March 5, 2014
Netanyahu's inaction to Obama's provocations sends powerful message
Kerry, after apparent criticism by Schumer, seeks to allay skepticism on diplomacy
How to ruin a perfectly good kid in 10 simple steps
2014 Oscars played it safe, but was faith lost in the shuffle?
Apple joins Hobby Lobby in touting corporate values beyond profit
March 3, 2014
Alina Dain Sharon: In the Hebrew calendar, a leap year has extra month, not day
Latest Obama appointment to prove Prez set on emasculating so-called Israel Lobby
Jewish World Review
April 4, 2013/ 24 Nissan, 5773
Hagel pulls rank -- with caution -- on thinning the ranks
Chuck Hagel was taking questions at Fort McNair on Wednesday after his first major speech as defense secretary when a man rose to ask about his recent comments on North Korea.
“I was misquoted again,” Hagel blurted out, without saying what he was misquoted about or who did the misquoting.
When the laughter subsided, Hagel mentioned his press secretary, George Little, who was in the audience. “He likes that kind of response,” Hagel said. “ ‘Keep your answers short,’ he says. ‘And deny like hell.’ ”
Hagel was taking the advice to heart in his address to the National Defense University.
The former Republican senator from Nebraska was being so careful, in fact, that he hardly deviated from his prepared text. He read so closely, stealing only furtive glances at the audience, that he looked like a novice swimmer gasping for air between strokes.
Just five weeks into his new post, Hagel can’t afford to mess up.
The gaffe patrol is on high alert after his rocky confirmation hearing, in which he described the Iranian regime as “legitimate” and misstated the United States’ policy on Iran’s nuclear program. And, since getting the job, he has had to confront multiple crises. His first trip as secretary, to Afghanistan, went awry when the erratic Afghan leader Hamid Karzai said the United States was in cahoots with the Taliban. Bellicose pronouncements out of North Korea have led Hagel’s Pentagon to boost missile defenses and to fly stealth fighter jets over South Korea.
At the same time, there is turmoil in Washington. A couple of days after Hagel took office, the sequester lopped about $41 billion off the military’s current budget, and President Obama’s 2014 budget, expected next week, is likely to seek smaller but permanent spending cuts. Hence Hagel’s speech Wednesday was a call for dramatic shrinkage of the military.
Of the domestic and foreign threats, the former may be tougher.
Hagel warned of the “spiraling costs” of the military’s structure, its benefits and new weapons development. He echoed warnings that without vast spending reductions, the Pentagon could become “an agency administering benefit programs, capable of buying only limited quantities of irrelevant and overpriced equipment.”
The Vietnam War sergeant drew a bull’s-eye around top brass, saying the military could learn from the private sector, which found that “reducing layers of upper and middle management not only reduced costs and micromanagement, it also led to more agile and effective organizations and more empowered junior leaders.”
“Today the operational forces of the military — measured in battalions, ships and aircraft wings — have shrunk dramatically since the Cold War, yet the three- and four-star command and support structures sitting atop these smaller fighting forces have stayed intact . . . and in some cases they are actually increasing,” Hagel said, also proposing “to pare back the world’s largest back office.”
This drew laughter from the young officers in the audience.
If Sgt. Hagel is serious about thinning the ranks of senior officers, the resulting fight could define his tenure as secretary. Already, he has set up regular lunches with junior enlisted personnel and visited the Army sergeant major’s office. In his speech, he made several references to his status as an enlisted man.
After the introduction by Gen. Gregg Martin, the NDU president, Hagel observed that it was unusual “for a fancy general to give such an overstated introduction to a retired Army sergeant.” After the speech, he offered to answer questions — “even if a general asks.”
Hagel’s cautious, monotone delivery made the speech a sleepy affair, and the listeners — in navy, black or green uniforms with chests full of ribbons — reacted little. But as is often the case with Hagel, things got interesting when he went off script, while taking questions.
Asked about China, he said, “I think the Chinese have shown their leadership to be steady, wise, careful.” Political prisoners might take a different view. The secretary also had sanguine thoughts about Egypt, which has become increasingly repressive and hostile: “If we would not have had the strong military-to-military relationship with Egypt, I’m not sure things would have turned out the same in Egypt over the last two years.”
He meandered from there to something about sewer commissioners before observing that “I am a bit far afield — but I am a former senator.”
The man who can’t afford to make mistakes was getting into dangerous territory. The final questioner, a German colonel, suggested that Hagel “delay the delivery of a warship or a tank” and instead pay for young American officers to travel. The audience applauded heartily.
“Colonel, you are well on your way to making general,” Hagel said, then considered his options for answering. “That’s a magnificent way to end this,” he said — and left the stage.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment on Dana Milbank's column by clicking here.
