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Focus should be on finding diplomatic solutions to global crises.
Hagel said "I am a United States senator, not an Israeli senator." Why on Earth does anyone consider this a controversial statement? If he had said the same thing about any other country in the world -- "I am a U.S. senator, not a Brazilian senator -- nobody would think anything about it. Of course, we want our senators to represent the best interests of their constituents rather than the interests of a foreign country. And though Israel is a close ally, its interests are not always the same as the interests of the United States. Hagel was just acknowledging this basic truth.
"I am a United States Senator, not an Israeli Senator" Unfortunately, the Israeli lobby doesn't feel that way. Loyalty to Israel is of foremost importance for anyone in the US government. Witness the annual almost mandatory appearances at the AIPAC conference.
Thank you, endotherm. Israel has ignored over 50 UN resolutions objecting to its violence against its neighbors and its illegal land grabs and blockade over the past half century or so. Yet, most of the Congress still believes that we must not support Israel no matter what harm it does to others. Brennan is pro-drone and not someone I would choose, but more important is Jack Lew's nomination to head Treasury. Lew pushed Clinton in the 1990s to end Glass-Steagle so banks could more "creatively" use their depositors' money. The resulting lack of regulation led directly to the economic melt-down of 2007 and bailout billions the banksters did NOT use to pay off mortgages they had dishonestly written. (Why IS no one going to jail?)
Yes, thank you Endotherm, add me to the list of those in agreement with your statements. Add to that the other "controversial" things Hagel says (correctly stating that our military is bloated) and the fact that he does not listen to lobbyists, and the confirmation should be done by those that are impartial, the American public, instead of those that are controlled in congress and yes; you know who those congressmen are. I wonder when congress is going to figure out that they should be putting American priorities first, instead of the worlds?
PS... Colin Powell endorsed him and had high praise for him on Meet the Press. Look for the tea party to bad mouth both Powell and Hagel. And watch which congressmen complain about him the most. You can learn a lot from that. I hope America has had enough of the tea party. I hope they look at the gridlock in congress since the tea party was voted in to a minor degree as "we threw the bums out." And I hope republicans like Hagel and Powell take back the republican party, or start a third political party. Powell was polite in his characterization of some members of the republican party, and should not have been and should have named names as well. Politically correct? No, but it is time to speak loud and clear in D.C..... and there is not a lot of that happening these days.
Rather than criticized, Hagel should be lauded for saying he was a U.S. Senator not an Israeli Senator. If only the rest of Congress had the integrity and courage to say the same. This is an opportunity for the Strib's editorial board to ask tough questions of other senators, not just Hagel, e.g. how is America's interest honestly served by lavishing no-strings-really-attached billions of American taxpayers' dollars a year on Israel, a prosperous country that continues to expand illegal settlements condemned by most of the world? Why should an American senator's civil comments on a foreign country be a litmus test for his fitness to serve as our defense secretary?
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