Hagel hearing heavy on theater, short on heft

Hagel hearing heavy on theater, short on heft

Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee from both sides of the aisle used few of their questions to the next likely defense secretary on the subjects that will dominate most of his time at the Pentagon. Instead, the senators grilled former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb, on his stance on Iran, his support of Israel, and whether the Iraq surge was successful.

Senator, how about the trillion dollar next generation fighter program that has one variant grounded and a testing regimen still running behind?

No, lets spend more time talking about the Iron Dome and how well it did protecting Israel.


Senator, what about the $52 billion you might have to cut from the Pentagon’s budget in a 7-month span before you even have a chance to set the picture of your family on your desk?

Sure, sequestration was briefly mentioned during Thursday’s hearing, but more time and theatrics were spent dissecting an interview Hagel did with Al Jazeera four years ago with  Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, suggesting that Hagel’s responses to callers’ questions promoted anti-American propaganda.

From the beginning of the confirmation hearing that started at 9:30 a.m. and didn’t end until Sen. Carl Levin slammed his gavel at 5:49 p.m., Republicans remained focused on Hagel’s record on Israel and Iran.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., spent his time debating with Hagel whether the Iraq surge was effective. Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, had said in the public debates over the surge that it would be one of the greatest blunders in the country’s history since the Vietnam War. McCain ordered Hagel to give him a yes or no answer until finally conceding and listening to Hagel’s explanation of why he lobbied against the surge.

Hagel is certainly not blameless in the eight hour marathon of repeating the same questions without covering much new ground. In the few times a senator did ask a pointed question about the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, N.C., or the next generation Ohio-class submarine program, he provided vague answers or asked for more time to receive more information.

That’s not the point of these hearings, after all. It’s all about serving and making sure the nominee does not put his foot in his mouth. Hagel got close to tasting his toe nails when he said he supported President Obama’s policy of containing Iran. He quickly corrected that statement.

Nominees very rarely make it to a confirmation hearing unless the White House has counted the votes and knows he or she will pass through the Senate gauntlet. After reaffirming his support for Israel and distancing himself from proposed engagements with Iran, it appears that Hagel will maintain the necessary support he needs from the Democrats to pass through the Senate.

If so, it will certainly be the last time he’s so rarely grilled on specific weapons programs to each one of those senators states. And it’s likely to be the fewest mentions of the Joint Strike Fighter, Ground Combat Vehicle or Littoral Combat Ship that he’ll hear in any of his future hearings.

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“Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee from both sides of the aisle used few of their questions to the next likely defense secretary on the subjects that will dominate most of his time at the Pentagon. Instead, the senators grilled former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb, on his stance on Iran, his support of Israel, and whether the Iraq surge was successful.”

Mr Hoffman, don’t think Iran, Israel and the decision to employ troops won’t be important in the nar future? No doubt the budget is an issue but I sense your concern for the questioning is more based on Hagel’s poor performance. Maybe they should have asked him about the superbowl? There is plenty of time to discuss the GCV, F35 etc. as each of those issues will be discussed on the hill. This is the only opportunity to get Hagel’s thoughts and how he thinks which will have an impact on future events.

Should we ask him why he doesn’t think the Iranian Republican Gurad isn’t a terrorist group after they shoot up one of our ships?

Hagel in Thursday’s hearings displayed himself to be utterly out of his depth with regard to the details of DOD operations, and then defended that astonishing lack of understanding by saying that he was “not going to be in a policymaking role.”

“Not going to be in a policymaking role”? Seriously? As SECDEF? Seriously? While in one of the most in-depth policymaking roles in the entire federal government?

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

He’s there to support the President’s policies. Wasn’t that abundantly clear from his testimony ? Everywhere disagreed with current adminstration policy in this past — on the Afghan surge, on repealing DADT, he has now changed his position. Actually I’d didn’t have the patience or the fortitude to listen to it all. After I heard McCain roast him to blazes on C-SPAN on the way home, I couldn’t take any more. I did form the impression that Hagel will be very squeemish about putting troops in harm’s way — the more positive spin on this was a Democratic talking point — and that he has a taste for exaggeration.…“Iraq is the biggest US foreign policy disaster since Vietnam”. Self-fulfilling prophecy, and you never quite hear the explanation why this so — it is just thrown out as a self-evident truth. Not to me.

