According to The Wall Street Journal, Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel, during his hearings, had to backtrack on an especially embarrassing assertion that Iran’s rulers are “legitimate” and “elected.”
Hagel would never have said these things if he didn’t mean them. The question is, why would he consider — even for a moment — the religious dictators who control Iran to be legitimate and elected?
And what does it say about the American President that he wants someone with these views to head the United States military?
The people who support Obama are for the most part the same people who consider it a violation of rights not to have birth control or abortions paid for, made possible by people who don’t necessarily need, want or even agree with these things.The leaders of Iran will publicly hang you for being gay. How do supporters of Obama and Hagel reconcile these massively inconsistent views? In America, it’s practically considered a dictatorship if you don’t support free abortions; but if Iran installs a religious totalitarian dictatorship that makes the religious right in the United States seem mild-mannered, it doesn’t merit a complaint.
There must be something deeper going on here, not only with Obama and Hagel but with their supporters. Is it sympathy with religious fundamentalism? Possibly, at least in the case of Hagel, since he’s known for being anti-gay. Obama has been wishy-washy on the subject of religion. He didn’t support gay marriage before he did, and he utilizes religion whenever it’s convenient to rationalize his policy of enforcing the viewpoint that we are all our brother’s keepers — because he says so.
The deeper issue at work here, I believe, is not sympathy with religion so much as sympathy with totalitarianism. Obama has not installed a dictatorship in the United States, but he has been more than willing to play the role of dictator, at times. If Congress threatens not to pass new gun laws, he threatens to ram them through by executive order. If Congress doesn’t pass his environmentalist legislation, he rams it through the EPA. Who knows what would have happened if the Supreme Court had overturned Obamacare?
The reason Obama and Hagel don’t see Iran as a threat — or a monstrosity of injustice in the Iranian government’s enslavement of their own people — is because, quite frankly, they don’t see government dictatorship as all that big of a problem. At least, not if that dictatorship is run by the right people (meaning: Obama and his supporters.) It’s reasonable to say this because of Obama’s own attitudes and actions throughout his term as president so far. It’s reasonable to say this about Hagel since he actually supports this man, and wants to run his Pentagon at a time when America’s military is being deconstructed by massive cuts.
The Journal also reports that Chuck Hagel would be the first Pentagon chief who has endorsed the campaign to draw down U.S. nuclear forces to zero. Again, in the hearings he’s backing away from some of that, but his true positions are the ones he stated in the past, not now. And his true positions are what will guide him as defense secretary. More importantly, our commander-in-chief agrees with him, and selected him for precisely this kind of reason.
Most Americans probably don’t agree with Hagel and Obama that the U.S. should (at least ideally) reduce its nuclear defense capability to zero. But there is a group of people who would agree: Dictators. Rationally speaking, weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a country that respects the individual rights of its citizens (as the United States still partially does) is a good thing. It’s a powerful deterrent against dictators of any type (communist, fascist, religious) who want to use government force to enslave people.
If Obama and Hagel are unsympathetic to the United States as we’ve known it — as a defender of individual rights — then it logically follows that they’d just as soon (at least ideally) see the United States with no weapons of defense at all, if possible. The rest of us might say, “Are you crazy? We’d be overrun with dictators if we didn’t have these weapons.” To a president and defense secretary with the mentality of a dictator, that’s not really a threat. In the end, of course, they won’t give up their weapons because they don’t want someone else to be in charge. They want the force of government behind them to do the things that they consider for our own good, regardless of the individual rights and freedoms of those who disagree.
Obama is comfortable with the basic principles of dictatorship, which is why he is moving the United States as much in that direction as he possibly can. He’s not finished yet. It’s little wonder he doesn’t see an outright dictatorship such as Iran as a threat. In order to view it as a threat, he’d have to see something fundamentally wrong with a government treating its people in such a barbaric way.
To Obama and his ilk, government is the source of all good. He might prefer his brand of big government over another’s, but he’s all for a controlling and expanding government. This is why he has chosen a defense secretary whose real sympathies lie not with defense of the individual, but with those who rule over the individual for the good of the state.
Michael J Hurd
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