Hagel Takes Over at Pentagon, Gives Bizarre Rambling Speech

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


The real question is whether the former Senator from Nebraska and Tehran gives any other kind of speeches. At the Department of Defense, Hagel gave a rambling speech in which he graciously informed the Pentagon that they were not joining his team, he was joining their team.

Then Hagel proceeded to share deep insights such as these from the bottomless pit of his intellect.

We are living in a very defining time in the world.  You all know that.  It’s a difficult time.  It’s a time of tremendous challenge.  But there are opportunities.  And I think it’s important that we all stay focused, obviously, on our jobs, on our responsibilities, which are immense, but not lose sight of the possibilities for a better world.

Staying focused is clearly a problem for Chuck.

If there’s one thing America has stood for more than any one thing, is that we are a force for good.  We make mistakes.  We’ve made mistakes.  We’ll continue to make mistakes.  But we are a force for good.

I think Hagel might be confusing America with himself. Should the Secretary of Defense commence by announcing that America is a well-meaning bumbling idiot?

As difficult as our jobs are with the budget and sequestration — I don’t need to dwell on all the good news there — that’s a reality.  We need to figure this out.  You are doing that.  You have been doing that.  We need to deal with this reality.

We’ve got ahead of us a lot of challenges. They are going to define much of who we are, not this institution only, but our country, what kind of a world our children are going to inherit.  I mean, that’s the big challenge that we have.  That’s the bigger picture of the objective for all of us.  Yes, it’s difficult.

Don’t worry, you’re not missing a point. There isn’t a point except possibly premature senility.

But it’s also pretty special.  I mean, when you think about generations and how many generations have had an opportunity to be part of something great, as difficult as this is, with everything, challenges coming at us, different kinds of challenges, cyber issues, you know all of them.  But we can really do something pretty special for our country.

Hagel is pretty special too, what with his cyber issues and everything.

And it’s also important for you to know that I’m committed to — and I’ve told the president this, the Congress — to assuring that every person in the Department of Defense, associated with the Department of Defense, civilian or military, is absolutely treated fairly, honestly, equal benefits, everything that each of you do should be dealt with on a fair and equal basis, no discrimination anywhere in any way.

This is the first time in his speech that Hagel said anything of substance, and it’s at the halfway point. Not only that it seems to be a vague assurance of political correctness of some sort, presumably involving gay rights and women in combat.

I’ve always believed that America’s role in the world is one that — and we’ve had variations of this throughout history — has been one that should engage the world.  We can’t dictate to the world, but we must engage in the world.  We must lead with our allies.

You can’t lead with your allies. You can work with your allies. You can lead by example. You can lead your allies. But you can’t lead with your allies.

But the good news is that Hagel doesn’t believe in America dictating to other countries. After twenty years of him pandering to Iran, China and every other dictatorship, this comes as a huge surprise.

Hagel will not be dictating to the world. The world will be dictating to Hagel.

  • Edward Cline

    Things that ramble are the play things of forces that don’t ramble, like tumbleweeds in the desert wind, or pigs and cars in the path of tornadoes and are flown hither and yon. Hagel's mind is a parcel of tumbleweeds, and will fly in the direction political and Islamic forces wish it to.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    G-d have mercy! Alas, with Chuckie as DM, Brennan as chief spook, and Kerry kissing who knows what, America, and the west, is going down fast – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/02/26/chuck-hagels-
    http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/02/27/chuck-hagels-

    On the other hand, it couldn't get any worse…unless the Iranian Hitler unleashes his WMD weapons.

    Don't know whether to laugh or cry…

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

    • Israel P.

      I'd say they are like The Three Stooges, but none of them has the brains to be Moe.

  • John C. Davidson

    Does media Matters write all the Dems scripts?

  • Anon

    Of course you can "lead with your allies." There is nothing to stop a group of people from working together to lead others.

    I believe Hagel is a disaster but this is really nitpicking.

  • BLJ

    Hagel sucks. Just like everything else about Comrade O and his gang of statists.

  • Gee

    The US military does discriminate – always has. They have done so with gender, religion, national origin and disabilities. These are not going to change anytime soon.

    Hagel is proving why he was a D student in college – he is a moron

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Discrimination on the basis of performance and needs will always be crucial for those that don't intend to lose.

  • Texas Patriot

    If ruthlessly eliminating America's enemies with a minimum loss of "blood and treasure" is the standard of excellence, Hagel will be someday be regarded as the greatest Secretary of Defense in the history of the United States. On the other hand, if needlessly wasting trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives on wars that cannot possibly "won" in any meaningful sense is the measure of success, he might not rate so high.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "If ruthlessly eliminating America's enemies with a minimum loss of "blood and treasure" is the standard of excellence,"

      You're not delusional at all, are you? Chuck's genius is all stealth, right?

      • Texas Patriot

        "Chuck's genius is all stealth, right?"

        Hahaha Let's just say that Hagel knows when to fight and when not to fight, and how to fight when its time to fight. If you care about military victory, you will enjoy Hagel's time at the Pentagon. If all you care about is pouring American blood and treasure into the bottomless pits of middle eastern deserts, then you may not enjoy it.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "If you care about military victory, you will enjoy Hagel's time at the Pentagon."

