It appears that President Obama has no intention of letting the grass grow as he begins a second term in the White House.
I can visualize a mischievous grin as he contemplates the dust-up since he nominated Chuck Hagel to become Secretary of Defense. Mr. Hagel offends the hawks in Congress because he tends not to fully embrace the party line on some foreign policy matters, such as Israel and their Washington lobby. While in office he was quoted as saying: “I’m not an Israeli senator. I’m a U.S. senator.” Personally, I’m not anti-Israeli, but I find those comments refreshing. I still bristle when I think back to a recent White House visit by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, as he lectured our president. I don’t think Chuck Hagel would sit still for that.
Mr. Hagel is also guilty of making controversial statements like: “War should be a last resort, … ” and “The Department of Defense is bloated.”
Such a point of view must exasperate folks like Senator John McCain, (R-AZ), former Vice President Dick Cheney, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton, and others who project an attitude that any foreign entity which speaks ill of the U.S. is our enemy and therefore we should take up arms against them — diplomacy be damned.
For many veterans, myself among them, one very positive note in favor of Chuck Hagel is that he understands the true nature of war, which comes down to pain, death and widespread destruction. The man has been there and done that. He was a foot soldier in Vietnam and was wounded in action. Of course, they would never admit it, but for many, if not most flag officers, generals and admirals, war is essentially a game of strategy. For them the application of military forces in a theatre of war is an opportunity to test and put into practice those theories of combat they spent many months, even years, learning in U.S. military academies and war colleges.
This is not to disparage our ground force and naval leaders. I respect them and America absolutely needs their insight and expertise. But as the late President Theodore Roosevelt put it: “Walk softly and carry a big stick.”
Even the “American Caesar,” General Douglas MacArthur, in his final address to a cadet class at The U.S. Military Academy pointed out that soldiers desire war the least, for it is they who first feel its sting. … Though it may contain many tough questions, I think that Mr. Hagel’s confirmation won’t be nearly as acrimonious as some have predicted.
As for the appointments of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry to be Secretary of State and Mr. John Brennan as Director of Central Intelligence, they should go easily enough. The men and the positions seem well suited.
Among the latest personalities to gain national attention is that Fonda woman — selected as America’s Woman of the Year — by, if I’m not mistaken, President Obama.
To say that choice is an affront and deeply offensive to those who served in Vietnam is putting it mildly. “Hanoi Jane” conspicuously aided an enemy of the United States.
I invite those too young to recall her visit to North Vietnam in 1972, to research Jane Fonda’s treasonous actions and comments. If he were still with us I wonder what her famous actor father Henry would have to say about his daughter’s behavior. I’m also anxious to hear the response of Senator John McCain, who was a prisoner of war, subjected to harsh treatment and held for years in North Vietnam. America is noted for its tolerance and lapses in memory. But by thunder, there are some things we shouldn’t let pass.
Otherwise I have great expectations for us Pahrumpians in the coming year. Our county and town leaders will either persevere or disappear.
No. No. Strike that. I have faith that common sense, even a bit of wisdom, will ultimately prevail in our valley. We’re on the move folks so keep the faith.