My thoughts on President Obama’s nominations for Secretaries of State and Defense, and CIA Director….
I’ve always liked John Kerry. He’s been on the good side of many issues with a reasonably progressive voting record in the Us Senate. His only weak spot is Israel but he was among the first in the Senate to denounce the Reagan policy of aiding the Contras in Nicaragua and Central American imperialism in general.
I voted for him in 2004. I think he would have been a better president by far than George W Bush and maybe better than President Obama. I think he is a man of principle who served his country admirably.
However, at this late date, making him Secretary of State seems more like an emeritus appointment rather than a harbinger of any big changes in the way the US sees the world diplomatically. A good appointment but I don’t expect much.
Chuck Hagel on the other hand by the very nature of his appointment seems certain to shake things up. Hagel has publicly broken with neo con thinking and does not now view the Iraq War as something the US should have ever entered into. In addition, he has indicated that he is a senator for America not for Israel.
But the message that Obama is trying to send with the Hagel nomination isn’t about Israel and neo conservatism – a lot of this is show he is still on board with Israel centered foreign policy. There is nothing in his voting record or history to debate that. It’s about Iran. This signals an end to Iran war talk and it’s a message that Israel should heed.
I know the Hegel nomination is all symbolism. I am a realist but this is good symbolism
There is a theory that all the hubbub about the Hagel nomination is in fact a distraction from the truly controversial pick of the three – John Brennan as CIA Director.
During the Bush years, Brennan supported torture and wire tapping without warrant among a whole host of horrifying unconstitutional evil policies. More recently, he is the architect of the Obama drone program which he described in 2011 as not causing any civilian deaths.
The man is a liar, a scumbag, and a war criminal. He should be in jail with Bush, Dick Cheney, and Obama himself. This only reinforces what we know about Obama – He is an imperialist albeit a craftier one who picks his spots.
So the score is a silver star of the Kerry nomination, a gold star for the Hagel one, but a black demerit for the Brennan pick.