Chuck Hagel, Obama’s “moderate Republican” Defense Secretary was forced out of office a couple of days ago.
The administration’s clumsy handling of the Middle East mess left by the Bush administration, together with the anti Obama AIPAC pressure on Congress, and the Netanyahu demands for attacks on Syria and Iran, have emboldened the Washington neo cons to beat their drums of war even more loudly. Hagel was not their man.
Below I have linked to six articles on the general subject to give both the background of the firing and the probable consequences. The best understanding of the reasons for the firing is given by Robert Parry a highly experienced independent reporter writing on his news site “Consortium News”
The most recent resurrection of the chicken hawks began with publication of a May 2014 Robert Kagan piece in the The New Republic (item 6 below). The piece is a hodge-podge of neo fascist dreck about America’s “indispensibility” and America’s “responsibility” for maintaining “world order”. Nowhere is there a word about America’s responsibility for millions of deaths, and tens of millions of refugees caused by USGovt initiated illegal wars. Nowhere is there any mention of America’s responsibility for leading mitigation programs to alleviate climate change, perpetual war, extreme poverty, or any other existential threats faced by humanity. Nor is there any mention of America’s flouting of UN mandates on illegal invasions, kidnapping and torture. The long Kagen piece is worth reading only as an insight into the neo con view of international laws and international cooperative programs.
A month or so later, according to the June 2014 NYT (Item 5 below), Obama invited Kagan to lunch to discuss foreign policy.
Five months later, with the Levant aboil, Obama fired Hagel and stalled the Iran peace talks.
Item 1 below is an NYT Nov 24 view of the firing.
Item 2 is a Guardian (UK) Nov 24 view of the event
Item 3 is a Nov 24th Robert Parry “independent media” view of the firing published in Consortium News
Item 4 is a Nov 24 Gareth Porter “indepedent media” view of the now stalled Iran talks from Middle East Eye
2. Guardian (UK)
Spencer Ackerman in New York and Dan Roberts in Washington 24 November 2014
The US defense secretary has been fired after less than two years in office as the White House reorders a national security strategy upended by the Islamic State (Isis).
Chuck Hagel, Barack Obama’s third Pentagon chief and a former Republican senator, will leave the Department of Defense just weeks after his spokesman said Hagel was looking forward to serving “for the remainder” of the Obama administration….
3. Consortium News
Exclusive: At the start of Barack Obama’s second term, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was seen as the best hope for standing up to the neocons, inside and outside the administration.
…..The tragedy of Obama is that I’m told that he understands the stupidity of the modern U.S. establishment and does sometimes consult with “realists” who offer practical advice for how he can resolve some of the most nettlesome problems facing the United States around the world. But he does so virtually in secret, with what politicians like to call “deniability.”
Obama operates one foreign policy above the table – pounding his fist along with the neocons against Syria, Iran and Russia – and another foreign policy below the table, dealing with adversaries in ways necessary to confront global challenges, such as collaborating with Iran to counter the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and with Russia to address challenges with Iran, Syria, Libya and elsewhere.
4. Middle East Eye
To understand why the talks have remained deadlocked, it is necessary to review the Obama administration’s stance on diplomacy with Iran in the context of the long US history of favouring “coercive diplomacy” over traditional negotiations in managing conflicts with adversaries….
6. New Republic
Almost 70 years ago, a new world order was born from the rubble of World War II, built by and around the power of the United States. Today that world order shows signs of cracking, and perhaps even collapsing…..