"To question your government is not unpatriotic — to not question your government is unpatriotic."~ Chuck Hagel
"I took an oath of office to the Constitution, I didn't take an oath of office to my party or my president." ~ Chuck Hagel
Chuck Hagel, as all of us know, has been nominated by President Obama to be our next Secretary of Defense. This nomination has created turmoil on both sides of the isle and for different reasons. Democrats are aerated because a Democrat wasn’t nominated to hold that position, but truth be told… which of the two Parties is predominantly more aggressive? I think you’ll agree with me that Democrats are more the “peace and love” bunch in Washington where Republicans are more the war mongering type. I know I am stereotyping, and there are always exceptions to the rule, but it is my opinion that to lead an army you have to have a soldier’s mentality.
Mr. Hagel served in the Vietnam War as a Sergeant along with his brother and received several medals for his valor; he was awarded two purple hearts, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, the Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge. If someone knows what it entails to be in a war, that’s Chuck Hagel.
I must admit that I wasn’t pleased when the rumors began that President Obama was going to appoint him to be the Secretary of Defense. Mr. Hagel is extremely controversial and outspoken; he made comments and voted against homosexuals while he was Senator and he has made several questionable comments about Israel and the Palestine conflict. However, I rather have a person that speaks his mind without concern about what is politically correct than a hypocrite that will say one thing and do another when away from the public eye. That is not the case with Mr. Hagel, he will tell it as he sees it. Ultimately, all the decisions about civil rights and the relationship between The United States and Israel, how to approach the Palestine or any other global conflict lies with the President, not the Secretary of Defense.
But if we are honest, the positions he has taken throughout his political career are for the most part commendable. He is not like the Republicans we have become accustomed to, those that will vote against their principle just to stick with their Party. Not Mr. Hagel. He publicly criticized the Bush Administration when he said that the administration was “the lowest in capacity, in capability, in policy, in consensus—almost every area" of any presidency in the last forty years."
A lot has been said about Mr. Hagel being Anti-Semite. For what I have read, Mr. Hagel wants for Israel and the Islamic nations to have more of a diplomatic approach to resolve their conflict instead of a ballistic one. He is also against the United States to offer military support to Israel regardless of the situation without first demanding a peaceful resolution. The following is a direct quote from Wikipedia: “In July 2006, Hagel criticized the Bush administration on its handling of the Israel-Lebanon issue, saying "The sickening slaughter on both sides must end and it must end now. President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop." He also said "Our relationship with Israel is special and historic... But it need not and cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relationships. That is an irresponsible and dangerous false choice.”" It is for this type of comments that he is considered Anti-Semite, I don’t see it that way, I see it as a man that has seen too many unnecessary deaths because of wars and prefers to resolve differences in a more civilized manner, whenever possible.
Only time will tell if the President’s decision to nominate Mr. Hagel was a good decision. I don’t agree with many of Mr. Hagel’s points of views, but I do like a man that speaks his mind, that says that which he believes to be his fundamental principles for what he thinks it’s the good of the country. It’s refreshing to see a Republican step outside the box where they seem to be stuck in and since the majority of Republicans are desperately trying to trash the name of Mr. Hagel, that is enough for me to endorse him!