Hagel's past positions. Yet these bad decisions are not enough for the Middle Eastern perpetual war camp.

He later explained to Vietnam magazine: “I believe in using force, but only after a very careful decision-making process.” Nor is the former Senator a noninterventionist like Ron Paul. He backed Bill Clinton’s counterproductive attack on Serbia and George W. Bush’s disastrous Iraq misadventure and supported John McCain for president in 2000.

However, unlike the Neoconservatives who dominated the Bush administration, Hagel opposed perpetual war.

My take on US foreign adventures:

  • If we are in it for the oil then why not just spend the money on hybrids, EVs, ground sink heat pumps, and bicycles?
  • If we are in it for anti-terrorism why not change our immigration policy and help Middle Eastern governments track down their revolutionary opponents? Most of the governments don't want jihadists running around either as they expect the jihadists to try to overthrow them.
  • If we want compliant governments then stop helping Islamists overthrow dictatorships. The Islamists win in the general elections and are much more hostile to the US than are the dictators.
  • If our primary goal is to protect Israel (and competing theories don't seem to make sense) then why not listen more closely to the Israelis than their supporters in America? The Israelis are more sane and realistic.

The unsound mind of John McCain opposes Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

While “the friendship, I hope, is still there,” Mr. McCain said, he remained worried about Mr. Hagel’s “overall attitude about the United States, our role in the world, particularly in the Middle East, and whether we should reduce the Pentagon further.”

Figure out on any subject which faction is most deranged. In America every faction is deranged about something.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2013 January 14 09:06 PM 


Comments
SOBL1 said at January 15, 2013 11:23 AM:

Hagel is potentially the victim of tiny slivers of the Democrat 'coalition of victims'. Some gays don't like his apology for being anti-gay rights in the past, and some jews don't like that he isn't a super-hawk, friend of Israel. Those segments are hyperfocused on their small group's 'rights' or 'concerns'. It is rather pathetic that two slices of incredibly small percentages of the US population can potentially block this nomination. It's the President's choice, yet the biggest pushback that he is getting for this nomination is from the Israeli lobby #jews and Israeli PACs donate 60% of Dem campaign dollars# and gay lobby. Even then, the LGBT crowd is getting stealth help from the Israel lobby for anti-Hagel ad placement. If the smallest segments of the victim coalition can submarine Hagel, then what will be acceptable for the diverse coalition for really big ticket items?

JT said at January 15, 2013 6:00 PM:

McCain said, he remained worried about Mr. Hagel’s “overall attitude about the United States, our role in the world, particularly in the Middle East

These neo-con Republicans like John "The Mark Of" McCain only worry about the impact Jews and avoiding political incorrectness have on their careers, their "overall attitude about the United States" is treasonous. They start wars overseas just so they won't have to confront their domestic political enemies, particularly on any issue that touches on race (and what doesn't?). And of course that makes it easier for those enemies to realize their chief political goal: the destruction of European America. Cain slew his brother, McCain collaborates in the slaying of his nation and people with his idiotic wars for Israel. Of course it goes without saying this pig would never publicly support a serious limit on immigration or banning Muslim immigration, he's more loyal to Israel as an ethno-state than he is to this country.

Soleman said at January 16, 2013 4:21 PM:

I believe the US should pursue none of those 4 foreign adventures, because:

1. The US is also part of the world and therefore would do better without having to compete and fight for oil. With all its might, it would be better to try and push the rest of the world towards energy sources that make sense nowadays.

2. The US has committed more and greater acts of terrorism than any other terrorist or terrorist group, including, perhaps Nazi Germany.

3. The US has lost the moral authority to overthrow any government whether a dictatorship or a democratically elected government, like it has done in the past. Remember Chile 9/11/1973?

4. The US has taken it upon its shoulders to always protect Israel which is absurd, since Israel is not really a democracy and it is the only country in the Middle East creating inestability in the Middle East since 1948.

Snippet said at January 17, 2013 8:02 AM:

>>> and help Middle Eastern governments track down their revolutionary opponents? Most of the governments don't want jihadists running around either as they expect the jihadists to try to overthrow them.

Snippet said at January 17, 2013 8:05 AM:

My post got truncated.

