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Ben Cohen

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  • Top Ten Reasons Chuck Hagel Should be Secretary of Defense
    • Farhang,

      Pakistan and India officially don't have a right to nuclear weapons either. Israel has had nuclear capabilities for a longer time and hasn't used them, that would indicate they are keeping them to deter other countries not launch a first strike.

      Israel doesn't get it's way all the time; Bush 1 told Israel to negotiate with the PLO, Bush 2 told Israel to pull out of Gaza and accept a ceasefire with Hezbollah, Obama told Israel not to expand settlements or attack Iran. Israel hasn't attacked Iran, and has generally complied with the settlement restrictions. Israel's critics, Allison Weir for example, are partisan lunatics who would only be pleased with Israel's total surrender to Arab demands.

      As for UN votes, America is the great power that has to be the arbiter between the various parties. As the arbiter it can't simple succumb to partisan demands of the Arab and Muslim world, and has to veto these absurd and lopsided resolutions. Other countries can vote however they like, because they don't have the responsibility of being the great power arbiter.

      -Ben

    • Farhang,

      Your opinion is a popular one, unfortunately it's not backed up by fact. The U.S gives Israel aid, diplomatic support, and the ability to buy weapons, but it comes with significant strings attached. Bush 1, Clintoln, Bush 2, and Obama made demands of Israel, demands they acquiesced too. And it has always been that way, from pre-state days to today.

      Those who want the U.S to change course and become more critical of Israel like to pretend that the policy they advocate is the sensible one, the policy in our national interest, the policy we had until those awful, awful, "Zionists" scared our poor helpless politicians into doing their bidding. This narrative bears no relation to the actual historic record, but it does demonstrate the ideological fanatacism and stark ignorance of those who subscribe to it.

      From pre-state days until present the great powers have always been more concerned with pleasing the Arabs then the Jews, and the Arabs got their way most of the time. As Israel's power grew the great powers started giving Israel it's way more often, because Israel simply gained clout as it got more powerful. Moral concerns also played a role, whether anti-colonialism or shock over the Holocaust, but up tell now the overwelhming motive was self interest.

      Those who argue for a change of course from the position of U.S national interest (Stephen Walt), are the real radicals. They want a major shift in U.S policy, a shift that will have major unforseeable ramifications. On that basis alone the burden of proof is on them to show why our historic policies are bad for us. They make a big deal about how our support for Israel hurts our standing in the Muslim world, failing to mention that the U.S was far more popular under Bush than Obama.

      They also ignore the negative impact to a shift in the balance of power in the middle east. A weaker Israel might lead to more wars, and a more hardline attitude on the Israelis part. Netanyahu could stop all terrorism tommorow; by expelling every single inhabitant from Gaza. Weaken Israel and they might feel desperate enough to do it.

      Finally, the left wing hostility toward Israel is ignorant and tone deaf toward history. As the years go on we observe the incredible destruction reaked on Rhodesia/Zimbabwe by well meaning leftists. One of the most prosperous nations in Africa transformed into a basket case under Robert Mugabe. Leftwing anti-colionialists ought to talk to helpless disarmed white farmers in South Africa, or poor unemployed blacks in Zimbabwe before getting on their high horse about colonialism and apartheid. Of course I won't hold my breath, one can't expect serious reflection from people who learn their history from Michael Moore and Howard Zinn.

    • Juan,

      Point number five is what worries me. Hagel didn't just want a cease fire he declined to call Hezbollah a terrorist organization. This indicates that he believes private citizens have the right to go to wage war on foriegn countries, which would be insane. The U.S should never have pushed for a cease fire, Hezbollah needed to be disarmed and the Israelis were the only ones who could do it. Right now Lebanon has a private militia completely unaccountable and independent of the government, and this militia is even more powerful than the government! This is the equivalent of the U.S allowing the michigan militia to declare war on Canada! Hagel is either stupid or just ignorant, either way he doesn't belong in government.

      -Ben

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