Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gates Out, Hagel In?

The hot, hot rumor in Washington right now is that Robert Gates will step down as Secretary of Defense and be replaced by a Republican-In-Name-Only, former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel.
Gates is said to be frustrated and unhappy in the Obama cabinet where he's in the uncomfortable position of trying to defend policies that he previously criticized. Apparently, the Defense Department job did not turn out the way Gates had hoped because President Obama has turned away from policies that he once indicated he would embrace.
Rather than openly criticize the President, many believe that Gates will simply resign.
That will open the door for Hagel who is said to be anxious to take the cabinet post. Hagel is a virtual isolationist and would apparently fit in with emerging Obama policies that would have us disengage from hot spots (including Iraq and Afghanistan) while embracing unilateral disarmament and reaching out to dictators such as the Castro brothers in Cuba.
In the end, all of this still seems (as with much of Obamathink) to be more about the previous administration than the current one. Hagel was a frequent, vocal and often irrational critic of the Bush Administration and that appeals to the Obama crowd.
If they feel that can pull this off, the Obamatons will go for it.


Josh said...
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Josh said...

There have been sanctions and an embargo on Cuba for almost half a century, covering both Republican and Democratic presidents. Yet they didn't drive Castro from power. If anything, they gave Castro (and now his brother) the rallying cry he needed to keep the military behind him and stay in power, especially once the Soviet Union fell.

Same deal with Iran. We've tried isolating them and sanctioning them for 30 years now. And the Islamic Republic regime is still in power. And it's just as hostile to America now as it was right after the revolution.

In other words, being the bad cop has failed. So there are three options:

1. Try to engage them peacefully
2. Invade them and forcibly change governments the way we did with Iraq
3. Fire up the Minuteman IIs in Wyoming and North Dakota and turn Iran and Cuba into parking lots.

Barring the reinstitution of the draft (which no politician with hopes of staying in power will ever go for), #2 is impossible. And I think even the most hard core conservatives would find the millions of deaths sure to result from #3 to be reprehensible.

So what do you suggest Dan?

Dan Cirucci said...

There is another alternative: Continue the present policy for now. I see no need to abandon our policy of embargoes and marginalization. Castro would have had a rallying cry with or without us.
Continue to isolate them (Cuba and Iran) and await a time of instability or weakness -- then, strike.