By Edmond Y. Azadian
Upon the nomination of Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel as the next secretary of defense, a political firestorm broke out involving gays, the Israeli lobby in Washington and the Armenians. The nominee being a straight talker has offended the above groups, and perhaps many others throughout his political career. Now, as he faces the uphill battle for his confirmation before the Armed Services Committee and later the full Senate, he has to answer all those
groups in a satisfactory manner to win the confirmation.
On the other hand the nominee for the position of secretary of state, former presidential candidate and current senator, John Kerry, does not anticipate hurdles.
Before we draw our battle lines, we need to postulate the offenses of which the Republican maverick Hagel is accused.
First, the gays have an axe to grind with Mr. Hagel who had remarked in 1998 that James Hormel, a philanthropist and later, an ambassador to Luxembourg, was “openly, aggressively gay,” the inference being that he was not a suitable candidate for an ambasadorial post in that country.
Next in line is the Jewish lobby with the “neo-cons” in the background because of Hagel’s remark that “the Jewish lobby in the United States intimidates a lot of people.”