Hagel’s testimony wasn’t great, but it doesn’t doom his candidacy. The tenor of the discussion also reflects the broader struggle underway in Washington, to control the agenda.

Agree that, as cabinet secretary, he role is to support the President’s policies.

I put less stock in the foreign policy questions. The SecDEF’s role is to prepare the DoD to resource or prosecute US foreign policy, usually in conjunction with other elements of national power. The role is less about making that policy.

Would not an Iranian Republican Guard attack on a USN vessel be an act of war, on behalf of a sovereign state, rather than terrorism?

Hopefully the new DefSec Hagel will hire around him people who know how to downsize the defense budget by using reorganizing skills. eople who know how to apply cost accounting principles on how to decide what departments are eliminated, combined, and know how to do cost benefit analysis. If it costs a billion dollars of geovernemtn employees to procure a half billion dolaars worth of training equipment… there is something wrong with that department. Industry spends about 5% overhead to procure products. Good luck to mr Hagel and hope he gets confirmed asd surrounds himself with a Non DOD Industry team that knows how to manage and streamline. Look at the British and French Military and how they are small, lean and mean and everywehere in the world we are, yet thier buegets are smaller than our Marine Corps.

Yes it was interesting in that there was no talk about DOD sequestration, but there was some reference to further DOD budget cuts. The DoD services have sent out memos telling the world about furloughs and curtailing operations, maintencnace, etc., for the CR and sequest budget shortfalls, so where in the hell is the other nearly trillion dollars going to being spent in the DOD this year? The OMB memo that came out 14 January 2103 talks about reducing labor costs and provides direction on how to that, and the DoD is ignoring it. Why? The huge hollow force is keeping a huge management bureacy and staffs that are destroying us. The message from DOD leadership is…“Keepthe huge civilian bureacratic staffs and acquistion processes in place…and cut the real part of the Navy, Army, Air Foce…but keep those thousands of double dipper jobs…!

Yeah, except it is the USAF getting them there, providing refueling, logistics support, etc. And — FWIW — it is those self-same “double dipper” jobs that are in line for 20% time off with no pay. If Hagel is really the caring people person his supporters say he is, he will think twice before summarily firing or laying off thousands of government employees. Especially if there is no long-term plan. Just from the standpoint of humane personnel management (if this is not a contradiction in terms), you need to look at the number of people you are accessing, how they progress through their working lives, when you need to fill in at the middle (there will be mid-career attrition no matter how humane and enlightened your personnel management policies are) and how they come out at the end (includes retirement pay and benefits. If, as is said about Hagel, he does not look at all this as an abstraction, that it is really about people, he’ll do his homework before imposing significant and permanent reductions to the workforce. And if not, then we’ll have learned something else about him.

“Look at the British and French Military and how they are small, lean and mean and everywehere in the world we are, yet thier buegets are smaller than our Marine Corps.”

Seriously? Neither of those nations can fight beyond their borders without logistical support from us. The French are fighting in Mali only because our aircraft took them there. When they fight “everywhere in the world we are” its because we’re feeding them.

I dont like this guy for the job for a few reasons. 1 he is anti Israel and would abandon our 1 true ally in the Mid East in a heart beat. 2 He is too soft on Iran. Our biggest enemy in the region since 1979 and has gotten away with killing US marines in Lebanon in 83 this nation deserves no mercy from the US at all so his lets get along attitude is wrong. 3 He has no executive experience and a Sec of Defense need alot of executive experience.

Israel is as much of an ally to us as Russia is. They allow US supplied jet engines to conveniently walk their way off an Air Base. They are of no strategic significance to the US other than the fact that they’re a democracy in the middle east. They have no resources that are of worth to the United States. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can pull troops out of the middle east and spend money on our own country instead of providing funding for the IDF.

“I’m excited to see somebody not bend in the wind like a ***** willow”

Except Hagel spent pretty much his entire confirmation hearing appearance doing precisely that.

Hagel said that he supported the Obama administration’s policy of “containment” of a nuclear Iran, and then minutes later he “bent in the wind like a ***** willow” and hastily walked back his remarks, once the chair of the committee passed him a note saying that containment is not actually administration policy.

