In July 2001, 96 U.S. senators voted to extend sanctions against Iran. Chuck Hagel was one of only two senators who voted against sanctions. A year later, he urged the Bush administration to support Iranian membership in the World Trade Organization.I don’t know whether Obama nominated this guy as a calculated affront to Israel (and, for that matter, an affront to anybody who believes in a strong America), or whether it was the president’s idea of a practical joke, or whether, as some have argued, because of Hagel’s obvious utility as a means of enabling the president to reduce the U.S. to the status of a third-rate power. I frankly don’t care about the motive. I just know that this is a deliriously wrong-headed move.
Even more disturbing, Hagel voted against a 2007 measure that called for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to be designated a terrorist group. (At the time, the IRGC was aiding and equipping Shiite militias that were murdering U.S. troops in Iraq.) A few weeks after this vote, Hagel sent a letter to President George W. Bush asking him to launch "direct, unconditional, and comprehensive talks" with the Iranian government, which the State Department has labeled a state sponsor of terrorism every year since 1984.
In July 2008, Hagel recommended that Washington go beyond direct talks and establish a U.S. diplomatic mission in Tehran. Later that month, in a Senate Banking Committee vote, he was one of only two senators to oppose the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act. (Obama signed a subsequent version of this bill in July 2010.)
Finally, in his 2008 book, "America: Our Next Chapter," Hagel appeared to suggest that the United States could live with a nuclear Iran, writing that "the genie of nuclear armaments is already out of the bottle, no matter what Iran does."
Friday, January 11, 2013
Chuck Hagel: Iran’s useful idiot
Senator John Cornyn has written a brief article which appears on the CNN web site, entitled “Why I can’t support Chuck Hagel”. A sample: