President Barack Obama has already faced problems with his thought to appoint UN Ambassador Susan Rice to the State Department, and she dropped out and allowed him to move toward the appointment of Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee, to be his Secretary of State, but not yet announced officially.
But now, his planned but unannounced appointment of former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska to be his Secretary of Defense in his second term as President is meeting resistance.
The point to be made is that any President should be able to choose his team, particularly a National Security team, that fits his desires, and therefore, automatically, the President should be given slack to pick who he wishes.
The opposition to Hagel comes from those in the Pentagon who do not like that Hagel has said in the past that there is waste in the Defense Department that can be cut, a statement which has absolute validity. It is clear that Hagel would widh to “clean house” if he came to the Pentagon, but that is good, and should not be a reason to deny him the post.
Also, the Pro Israel Lobby, and particulary AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), is against Hagel because he has, at times, in the US Senate, been critical of Israeli policy in the West Bank, building Jewish settlements.
While certainly AIPAC can have its views on any nominee, it should not be allowed to deny a President who he wants, and the important point, that is necessary to say again and again, is that under no circumstances will Barack Obama and his government ever allow any harm to Israel, and this was made very clear in the recent Gaza Strip events when the IRON DOME system provided and financed by the United States, saved Israel from greater attack. But our government cannot and should not feel that it can be dictated to by ANY foreign government or pressure group to have to agree one hundred percent on every action and statement of a foreign government!
Also, in favor of Hagel, as well as Kerry, is that both were Vietnam War veterans, and understand the horrors of war, and it is great to have two such men, both having served in the Senate, and possessing great principles and courage, to head our National Security team under President Obama in his second term.
So, hopefully, the soon announcement of the appointments of Kerry and Hagel will be forthcoming!