• 04/01/13 The NRA has effectively disarmed its critics
• 04/01/13 Obama on guns ---- he's missed his chance
• 03/22/13 Obama in Israel: The presidential tourist
• 03/21/13 On Syria, Iraq's shadow is long
• 03/20/13 Standing with Rand, nervously
• 03/19/13 The Grand Old Punt
• 03/18/13 Conservative Confab Turns Into A Three-Day Therapy Session
• 03/14/13 Republicans go after Obamacare. Again.
• 03/13/13 Paul Ryan's magical budget
• 03/12/13 The limits of charm
• 03/04/13 The same old song: In Washington, everyone fights rather than solves
• 02/26/13 Sequester? No problem. To the moon!
• 02/25/13 GOP governors make peace with Obamacare
• 02/21/13 For Jesse Jackson Jr., the rules do apply
• 02/20/13 A grand bargain on life support
• 02/18/13 Lindsey Graham's no deal
• 02/14/13 A Lew-dicrous loophole
• 02/13/13 Let the bleak times roll
• 02/12/13 Senator of the evening: Bob Menendez has been selling his influence
• 02/11/13 'Trust me' is not enough on drone warfare
• 02/07/13 Chip off the Paul block: How will Rand separate from his father?
• 02/06/13 Empty talk, happy talk
• 02/05/13 John Kerry, finally where he belongs
• 02/04/13 With a friend like Jim Inhofe ...
• 01/29/13 Rubio's immigration 'reality' show
• 01/27/13 Ryan And Pence Represent Polar Opposites Of GOP
• 01/24/13 Congress's daffy duck saga
• 01/22/13 So much for unity: Obama's speech failed to rise to the moment
• 01/21/13 Less an inauguration than a tepid rerun
• 01/03/13 The GOP's savior
• 01/03/13 Boehner defined by a Sandy sidestep
• 12/21/12 Obama in focus, yet all over the map
• 12/20/12 A deal or a mutiny
• 12/13/12 Joe Lieberman's sad send-off
• 12/10/12 Post-thought think tank: Why DeMint and Heritage are a perfect pair
• 12/06/12 Republicans wave the white flag
• 12/05/12 Romney's last duty
• 12/04/12 Obama's poor efforts at transparency
• 12/03/12 The urge to purge: Rational Republicans defy purists at their own peril
• 11/30/12 The naked 'fiscal' truth: Lawmakers can't hide the lack of progress
• 11/28/12 Santorum's new cause: opposing the disabled
• 11/20/12 Norquist in defeat
• 11/19/12 Susan Rice's tarnished resume
• 11/15/12 Let those poor states secede
• 11/12/12 Whole lot of blaming going on
• 11/08/12 At Romney headquarters, the defeat of the 1 percent
• 11/07/12 Why I voted Republican
• 11/06/12 Romney's new tune
• 11/01/12 The Supreme Court's dog-day afternoon
• 10/31/12 A perfect political storm
• 10/29/12 Behind the Clinton 'bromance,' a stealth campaign
• 10/25/12 A Trumped-up bomb
• 10/24/12 Groupthink Live: How conventional wisdom congeals in 2012
• 10/23/12 The sound of worldviews not colliding
• 10/22/12 The tea party is helping Dems
• 10/18/12 Moderate Mitt wins conservatives' blessings
• 10/16/12 Reid's latest salvos are beneath the dignity of his office
• 10/08/12 Obama pays price for ducking the questions
• 10/05/12 Mitt Romney holds his own -- and then some -- in first debate
• 10/03//12 The Zinger candidacy --- all sugary platitudes, no protein
• 09/25/12 Obama makes room for 'The View'
• 08/17/12 Hateful speech on 'hate' groups: The Family Research Council is no KKK
• 08/16/12 Now Dems are employing harsh tactics
• 08/14/12 Paul Ryan on soapbox at Iowa State Fair
• 08/13/12 Romney's welfare gambit
• 08/07/12 Harry Reid's latest broadside
• 07/26/12 Romney can't have it both ways on defense spending, tax cuts
• 07/19/12 Ron Paul, fed up
• 07/17/12 The rotten results of one-party rule
• 07/11/12 The missing giants of the Senate
• 07/09/12 Representative Gaffe
• 07/02/12 The umpire strikes back
• 06/25/12 Norquist delivers the GOP's marching orders
• 06/19/12 The left, feeling left out
• 06/18/12 Skip the falsehoods, Mr. President, and give us a plan
• 06/15/12 The Wall Street Senate
• 06/13/12 Jeb Bush's heresy
• 06/12/12 Pileup at the White House
• 06/11/12 Obama's fate could be in Europe's hands
• 06/04/12 Welcome to Camp Competitive
• 05/31/12 Digging a racial grave
• 05/30/12 A new conspiracy theory: Is Romney a unicorn?