Hagel then, when asked about his prior claims about how the “Israel lobby” allegedly exerts a sinister level of control over the US Congress, “bent in the wind like a ***** willow” when he admitted he was not able to name a single member of said Congress who he would consider to have been unduly influenced by said lobby.

Hagel described the government of Iran as “elected, legitimate”, and then he (you guessed it) once again “bent in the wind like a ***** willow” and had to distance himself from his own remarks he had just made, after it was made clear that even the administration in which he proposes to serve has criticized the transparency and legality of the elections in Iran.

Hagel is a deeply unserious man. Ideologically addled, unprepared for top level responsibilities, uninformed about the specifics of the job. He’s in so far over his head that he’s inspecting whale bellies. However, consider the fellow who put forth Hagel’s nomination, about whom precisely the same things could be said.

There’s an old rule in business that mediocre executives never hire superior subordinates. They hire further mediocre people instead. That rule holds in government as well. This administration has proven it repeatedly.

Frankly, I cannot say neither prevalent political parties have been standing for the citizens of this great nation. The $$ has taken place of ethical pols. Our president has been elected mainly because of race, he has never rewarded us with the transparency once promised. I don’t believe he even bothered laying that b.s. out again. Basically, he has taken the political advantage of the 5th, only the big bucks and the big bank rolls have maintained him in the Teflon lifestyle he has grown to love. Not bragging — at all, but I have a friend that worked with this guy on pressing for stem cell research. She actually spent a good amount of time when he poped up w/the ever charming Michelle( if my husband doesn’t get elected,she could not believe in America,Michelle) as a fervent activist​.in Chicago. I asked her if she’d heard from them once he took the office of president, nope, not even a follow through on his promised research projects. Oh well, I guess having your Parkinson’s afflicted old pals drop by the Oval Office for one of those famous beers would be not be tasteful.
Keep defending that 1st Amendment , ACLU, and trying to “disappear” the 4th. By the way, oddly enough, that 1st one had more to do with keeping government out of religion while keeping our citizens armed by the 4th…hey who knew we would ever want to quit the taxation and our much admired Eurporen ancestors were unwilling to let it go. Clearly,OHB will do what he wants to do. Sadly our pool of potential candidates on both side are getting worse. Tha media really seems to be in charge. No such thing a a person without mistakes in their past, too many lawyers hold office and they don’t play the game,Chicago style politicking has been around with deep pockets plus human weakness(greed and/or addictions ). Wonder what the main act of this flying circus will be?

“yet thier buegets are smaller than our Marine Corps.”

and so are their militaries…

And i can tell you that as soon as you realize you don’t know what your talking about you can see the real world. Some of the stuff our military has lost is terrifying. And most likely the israelies didn’t lose those engines they are somewhere in israel doing something. Or are in a warehouse lost.

Also those engines are old and to a plane damn near anyone has. So yea its not a F-22 francis calm down.

I was willing to give hagel a chance. Done. The man has no clue what most of the shit he talks about really is. Its like putting a car mechanic as the head of a engineering section on a US ballistic submarine. Add to that he seems to be the consumate politican believing in no more than he is told to or is needed.

Hagel is a Left-Wing lunatic.

Anyone surprised Obama nominated him?

One stinking enemy of this country nominating another.

Every good thing this country stands for is under assault — Obama is scum.

It didn’t sound like he knew much of anything. He was poorly prepared.

Or why doesn’t he think the US Navy is a terrorist group after it shot down an Iranian commercial plane? Of course I am not seriously arguing that the USN is somehow equivalent to AQ, but that it seems to be an article of faith among politicians that we must fight a shooting war against Iran. Containment has worked for over 60 years — the US is the only nation to ever use a nuclear weapon. I have never heard a convincing argument about why containment cannot work against Iran. I think it is just the powerful pro-Israel lobby in the US (Sheldon Adelson, AIPAC, the ADL and the like) who stifle real discussion. Hagel is right — he is an American legislator, not an Israeli one, and Israel should only be protected insofar as it protects/advances US interests.

