"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."
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.