In an article that basically sums up my views, Greenwald questions whether progressives have their priorities straight. Greenwald, a harsh critic of Obama on foreign policy, believes that this notion of Democrats being more dovish than Republicans is an outdated way of viewing foreign policy. In his view, of which I subscribe, there is a large bipartisan foreign policy establishment thats pushing for us to go to war with Iran. The other democrats who were under consideration are technocrats who are part of that establishment, and up until now, Obama has kowtowed to that establishment. Hagel is the only nominee Obama has EVER put forward who is a break from that and who offers the best hope to resist another bloody war. The fact that he has an R next to his name is pointless, and why its an obsession at Daily Kos is beyond me:
There's a reason Hagel's nomination has become so intensely controversial and such a vicious target for war-cheering neocons such as Bill Kristol and the Washington Post Editorial Board. It's because Hagel is one of the very, very few prominent national politicians from either party who has been brave enough to question and dissent from the destructive bipartisan orthodoxies on foreign policy. What plausible Democratic candidate for this job has been willing publicly to point out that the US and Israel are separate countries and American interests should trump Israeli interests when they conflict, or to advocate for direct negotiations with Hamas, or to candidly point out that America's Middle East wars are fought for oil, or to condemn the power of the pro-Israel lobby within both parties, or to harshly point out the stupidity of attacking Iran rather than cowardly mouth the "all-options-on-the-table" platitude?I could not agree more.
---Given the steadfast and usually unquestioning support most liberals have given this Democratic President as he's pursued policies of aggression and militarism, they should refrain from opposing one of the few prominent dissidents on these matters absent some very compelling reasons. So far, nothing remotely compelling has been offered. If this nomination actually happens, this will be one of Obama's best appointments and boldest steps of his presidency. It would be ironic indeed, and more than a bit unfortunate, if liberals decide to make this nomination one of the very few times they are willing to oppose their party's leader.