To be clear, my feeling about US interests in regard to Israel is this — it is our interest to have peace and stability in the ME to protect trade. To that end, a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is very important — it is a major source of conflict in the region, and whether or not you believe that Iran is genuine in supporting the Palestinians (or is simply using the issue to enhance its own stature), at the least it serves as an effective propaganda tool for them. This will require twisting both Israeli and Arab arms, and I think the US is failing to do this out of political cowardice — our legislators are too worried about losing donations or saying something “controversial” to really use our power to push the process forward. I do not like the political values of Iran but I think 1) if they get nuclear weapons, they can be contained in much the same manner as the USSR or NK, and 2) they have an effective tool in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as it helps them to portray themselves as protectors of the poor and oppressed.

Feel free to discuss the role of Israel in our foreign policy or whether the US Navy or ourselves are terrorists. The “blame America first” crowds do it all the time to distract from the conditions that caused those decisions or lobbying efforts. BTW, we aren’t talking about AQ. We are talking about the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

My point remains that a former senator that votes against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard being considered a terrorist organization has a decidedly different view of the world than most Americans. I’m sure the next of kin of tortured and murdered LTC Higgins, the 200 plus Marines bombed in Beruit, the Americans executed in the Karbala raid are all fans of “containment” and its “successes”.

Oh and Hagel made the same mistake. Our policy is prevention not containment when it comes to Iran.

Once again, you hold it as a point of faith rather than an object of debate: “Our policy is…”, “view of…most Americans…”. Policies can change, and the US is a republic rather than a democracy because the majority can be wrong. I am not denying that the Revolutionary Guard has committed violence around the world, and I am also not anti-American. My point is that foreign policy is ugly: ask the Chileans, the Argentinians, the Nicaraguans or the Guatamalans if the US is a peaceful force that has never sponsored evil in other countries. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the Iranians, who were subjected to the violence of the Shah thanks to American machinations. My point in highlighting that the USN shot down an Iranian passenger jet (to which you never responded) is that enmity is not the same as terrorism — moreover, the Soviet Union sponsored violent groups around the world too but we never invaded them. The reason that we treat Iran differently is because of the pro-Israel special interest groups in the US who kowtow to whatever the policy of the current Israeli government is, in this case that of Benjamin Netanyahu (who, by the way, recently collected a lot less support from Israeli voters than people expected). As for your snarky remark that “We aren’t talking about AQ,” that was in reference to the idea of the “terrorist” label, which I feel is too often bandied about.

As for Karbala and Beirut, we shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Reagan pulled out of Beirut and Iraq was a sectarian war.

Yeah, you’re not a “blame America firster” but then you go about listing the dropping of the atomic bomb, the Vincennes, Chile, Argentina, the Nicaragua, Guatamala and Iran and as I predicted not the conditions or details that led up to those events. Your premise is wrong on a multitude of those issues as there were other actors in many of those nations.

There was no discussion of AQ here or in the story. If you think they are the only terrorists out there I’ll let you bathe in that misperception along with defending the decision not to categorize the Iranian Republican Guard in that same category.

Nah, not much need to discuss the role of Israel I know where you are coming from. Keep talking though. I’m sure there’s not enough you can blame on America.

I’m not “blaming” America because I think there was some justification for those things — namely, combating Soviet influence during the Cold War. My point is that there is no such thing as a non-violent foreign policy and that holding other nations accountable to higher standards than we follow or calling them terrorists for doing things that we do is simply illogical. I believe that the term “terrorist” must have a real, consistent meaning for it to be used. Rolling Iran into the GWOT is dangerous, as they are a rational state actor with clear foreign policy objectives as opposed to AQ. Of course AQ is important here because we are talking about the classification of an organization as “terrorist” in nature — if you have a better example, feel free to use it. Also, re: Karbala/Beirut/Cold War — yes, containment has costs too. However, I think the costs are lower than all-out war and that the benefits are greater — relative stability in the ME and strong trade.

As for my remarks about Israel, I am not an anti-Semite and do not wish to be labeled as such. However, 1) we are talking about Hagel, whose remarks about Israel have been controversial, 2) the issue with Iran involves Israel, and 3) though I realize this viewpoint is entirely self-serving, I essentially think that my viewpoint on Iran is rational and that the pro-war attitude against them is not. In trying to explain why there is such overwhelming consensus among our political elites about using force to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons when we have faced nuclear-armed enemies for a long time before (USSR, NK, China) I cannot help but fixate on the pro-Israel political lobby. If there is another possible reason for this irrational attitude, please explain it to me.

