In the wake of Sec. of Defense nominee, Chuck Hagel’s less than stellar performance at his confirmation hearing, last Thursday, some in the left-wing media have lashed out at the mean old Republican hecklers on the Armed Services Committee. One left wing outlet (that shall remain nameless) accused Republicans of using “quote cropping tactics” to distort Hagel’s words. Ted Cruz stands accused this nefarious tactic in his airing of an exchange between Hagel and a talk show host on al Jazeera in 2009. On the program, Hagel had been asked to respond to the following email:
Can the rest of the world be persuaded to give up their arsenal when the image of the U.S. is that of the world’s bully? Don’t we indeed need to change the perception and the reality before asking folks to lay down their arms (nuclear or otherwise)?
Never mind that most lefties would agree with that view, and are only pretending that Hagel didn’t agree with it, himself. Granting the left their disingenuous argument that Hagel was merely agreeing that America had an image problem, (because of the evil Bush), Hagel’s answer still left much to be desired.
He responded, “Well, her observation is a good one, and it’s relevant. Yes to her question.”
That’s yes, the US has an “image” as the world’s bully, and yes, that’s the “reality.”
Another American was once challenged in a similar manner at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In response to a question by the former Archbishop of Canterbury as to whether the US had given due consideration to the use of “soft power” vs “hard power” against the regime of Saddam Hussein, he answered:
“I don’t think I have anything to be ashamed of or apologize for with respect to what America has done for the world.
We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we’ve done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home to seek our own, you know, to seek our own lives in peace, to live our own lives in peace.
But there comes a time when soft power or talking with evil will not work where, unfortunately, hard power is the only thing that works.”
General Colin Powell, January 26, 2003.
Never mind what you think of him, today – that was one stellar answer and he did his country proud, that day. Americans should always remember it and appreciate him for that.
He could have answered the former Archbishop, “Well, your observation is a good one, and it’s relevant. Yes to your question.”