Choosing Hagel shows Obama's foreign-policy ambitions

  • Article by: CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER , Washington Post
  • Updated: January 11, 2013 - 8:49 PM

Obama won re-election. He no longer has to appear more moderate than his true instincts. He has the "flexibility" to be authentically Obama.

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probsolverJan. 11, 13 7:30 PM

Whether you agree with his positions or not, KRAUTHAMMER's intellect dwarfs the liberal pop culture pundits of he day: Maddow, Stewart, Schultz, matthews, Olbetman, etc

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garykhansonJan. 11, 13 8:03 PM

Charles Krauthammer is predictable. It will always be an attack upon what he sees as liberal or of the Democratic Party. There is an old exercise that used to be taught as a path to fairness. For every bad thing you say about someone or something try to say a good thing. For Krauthammer this would be a miracle. I prefer people whose ideas show love and effectiveness in actual reality and not just another right wing ideological maxim. God is not liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican. God showed love and humility for the human race at the cross.

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pumiceJan. 11, 13 8:47 PM

"Hagel is a man of no independent stature. He's no George Marshall or Henry Kissinger. A fringe senator who left no trace behind, Hagel matters only because of what his nomination says about Obama." Krauthammer reinforces that opinion: "Hagel himself doesn't matter. He won't make foreign policy. Obama will."

Krauthammer, Point One: "Hagel called the Pentagon 'bloated,' and needing 'to be pared down.'" Given Krauthammer's poor opinion of Hagel, the argument he has is irrefutably with President Obama. However, he should be having his argument with the neocons--if pre-emptive military interventionism is so vital that "the rest of the world can see coming the Pentagon downsizing -- and the inevitable, commensurate decline of U.S. power," should Krauthammer not demand that Congress levy a tax to pay for pre-emptive military interventionism? It wasn't levied in 2001; it wasn't levied in 2003. But it's not too late--levy a tax to pay for the deficit racked up since 2001. That will free up revenue to fund the Pentagon (and US military power) in the manner to which Krauthammer aspires.

Krauthammer, Point Two: "Both Israelis and Palestinians are trapped in a war not of their making." You're going to argue against that opinion? Really, Charles?

Krauthammer, Point Three: Unlike neocons who never saw a war they didn't like as long as other people are in the line of fire, "Hagel doesn't just oppose military action... [h]e believes in diplomacy instead." (Keep Krauthammer's earlier caveat in mind: "[Hagel] won't make foreign policy. Obama will.") What a concept--after centuries and millennia of war, we may be willing to give diplomacy a chance! Unless one is to believe that Hagel serves at the pleasure of a President whose "ostensibly unalterable opposition to containment" is on record. As is Krauthammer's opposition to nuclear freeze in the 1980s and his unalterable support of rolling back rather than containing Communism. After the Cold War, consensus had it that the world went from bipolar to multipolar. Krauthammer posited that the world went unipolar.

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guessagainJan. 12, 13 6:37 AM

probsolver: "Whether you agree with his positions or not, KRAUTHAMMER's intellect dwarfs the liberal pop culture pundits of he day..." It is not intellect that Krauthammer displays, it is right wing extremism. To call Hagel liberal shows just how far to the right Krauthammer has gone.

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Thumper5316Jan. 12, 13 8:18 AM

obama appear moderate? The man is so far left he can't lean that way any further without falling over.

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monkeyplanetJan. 12, 13 8:20 AM

If Hagel is approved as Pentagon chief, it will be the first step back to sanity for this country. Hagel is right and Krauthammer, as usual, is wrong on all these issues. 1) We need to cut back seriously on military expenditures. How about just settling for being the largest military spender in the world instead of spending as much as every other country combined? 2) On Israel, we need to stop enabling the extremism of the Likud Party. Tell the Israelis to shape up or else we'll cut off their aid. That would get results. 3) Finally, we have Iran encircled on all sides. Bombing and killing a bunch of innocent people in that country will only further enrich the military-industrial complex, and make the United States justifiably more hated around the world.

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northhillJan. 12, 13 8:52 AM

Chuck Hagel wants to change how things are done at the Pentagon.Krauthammer wants business as usual,bloated budget and all.This is long overdue.America has had troops and bases in Europe since World War II and our NATO allies should be spending more on their own defense and rely less on the US military.Britain and Germany can among others things devote more money to their National Health services because of US military bases in those countries paid for by the US taxpayers.Krauthammer and his buddies on the right want America to cut social programs but keep the the Pentagon fully funded.

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carodun133Jan. 12, 1311:21 AM

Hagel has stated that we need to have talks with Hamas. A group which believes that every Hebrew should be killed. Yes what a great idea, open talks with Hamas. President Obama's foreign policy is a joke. Eygpt has become a muslim gov't under Pres Obama. He has bent over backwards to do everything possible to appease the Muslim Countries. This Country will be paying for this President's economic and foreign policy incompetence for decades to come.

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cstoney48Jan. 12, 1311:27 AM

To Charles, if you are not a neo-con interventionist-militarist, you must be some sort of pacifist/socialist/communist. For his ilk, the world is the enemy and force is the answer to every provocation. Time to rethink the paradigm. It has done us no good.

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carodun133Jan. 12, 1311:28 AM

As for the bloated military. The largest part of the military spending is the paychecks which go to the people which work for the military. So we cut jobs right. We get rid of bases, right. Just make sure that when the garbage hits the fan the next time that we are not caught without enough trained military personal or military bases to effectively attack from. It is usually folks who know nothing about the military or protecting this Country who want to cut the military. Great ideas, but no actual knowledge of what they speak of.

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