On a more personal note, I understand that you are an Army Mechanized officer and that you studied under McMaster. I have never served in the military — total civilian here, and I respect your service to this country. However, I read Dereliction of Duty and what I took from it most of all is that leadership is earned, not assumed — LBJ and McNamara may have had the titles, but they lacked the necessary vision and strength. I hope that you are as troubled as I am that the two of us have had a better discussion here than any that I have ever heard in Congress.

My point was and remains the questioning of Hagel was appropriate and his voting against categorizing the IRGF as a terrorist organization deserves answers. You can fiddle with the definition of terrorist. There’s no doubt the IRGF is a terrorist organization. Feel free to argue it isn’t.

My point remains the line of questioning was totally appropriate. Again, feel free to discuss foreign policy. Maybe you should have posted a separate thought as opposed to twisting my comments with psychobabble about how evil the US has been?

BTW, I spent just about an equivalent amount of time in light infantry units and McMaster and I both served as instructors at the Academy at the same time. We were peers at the time. I never studied “under” him though we have met and talked. I’m sure he has a lesson or two I could take note of. It has nothing to do with this discussion, Peratus…

I apologize for misunderstanding your relationship with McMaster. I found Dereliction of Duty to be a very influential book, and I read a comment from you that you studied with him, and I misunderstood that to mean that he taught you — I am sorry for that misunderstanding. You are right, I can “fiddle” with the definition of terrorism BECAUSE it is poorly defined — was the VC a terrorist organization? Was the Continental Army a terrorist organization? Was the Confederate Army a terrorist organization? On the one hand, you could argue that all 3 were because they fought against an established government and killed civilians. However, don’t you think that all 3 are different from AQ and should not be included in the GWOT? You assert that the IRGF is indisputably a terrorist organization but I think it is disputable because they are a state body advancing a clear foreign policy — completely different from AQ who wants to dismantle governments in the name of chaos and who does not govern any stated territory with the consent of its populace. If you are so sure that the definition of terrorism is established, explain it to me. Asking the question, “What is terrorism?” is not just psychobabble but a legitimate point. The way that you try to relegate it to a question that must not be asked at all only reinforces my point that the level of debate in this country is very low and relies on the same sort of puppy-huddling and groupthink that took us into Vietnam.

Don’t over think his nomination. His sole job as DOD chief will be to get the generals in line to downsize the DOD and cut budgets to the bone. In Hagel he has a willing partner. It is nothing more than that.

If Obama is scum, then so must be the majority of voters who re-elected him. I voted for this quiet, good, sensible man. And would again. Let’s repeal the 22nd Amendment. And, sir, if you have a shred of sense, you’ll examine the basis for your opinion. A little too much Fox?

The headline is incorrect: the Hagel ‘testimony’ delved into some very significant policy issues as well as Hagel’s record on many issues, such as the success of the surge in Iraq, which he still refused to admit to. The conversation on containment of Iranian nucs, in which Hagel demonstrated that he didn’t know the Administration’s policy, was sufficient to draw the conclusion that he is UNQUALIFIED for the job by virtue of his insufficient grasp of facts and policies and his lack of understanding of the ramifications of existing policies. Hagel is not intellectually up to the job of Secretary of Defense.

Off your med again?

“Hagel is not intellectually up to the job of Secretary of Defense.”

In the confirmation hearings, Hagel essentially had to admit that he had no idea even how big the DoD budget is. He said he thought the baseline was around 5% of GDP. In reality, it’s about 3.5%.

What’s a quarter of a trillion bucks between friends anyway?

Can you _imagine_ having someone apply for a top level executive position at a private sector company, and then revealing in the hiring interview that he had no earthly idea about the company’s operations or products or revenues? And then having him admit sadly to you that “there are a lot of things that I don’t know about,” but then promising to learn more about the job once he’s been hired for the job?

Absolutely unbelievable. Hagel represents a deeply unserious choice for one of the most serious jobs in the world, that of US SECDEF. Our country, and our men and women in uniform, deserve far better than this floundering failure.

Maybe you’re off your medication?