• 05/29/12 Do Republicans really want to clone one for the Gipper?
• 05/24/12 Obama's protectors are under the microscope
• 05/22/12 Obama's Old World mess: Allies are coming up short at a key moment
• 05/16/12 Where have all the candidates gone?
• 05/15/12 Barack Obama, the first female president
• 05/14/12 Irrationality wins: Voter cure for Congress's failures will likely backfire
• 05/08/12 Obama's marriage mess: His advisers scramble to clean up his 'evolution'
• 05/07/12 Taking out Dick Lugar
• 05/03/12 Gingrich may have ended campaign, but he will remain out of this world
• 05/02/12 Our do-almost-nothing Congress
• 05/01/12 President Obama, campaigner in chief
• 04/25/12 Romney's immigration Etch a Sketch
• 04/23/12 A congressional deal on immigration? Dream on
• 04/19/12 Dems battle back against Republican 'war on women'
• 04/18/12 Debauchery: An American govermental specialty
• 04/17/12 Silent witness
• 04/12/12 Rebuffing Obama's gimmicky 'Buffett Rule'
• 04/11/12 Santorum's Gettysburg surrender
• 04/09/12 The facts vs. Mitt Romney
• 04/06/12 Mitt Romney, talking to the press, keeps the press at a distance
• 04/05/12 From tracking al-Qaeda to tracking the wayward spouse
• 04/04/12 Budget cuts as back-door deregulation
• 03/26/12 My pet Mitt
• 03/22/12 Mitt Romney's latest gaffe may be etched in history
• 03/20/12 Supreme Court conceives of life after death
• 03/15/12 Conservative for Obama: The British PM as campaign prop
• 03/14/12 In Section 60, a silent search for meaning
• 03/13/12 Super Friends, unite
• 03/12/12 It's time to believe: Romney's a winner
• 03/07/12 Settling in to Washington's ways
• 03/06/12 AIPAC beats the drums of war
• 03/05/12 Did Republicans forget the women's vote?
• 02/29/12 Mitt Romney's acceptance speech, in (mostly) his own words
• 02/28/12 Common ground becomes a great divide
• 02/27/12 An expert witness for the GOP gender gap
• 02/21/12 Where Romney shines
• 02/15/12 A Republican death wish?
• 02/14/12Obama's budget games
• 02/13/12 Are GOPers playing right into Obama's hands?
• 02/08/12 Obama pumps the compressor of Joe Hudy's Extreme Marshmallow Cannon
• 02/07/12 Abramoff's atonement
• 02/01/12 Why we in the media just love Newt
• 01/31/12 The end of the road for Newt Gingrich?
• 01/25/12 Gingrich is Obama's best surrogate
• 01/24/12 Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney's attack dog
• 01/16/12 Mitt Romney's Al Gore problem
• 01/12/12 Kamikaze Gingrich, on the loose in South Carolina
• 01/11/12 Journalists' campaign trail secrets revealed
• 01/10/12 Mitt Romney's money problem
• 01/09/12 Newtonian exceptionalism
• 01/05/12 Mitt Romney out of control
• 01/04/12 Indecision 2012: In Iowa and the GOP
• 01/03/12 Rick Santorum's curious closing argument
• 12/28/11 A few cracks in my crystal ball
• 12/23/11 A few cracks in my crystal ball
• 12/20/11 Strange brews and views?
• 12/19/11 Cellphone ban would be a distraction
• 12/15/11 Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and the Malfunction Minuet
• 12/14/11 The presidential auction of 2012
• 12/12/11 Newt's tactics comes back to haunt him
• 12/06/11 Can an anthem save Occupy non-movement?
• 12/05/11 The winner of the GOP campaign: Washington
• 11/30/11 Barney the bully: Congressman Frank's other legacy
• 11/23/11 Jon Kyl's search-and-destroy mission
• 11/21/11 Pay to play, brought to you by Washington
• 11/17/11 Big enough to save the supercommittee?
• 11/16/11 Why Newt Gingrich won't last
• 11/08/11 The 2012 campaign gets seedier
• 11/06/11 A Machiavellian model for Obama
• 11/03/11 The Herman Cain crack-up
• 11/01/11 Cain can --- he will survive
• 10/27/11 Stuntmen of the supercommittee
• 10/26/11 Democrats on the sidelines
• 10/24/11 Rick Perry's birther Parade
• 10/24/11 The birthers eat their own
• 10/19/11 The GOP's middle man
• 10/17/11 The waiting for nothing Congress
• 10/12/11 Sparsely occupied D.C.: Why the movement hasn't caught on
• 10/10/11 Can Obama strike an alliance with Occupy Wall Street?