Short version: helping Middle Eastern governments fight Islamists is all well and good, but it won't prevent us from being targeted by Islamists. Our allegedly hypicritical support for dictators is one of their best pieces of propaganda.

Mercer said at January 17, 2013 10:24 AM:

I don't think any of the four reasons you list is why we keep having foreign wars. We do it because it flatters the egos of neocons and many others to have a big military and throw our weight around the world.

McNeil said at January 19, 2013 10:26 AM:

@ Snippet>>> allegedly?? propaganda?? Let's see

Dictators Supported by the US

Africa
MOBUTU SESE SEKO
Dictator of Zaire 1965-1997
MOHAMMED SIAD BARRE
President/Dictator of Somalia 1969-1991
GEN. IBRAHIM BABANGIDA
Military Dictator/President of Nigeria 1985-1993
GEN. SANI ABACHA
Dictator of Nigeria 1993-1998
HASTINGS KAMUZU BANDA
Dictator of Malawi 1966-1994
LAURENT-DÉSIRÉ KABILA
President/Dictator of the Democratic Republic of the Congo 1997-2001
GNASSINGBE ETIENNE EYADEMA
Dictator of Togo 1967-2005
FELIX HOUPHOUET-BOIGNY
Dictator/President of the Ivory Coast 1960-1993
HASSAN II
King of Morocco 1961-1999
TEODORO OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO
President/Dictator of Equatorial Guinea 1979-present
ZINE EL ABIDINE BEN ALI
President-Prime Minister/Dictator of Tunisia 1987-2011
ANWAR EL-SADAT
President/Dictator of Egypt 1970-1981
HOSNI MUBARAK
President/Dictator of Egypt 1981-present
IAN SMITH
Prime Minister of Rhodesia (white minority regime) 1965-1979
PIETER WILLEM BOTHA
Prime Minister of South Africa (white minority regime) 1978-1984, President 1984-1989
DANIEL ARAP MOI
President/Dictator of Kenya 1978-2002
HAILE SELASSIE (RAS TAFARI)
Emperor of Ethiopia 1928-1974
WILLIAM J. S. TUBMAN
President/Dictator of Liberia 1944-1971
SAMUEL KANYON DOE
Dictator of Liberia 1980-1990

Asia
MOHAMED SUHARTO
Dictator of Indonesia 1966-1998
NGO DINH DIEM
President/Dictator of South Vietnam 1955-1963
GEN. NGUYEN KHANH
Dictator of South Vietnam 1964-1965
NGUYEN CAO KY
Dictator of South Vietnam 1965-1967
GEN. NGUYEN VAN THIEU
President/Dictator of South Vietnam 1967-1975
TRAN THIEM KHIEM
Prime Minister of South Vietnam 1969-75
BAO DAI
Emperor of Vietnam 1926-1945, chief of state 1949-1955
LEE KUAN YEW
Prime Minister/Dictator of Singapore 1959-1990; behind-the scenes ruler since then.
EMOMALI RAHMONOV
President/Dictator of Tajikistan 1992-present
NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV
President of Kazakhstan 1990-present
ISLAM A. KARIMOV
President/Dictator of Uzbekistan 1990-present
SAPARMURAD ATAYEVICH NIYAZOV
President/Dictator of Turkmenistan 1990-2006
MARSHAL LUANG PIBUL SONGGRAM
Dictator of Thailand 1948-1957
FIELD MARSHAL THANOM KITTIKACHORN
Prime Minister/Dictator of Thailand 1957-58, 1963-1973
CHIANG KAI-SHEK
President/Dictator (Nationalist) of China 1928-1949
President/Dictator of Taiwan 1949-1975
CHIANG CHING-KUO
President/Dicator of Taiwan 1978-1988; Prime Minister 1972-1978
DENG XIAOPING
De facto ruler of China from circa 1978 to the early 1990s
FERDINAND MARCOS
President/Dictator of the Philippines 1965-1986
SYNGMAN RHEE
President/Dictator of South Korea 1948-1960
GEN. PARK CHUNG HEE
President/Dictator of South Korea 1962-1979
GEN. CHUN DOO HWAN
President/Dictator of South Korea 1980-1988
SIR MUDA HASSANAL BOLKIAH
Sultan of Brunei 1967-present
GEN. LON NOL
Prime Minister/Dictator of Cambodia 1970-1975
POL POT
Dictator of Cambodia 1975-1979
MAJ. GEN. SITIVENI RABUKA
Dictator of Fiji 1987-1999
ASKAR AKAYEV
President of Kyrgyzstan 10/27/1990-2005