Or should I say — Up Yours.

“If Obama is scum, then so must be the majority of voters who re-elected him.”

Not scum. Just badly deluded, as you have shown.

Here is a question I would have loved to hear a Senator ask him, According to some reports about Obama limtus test to the General asking if they would fire upon American Citizens, do you support this test of our Military Generals? Better question is would the enlisted actually fire on American Citizens if Obama ordered it

Shred of sense?

Keep listening to MSNBC — Harry Reid — Nancy Pelosi — et al.

Stay off the medical marijuana.

Jerk.

“You assert that the IRGF is indisputably a terrorist organization but I think it is disputable because they are a state body advancing a clear foreign policy”

The Iranian regime embraces terror as a tool of diplomacy. We do not. The IRGF is the primary tool to execute terror ops around the world and has a well documented record of suicide bombers, kidnappings, murdering American to include five unarmed American prisoners at Karbala. You cannot put the Continental Army or Confederate Army in those same categories unless you are desperate to muddy the waters in your “blame America first” approach to foreign policy.

Using your logic the SS including the Einsatzgruppen weren’t terrorists because they were advancing a “clear foreign policy” for the Nazis. Brilliant! Keep talking. You’re doing as well as Hagel did.

Anybody else see anything hilarious about anyone from Texas, like Senator Ted Cruz, implying that Hagel’s response to some questioner revealed an “anti-American propaganda”? Are you shitting me? From Texas! The state most often mentioned with so much anti-American garbage that they openly call for secession from these “United States of America!” Damn, they make em stupid in that state!!!! but why do they need to send them to Washington to embarrass themselves and the rest of the nation.

Let me guess, you probably considered IdiotBush “qualified’ for the presidency despite the fact that he thought Africa was a nation, or the fact that couldn’t name the head of many states or their location on the map, or that he wondered “is our children being educated” or whether one could “put food on his family” ? Is that the sign of competence you’re looking for? Forget his lack of grasp of basic geography, or his inability to put together a coherent sentence for the moment and consider what he did to the economy, from which we have yet to recover; is this perhaps the “competence” you’re seeking?
It appears to me that you and Fritz are “intellectually unqualified” to comment on Hagel or anyone else for that matter. Don’t forget your scheduled meeting in the third and fourth stall of the men’s room.

If Iran deserves “no mercy” on the basis of killing 83 of our military personnel, what’s your verdict for Israel which killed over a 100 of our military on the USS Liberty?

Does anyone in the Defense Department know what the budget is? Didn’t Rumsfeld admit before Congress that he had no idea what happened to a couple of pallets of our dollars after they left for someplace in the Middle East, „that amounted to Billions of dollars and SecDef had no idea what happened. Where was your concern for that “most serious job” when Rumsfeld held the job? You’ve got your “torque wrench” adjusted too tightly and it’s constricting your brain into issuing idiotic partisan bullshit.

Ted Cruz an embarrassment?

Why don’t you crawl back under the Left-Wing rock you slithered out of..

It’s Hagel and Obozo that are the F***ING embarrassment.

In all fairness to Hagel the Defense Budget to GDP ratio keeps bouncing around. He’s “only” four years out of date. Yes it WAS about 5% at the end of the Bush Adminstration, when the economy was contracting and the Iraqi surge was in full force. No more. As it stands now, it is pushing downward in that 3.5 range, will probably go to 3% (Barney Frank’s objective number) if sequestration defines the baseline. If Chuck Hagel really thinks that 2% was “bloat”, he has a rendezvous with reality in his future.

Wow Jay, are you an a$$hat to everyone you reply to?