          I hope you're right. I hope he did fool 0'Bama. I fear you're wrong.

          "If all you care about is pouring American blood and treasure into the bottomless pits of middle eastern deserts, then you may not enjoy it."

          So Hagel will fix 0'Bama's bogus ROE policies? Looking forward to that too, but not holding my breath.

          • Texas Patriot

            Fair enough. Even Lindsey Graham says he is hoping for the best, and so should you. And "the best" from my perspective would be the instant decapitation of both the N. Korean and Iranian regimes and the destruction of their nuclear weapons production facilities, without the loss of a single American life.

            The good news is that we have the technological capacity to do just that, but up until now we haven't had anyone with the nerve to actually pull the trigger. Unfortunately, most politicians have preferred to spend American money and sacrifice American soldiers rather than actually do what needs to be done. But if you think Obama/Hagel lack the nerve or that they won't pull the trigger, I think you (and our enemies) will be very surprised.

            So let's both hope for the best and wait and see how it plays out, but if Obama/Hagel proves to be the ruthless hunter/predator terrorist killing team I think they will, you will probably owe them both an apology.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "So let's both hope for the best and wait and see how it plays out, but if Obama/Hagel proves to be the ruthless hunter/predator terrorist killing team I think they will, you will probably owe them both an apology."

            I always do hope for the best. Now that he's there, your scenario is our best hope. I just don't think it's a real hope. That is however, an apology I would enjoy making more than you can imagine.

          • Texas Patriot

            Great. The good news is we can't afford another $4 trillion protracted and hopeless land war half way around the world, much less two more. If N. Korea and Iran continue with their provocative attempts to develop nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, we will have no alternative but to "defang" them both with the quickest, most effective, and least expensive means available. And that is precisely what I think we will do.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "The good news is we can't afford another $4 trillion protracted and hopeless land war half way around the world, much less two more."

            I don't know anyone who's suggesting that approach. Holding patterns are actually where we spend the most cash over time.

            "If N. Korea and Iran continue with their provocative attempts to develop nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, we will have no alternative but to "defang" them both with the quickest, most effective, and least expensive means available."

            That's close enough to what I've been saying.

            "And that is precisely what I think we will do."

            Where did you get that idea? I'm all for it, I just can't see it at all. I see someone in over his head who never fully understood America's enemies but I could be wrong. I'm simply focusing on the evidence available.

            Feel free to share the reasons for your analysis and confidence.

          • Texas Patriot

            Mostly it stems from considering our various military capacities and evaluating which one would work the best in different scenarios. It's also a product of analyzing how this president has dealt with existing threats thus far in his presidency.

            Obama is a realist and understands probably better than anyone on the planet the risks we face as a nation and the resources we have for confronting those risks. And he likes Hagel. Whatever Obama decides to do, Hagel will make it happen. Thus far Obama's strategy has been one of precision targeting and ruthless elimination of America's enemies with a minimum of loss of American "blood and treasure". And I suspect that approach will continue in the event N. Korea and Iran become problems we can no longer tolerate.

            The reason most people misunderstand Obama is that unlike almost every other president we have had in the last sixty years, he never telegraphs his punches or says very much about what he's doing until it's all over. Typically he just attacks silently, and moves on to the next problem without saying a word.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "Mostly it stems from considering our various military capacities and evaluating which one would work the best in different scenarios. It's also a product of analyzing how this president has dealt with existing threats thus far in his presidency."

            If all you had to go by was his use of unmanned plane "targeted assassinations" then you might have a point. All of the other evidence suggests that this program is a red herring. Where were those drones when we needed them in Libya? Strange how there's no real evidence he didn't get permission from the Saudis before deciding who got their "72 virgins" on any given day.

            I was hoping you were a family member of Hagel who knew something the rest of us don't. I'll still hope for the best and plan for the worst.

            "The reason most people misunderstand Obama is that unlike almost every other president we have had in the last sixty years, he never telegraphs his punches or says very much about what he's doing until it's all over. "

            Look at the middle east and tell me you still think that he's a genius with a grand plan to make sure America remains the defender of liberty.

            "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

            That's telegraphing quite a bit in my mind. Maybe he's crazy like a fox. I'm still not confident about our future at this point.

          • Texas Patriot

            You're a pretty funny guy. Why don't you tell us who supposedly made that quote about who the future belongs to. Are you saying Obama said that? Then why don't you provide us with a link?

  • JacksonPearson

    Watch for Hagel to operate the Pentagon, and our military in a "bizarre" way as well. Why?…Because he's exactly the kind of person that will fulfill Obama's on-going Cloward/Piven strategies!

  • Boogie's Daddy

    RAND PAUL voted for him! That's all I'll ever need to know about Rand Paul.

  • Texas Patriot

    Right you are. Rand Paul is the only elected Tea Party official that did not immediately join the hopelessly outdated neocons in competing for special interest handouts. Good for him!

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "…every person in the Department of Defense, associated with the Department of Defense, civilian or military, is absolutely treated fairly, honestly, equal benefits, everything that each of you do should be dealt with on a fair and equal basis, no discrimination anywhere in any way"

    We can't make any distinctions between people who can't perform their jobs and those who might have some use. We must focus entirely on politics. You''re either an 0'Bama player or you're out.