Two Democratic and two Republican members of the committee that will hold the hearing to confirm - or deny - former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., as President Obama's pick to succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that "questions" remain to be answered about the rogue Republican before they will commit to voting for him.
At Global Research, Bill Weinberg notes:
Hagel is a leading light of the Atlantic Council, an elite foreign policy think-tank with an emphasis on charting Washington’s posture vis-a-vis its NATO allies. He is also a close friend of Big Oil, it appears. Political Guide informs us that in 2003, he voted against an amendment that would have prevented “fast-tracking” of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). In 2005 he voted against a bill to decrease oil dependence through such measures as increased Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. In 2006, he voted for the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which would have opedned up more areas of the Gulf to offshore drilling. On The Issues informs us that he also voted no on a measure that would have mandated unilateral US action on carbon emissions without waiting for similar action from India and China; voted no on removing oil and gas exploration subsidies; and voted no on a proposal to amend the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to make oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal.
Get the picture? As we have long argued, the “pragmatists” or paleocons are that wing of the political elite most ensconced in the oil industry—who have the most invested in a stable Middle East where they can do business. They are thoroughly comfortable with thoroughly oppressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf mini-states. The pro-Israel neocons are more rooted in the policy think-tanks, and finance capital. Neither are friends of freedom—however much the neocons may appeal to pro-democracy sentiment, and however much the paleocons may appeal to those concerned with justice for Palestine.
I pray for Hagel not to be confirmed.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"