I do not have a “blame America first” approach — that is a canard that you have created. As I have said before, there is no such thing as a non-violent foreign policy and the US is no exception, nor is Iran, nor was the USSR, the British Empire, NK or any other country in the history of the world. Were Chilean, Argentinian, or Guatemalan civilians during the Cold War or Iranian civilians on board that plane armed? Sure, Americans were killed in Karbala but 1) we shouldn’t have been there in the first place and 2) I would say that was primarily the result of the local, sectarian war between Sunnis and Shi’ites, in which Iran took a side for religious reasons. Let’s not forget that AQ in Iraq took the side of the Sunnis. The reason that the IRGF is different from AQ and the GWOT is because the GWOT is designed against stateless enemies which must be combated in unconventional means around the word, while the IRGF is carrying out the foreign policy of a recognized state. Sure, Iran is hostile to the US. The IRGF has committed violence around the world. But it is a foreign policy issue more akin to dealing with the KGB/USSR than dealing with the AQ/GWOT. Iran, unlike the Nazis, has not invaded another country, and more importantly, we didn’t fight the Nazis as terrorists — we fought them in a conventional war because they crossed international borders and threatened our interests in a way that containment couldn’t solve (speaking of crossing international borders, I believe our “good friends” the Israelis have been accused of this to a much greater degree than the Iranians). War is policy by other means, and I think that containing Iran is the policy, and that it can be accomplished by much cheaper and more stabilizing means like sanctions and diplomatic isolation that by a drawn-out war (and don’t feed me the old tired BS about how airstrikes can solve all our problems — the Israeli airstrikes against the Syrian and Iraqi reactors were against much less fortified sites hosted by much weaker states, and that no major conflict has ever been resolved by air power alone).

Not a “blame America firster”? I’ll let the reader read YOUR words above and decide for himself. Ever heard “the lady doth protest too much me thinks”?

BTW, do some research about Mossadegh, how he came to power and the role of the Tudeh (Soviet supported Iranian communists). You also might want to look up the USS Stark and how it created the conditions for the Vincennes shoot down. “Blame America firsters” tend to forget little details like that.

Keep arguing the IRGF isn’t a terrorist organization. You did a great job with the SS.

Fine, let the reader read my words — I feel that I have expressed myself well and that you have simply refused to listen. The reason I brought up McMaster was not only because I recall you mentioning him in a previous post, but because I sense a similar trend of groupthink and escalating, unintended consequences as in Vietnam. When the US promises that it will prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, it must carry that policy out or end up totally embarrassed. That means committing to a full-on ground war, unless you think that LINEBACKER or Desert Fox was a raging success. You have presented absolutely ZERO support for the idea that containment of Iran cannot work. Yeah, I think Iran is opposed to the US ideologically and militarily. But what I also think is that we have faced such enemies before and dealt with them by containing them. If Iran ends up with nuclear weapons, but also isolated and impoverished, that is an acceptable outcome to me. That is a much lower-cost and more stabilizing outcome than an all-out war with them, I think. Rolling the IRGF into the GWOT is not only inaccurate, but is also a pretext for high-intensity war with Iran, which is simply poor policy for the US. If you want to actually argue any of these points rather than simply insulting me, or if you want to do any research about how the Shah came into power and retained it, respond. Other than that, I suppose we just have to agree to disagree.

“.….….….….heavy on theater, short on heft..”

that’s putting it mildly.….….….……

Doesn’t doom his chances as he is a former member of the club and so that pretty
much means the currents club members will put their chop on him.….…..

Oh, and by the way, I didn’t respond to your assertion that the SS was a terrorist organization because I found it so absurd. Do you really think the Nazis were terrorists? Hitler was evil, but he wasn’t a terrorist.

“Hitler was evil, but he wasn’t a terrorist.”

ter·ror·ism: /ˈterəˌrizəm/ Noun. The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

Boy, some would stop digging when they are in a hole.

Whatever your source, I disagree with it. As I have suggested in numerous examples, there is no such thing as non-violent foreign policy, including the US. The idea of defining terrorism as non-violent foreign policy is simply crazy. I feel that you have misunderstood my point, and perhaps that is in part my fault. However, I also find it incredible that you think the SS should be treated as a terrorist organization and target of the GWOT. Hitler was not a terrorist because he was a head-of-state (democratically elected — isn’t that supposedly the solution of all problems now, “spreading democracy”?) and did not spread chaos as a means of aggrandizing a small group. If I were you, I would not get into arguing the Nazis as terrorists, as most Americans were not in favor of fighting them until the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Oh, and BTW, I was a little confused by your “Peritus” reference — at first I thought you were just yanking my chain by sarcastically calling me “expert,” but now I see that you think I am some new variation of a previous poster. Not true — I have lurked here for about 2 months and have not yet created my own account.

Sorry for the mistype, I meant “terrorism as violent foreign policy”

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