Europe
FRANCISCO FRANCO
Dictator of Spain 1939-1975
ANTONIO SALAZAR DE OLIVEIRA
Dictator of Portugal 1928-1968
COL. GEORGIOS PAPADOPOULOS
Prime Minister/President/Dictator of Greece 1967-1973

Latin America
ANASTASIO SOMOZA GARCIA
Dictator of Nicaragua 1937-1947, 1950-1956
ANASTASIO "TACHITO" SOMOZA DEBAYLE
Dictator of Nicaragua 1967-1972, 1974-1979
MANUEL ESTRADA CABRERA
Dictator of Guatemala 1898-1920
GEN. JORGE UBICO CASTANEDA
Dictator of Guatemala 1931-1944
COL. CARLOS ENRIQUE CASTILLO ARMAS
Dictator of Guatemala 1954-1957
GEN. JOSE MIGUEL YDIGORAS FUENTES
President/Dictator of Guatemala 1958-1963
COL. ENRIQUE PERALTA AZURDIA
Military Junta, Guatemala 1963-1966
COL.CARLOS ARANA OSORIO
Dictator of Guatemala 1970-1974
GEN. FERNANDO ROMEO LUCAS GARCIA
Dictator of Guatemala 1978-1982
GEN. JOSE EFRAIN RIOS MONTT
Dictator of Guatemala 1982-1983
MARCO VINICIO CEREZO ARÉVALO
President/Dictator of Guatemala 1986-1991
MAXIMILIANO HERNANDEZ MARTINEZ
Dictator of El Salvador 1931-1944
COL. OSMIN AGUIRRE Y SALINAS
Dictator of El Salvador 1944-1945
CIVILIAN-MILITARY JUNTA, EL SALVADOR
1961-1962
COL. ARTURO ARMANDO MOLINA BARRAZA
Dictator of El Salvador 1972-1977
JUNTA, EL SALVADOR
1979-1982
ALFREDO FÉLIX CRISTIANI BUKARD
President/Dictator of El Salvador 1989-1994
TIBURCIO CARIAS ANDINO
Dictator of Honduras 1932-1948
COL. OSWALDO LOPEZ ARELLANO
Dictator of Honduras 1963-1975
ROBERTO SUAZO CORDOVA
President/Dictator of Honduras 1982-1986
GEN. OMAR HERRERA-TORRIJOS
Dictator of Panama 1969-1981
GEN. MANUEL ANTONIO MORENA NORIEGA
Dictator of Panama 1982-1989
AUGUSTO PINOCHET UGARTE
Dictator of Chile 1973-1990
GEN. JORGE RAFAEL VIDELA
Dictator of Argentina 1976-1981
COL. MARCOS PEREZ JIMENEZ
Dictator of Venezuela 1950-1958
GEN. ALFREDO STROESSNER
Dictator of Paraguay 1954-1989
ALBERTO FUJIMORI
Dictator of Peru 1990-2000
FRANCOIS "PAPA DOC" DUVALIER
Dictator of Haiti 1957-1971
JEAN-CLAUDE "BABY DOC" DUVALIER
Dictator of Haiti 1971-1986
MILITARY JUNTA / LT. GEN. RAOUL CEDRAS, GEN. PHILIPPE BIAMBY and LT. COL. MICHEL-JOSEPH FRANCO
Haiti 1991-1994
GEN. RENE BARRIENTOS ORTUNO
President/Dictator of Bolivia 1964-1969
GEN. HUGO BANZER SUAREZ
Dictator of Bolivia 1971-1978
DR. GETULIO VARGAS
Dictator of Brazil 1930-1945, 1951-1954
GEN. HUMBERTO DE ALENCAR CASTELLO BRANCO
Dictator of Brazil 1964-1967
CARLOS PRIO SOCARRAS
Dictator of Cuba 1948-1952
FULGENCIO BATISTA
Dictator of Cuba 1933-44, 1952-1959
GERARDO MACHADO MORALES
Dictator of Cuba 1925-1933
RAFAEL LEONIDAS TRUJILLO
Dictator of the Dominican Republic 1930-1961