• 10/06/11 Chris Christie, such a presidential tease
• 10/05/11 Obama and his foot soldiers go toe to toe
• 09/28/11 Cain could deliver
• 09/26/11 Republicans? Mr. Nice Guys?
• 09/22/11 Why Ron Paul is winning the GOP primary
• 09/21/11 I am a job creator who creates no jobs
• 09/20/11 Obama launches a revolution
• 09/19/11 Dems for Romney?
• 09/14/11 ‘Supercommittee’? More than stupor committee
• 09/07/11 Mitt Romney finds his (corporate) voice
• 09/01/11 The infallible Dick Cheney
• 08/31/11 This liberal says Perry is the ultimate conservative candidate
• 08/29/11 Wanted: More bite from Obama the Great Nibbler
• 08/10/11 How Rep. Austin Scott betrayed his Tea Party roots
• 08/09/11 The most powerful man on Earth?
• 08/08/11 The FAA shutdown and the new rules of Washington
• 08/04/11 Lt. Col. Allen West fires a round at the Tea Party
• 08/03/11 Government on autopilot
• 08/02/11 Dems mourn debt deal like death
• 07/27/11 Life imitates sport
• 07/26/11 Obama and Boehner take on Washington
• 07/21/11 Why Americans are angry at Congress
• 07/20/11 The new party of Reagan
• 07/18/11 Rob Portman, the boring Midwesterner who could bring sanity to the debt debate
• 07/13/11 John Boehner's bind
• 07/04/11 Stephen Colbert, Karl Rove and the mockery of campaign finance
• 07/01/11 President Puts Up His Dukes, As He Ought To
• 06/28/11 Rod Blagojevich verdict: All shook up
• 06/27/11 Progressives voice their anger at Obama
• 06/24/11 Mission accomplished, Obama style
• 06/22/11 Jon Huntsman's first step toward oblivion
• 06/21/11 Scott Walker finds making bumper stickers is easier than creating jobs
• 06/20/11 A day of awkwardness with Mitt Romney
• 06/06/11 Hubris and humility: Sarah Palin and Robert Gates on tour
• 06/02/11 The Weiner roast
• 06/01/11 Congress clocks in to clock out
• 05/30/11 Hermanator II: No More Mr. Gadfly
• 05/24/11 How Obama has empowered Netanyahu
• 05/24/11 Pawlenty bends his truth-telling
• 05/20/11 Default deniers say it's all a hoax
• 05/18/11: Gingrich gives voice to moderation
• 05/17/11: Donald Trump and the House of Horrors
• 05/16/11: The medical mystery of Mitt Romney
• 05/12/11: The body impolitic: Schock photos should tempt lawmakers to cover up
• 05/10/11: Muskets in hand, tea party blasts House Republicans
• 05/09/11: The GOP debate: America -- and the party -- needs the grown-ups
• 05/05/11: Mitch Daniels, an alternative to scary
• 05/03/11: Obama's victory lap
• 05/02/11: How the journalist prom got out of control
• 04/28/11: Obama's birther day: Why did he lower himself by appearing in the briefing room?
• 04/27/11: Obama, lost in thought
• 04/24/11: Andrew Breitbart and the rifts on the right
• 04/22/11: Ten Commandments for 2012
• 04/21/11: Obama likes Facebook. Facebook likes Obama.
• 04/18/11: Without Nancy Pelosi, Obama is adrift
• 04/15/11: If progressives ran the world
• 04/14/11: Faith in political apostasy
• 04/13/11: One man's revolution is another's political expediency
• 04/11/11: Shutdown theatrics
• 04/06/11: Paul Ryan's irresponsible budget
• 04/05/11: Robots in Congress? Yes, we replicant!
• 04/04/11: Robert Gibbs, Facebook and the White House corporate placement service
• 04/01/11: Haley Barbour, the fat cats' candidate
• 03/31/11: Republican freshmen in House shut down compromise, and possibly the government
• 03/30/11: Coburn and Durbin, the dynamic duo of the debt crisis
• 03/28/11: The Obama doctrine: A gray area the size of Libya
• 03/24/11: Dems as Weiners
• 03/23/11: Obama's quick trip from tyrant to weakling
• 03/17/11: Who's afraid of Elizabeth Warren?
• 03/15/11: The underwear flap over Bradley Manning
• 03/10/11: In Senate's debt debate, talk isn't cheap
• 03/09/11: With Obama's new Gitmo policy, Administration officials had some 'splainin to do
• 03/02/11: Issa press aide scandal is like bad reality TV
• 02/25/11: Jay Carney: Mouthpiece for an inscrutable White House
• 02/14/11: The Donald trumps the pols at CPAC
• 02/09/11: Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation
© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group