Middle East
MOHAMMED REZA PAHLAVI
Shah of Iran 1941-1979
SADDAM HUSSEIN
Dictator of Iraq 1969 (1979)-2003
GEN. MOHAMMED AYUB KHAN
President/Dictator of Pakistan 1958-1969
GEN. AGHA MUHAMMAD YAHYA KHAN
President/Dictator of Pakistan 1969-1971
GEN. MOHAMMAD ZIA UL-HAQ
President/Dictator of Pakistan 1977-1988
PERVEZ MUSHARRAF
Dictator of Pakistan 1999-2008
ABDUL IBN HUSSEIN I
King of Jordan 1952-1999
TURGUT ÖZAL
Prime Minister of Turkey 1983-1989, President 1989-1993
SHEIK JABIR AL-AHMAD AL SABAH
Emir of Kuwait 1977-2006
Prime Minister of Kuwait 1962-1963, 1965-1978
FAHD IBN ABDUL-AZIZ AL SAUD
King and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia 1982-2005

Snippt said at January 19, 2013 12:01 PM:

I'm sure the vast majority of those on that list were "supported" to a greater or lesser degree by virtually every other country in existence when they were in power. As a default position, "supporting" the closest thing to a legitimate government any country has at any given time is prudent.

In some cases, blaming America for your problems is legitimate, in some cases, it is just rank propaganda.

Islamists have a propaganda machine and over-blaming America for a lot of problems that are endogenous, while offering a "solution" that will almost certain make all their current problems a LOT worse is a big part of it.

Considering how many people in the Middle East think (not without some validity, but still vastly exaggerated) think America is the reason they hate their situation, I don't think the suggestion that we continue or redouble our efforts to support Islamist-busting Arab dictators is a good one.

Randall Parker said at January 20, 2013 1:16 PM:

McNeil,

Your list is misleading for a few reasons:

- Some of those dictators were not supported by the US for a large portion of their rein. Anwar Sadat is an example.

- Countries which have dictators chiefly have them due to local circumstances. In most cases when the US supported (or often just tolerated) a dictator the dictator managed to reach power without US help (Saddam, Sadat, K. They also could remain in power without US help.

- Some of those countries have worse governments now under democracy.

- After the Cold War ended and the US stopped supporting anti-USSR dictators others fought and overthrew the Cold War era dictator only to establish just another dictatorship.

- You cite examples from Vietnam. When the US pulled out and the NVA overran the country what the South Vietnamese got from the communists was far worse than what the communists replaced.

- Some of your entries are plain ridiculous. Deng Xiaoping's rise was not engineered by America. American influence in China died when the communists took over.

Check it Out said at January 21, 2013 2:53 PM:

Randall, I'm not sure, but I think the point McNeil is trying to make is that many countries may live under the rule of dictators, but that doesn't mean they welcome the Americans as their "liberators" specially when their country and institutions are destroyed in the process and when American soldiers rape young girls, mock local customs, yell at civilians and have themselves videoed peeing enemy corpses and holding body parts.

Besides, what about Pinochet who was a dictator imposed by the U.S. right after killing democratically elected Salvador Allende? I'm old enough to remember that, I wonder if you are. Furthermore, McNeil's list is pretty long - -hell, I didn't even think it went that long- - but to me it seems more convincing than your two or three exeption-to-the-rule attempts. The good thing about history is that it doesn't mean story. History is a little more objective whether we like it or not. Accepting a hard fact is better than cowardly clinging to a comfortable lie. I mean if we Americans are really a bunch of assholes and we're just finding out through new technologies like internet, it's good to know it. I don't know if we should continue being assholes to the world, but if we do, let's at least have the courage to know we are. At least Mexicans acknowledge their inferiority complex. But maybe we're just as cowardly as they are, who knows.

The question many countries in the world ask is what gives the US the right to invade a country. Besides, I seem to recall that you yourself have rebuked against the U.S. being the police of the world.


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