Skip to comments.Anti-war camp urges Obama to dump [tentative Secretary of Defense Robert] Gates
Posted on 11/11/2008 2:44:15 PM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion
Arms control advocates and anti-war activists are ratcheting up pressure on President-elect Barack Obama to dump Defense Secretary Robert Gates and replace him with a more strident anti-war voice.
Nominating Gates to stay, would be a violation of the mandate for change that Obama says he represents, said Medea Benjamin, cofounder of the anti-war group CodePink.
A better bipartisan fit for Obama, they say, is Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), who brings out what they like about Gates his ability to deal with Russia, Iran and Syria without the direct link to Bushs policies.
That would be an unmistakable sign from the Obama camp that they really are nonpartisan, said Justin Raimondo, editorial director of Antiwar.com. He would be great.
The pressure comes as momentum appears to be gaining for those who support keeping Gates to remain at the helm of the Pentagon, at least for a transitional period.
Moderate Democrats in Congress, including Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, support the idea.
But when Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) promoted Gates appointment in a closed door meeting with Obama and House Democrats several months ago, he was booed by his colleagues.
Senator Obama has talked about having a Cabinet of rivals along the lines of [Abraham] Lincoln, people who will not be intimidated to express a contrary view. Hes talked about the need to have a Cabinet thats not an echo chamber, reflecting his own opinion. Schiff said, adding Gates could bring such perspective to a young presidents inner circle, one that he may not have now.
Opposition to Gates stems from both politics and policy.
Many Democrats believe Obama needs to send a clear signal to anti-war advocates, an early base of support for his candidacy, that he will keep his promise to bring troops home from Iraq in a prudent and speedy fashion.
Lingering questions also remain about Gates role in the Iran Contra scandal, when he was in the top ranks of the CIA.
Others suggest that Obama must appoint a Democrat so the party can shore up its national security credentials with voters. Among those being touted for the position are Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) , an Army veteran who traveled with Obama during his summer tour of Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East.
The only reason Barack Obama is president today, the main reason Obama is president-elect, is because of his opposition to the war in Iraq, and Gates, a former intelligence officer and Cold Warrior, was brought in to fix the war, not end it, a defense industry official said, adding, He is so far outside the box of what Democrats want.
The scenario most often floated by those closely watching Obamas emerging defense team is this: Gates would remain at the Pentagon for six months to a year. Former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, or another Obama candidate, would be nominated as Gates deputy, who would take control of the Pentagon after Gates departure.
Danzigs spokeswoman declined to comment, saying only that anyone who says theyre certain about Obamas choice doesnt know the real story.
Gates exacerbated the opposition to his retention with a recent speech at the Carnegie Foundation in which he staked out a position that made it hard for arms control advocates to back the notion of keeping him around.
Congress last year pulled funding from studies to create a Reliable Replacement Warhead program, which would reduce and replace aging nuclear warheads in the nations arsenal. During the speech, Gates said the cut was misguided.
The reason, I believe, lies in a deep-seated and quite justifiable aversion to nuclear weapons, in doing anything that might be perceived as lowering the threshold for using them or as creating new nuclear capabilities, Gates said. Let me be clear: The program we propose is not about new capabilities suitcase bombs or bunker busters or tactical nukes. It is about safety, security and reliability.
Daryl Kimball, the president of the Arms Control Association, said that vision is out of step with the vision Obama outlined during his campaign.
Gates speech represented a full-throated defense of [President] Bushs nuclear weapons programs over the last eight years, Kimball said. I find it hard to imagine Robert Gates faithfully pursuing the nuclear weapons policy vision that Senator Obama has outlined.
Money quote: Many Democrats believe Obama needs to send a clear signal to anti-war advocates, an early base of support for his candidacy, that he will keep his promise to bring troops home from Iraq in a prudent and speedy fashion.
Would Obama really keep a Bush SecDefense? It’s hard to imagine, but it sure would drive the libs CRAZY.
I suggest Jimmy Carter.
Gates move out with President Bush and tell Obama get his own secy of Defense.
That would be just fine, as long as the Cornhuskers don’t replace him with another RINO.
I know this is a rhetorical question, but do these idiots not get the purpose of the defense department? Fine. I nominate Licorice, of Saving Private Hamster fame.
Notice that they want a Republican Secretary of Defense so if anything happens, his head would be the first to roll. No Republican should work in an Obama administration - if Hagel is offered the job he should flat-out refuse it.
Who wants a Defense Secretary who’s a defeatist and doesn’t believe in the mission? Medea Benjamin is nothing more than an old communist who’s without a country since the Soviet Union collapsed.
Code Pink 'Bundles' for Barack, 4/14/2008
Cindy Sheehan, Jodie Evans, Hugo Chavez,
Medea Benjamin [co-founder Code Pink]
"The co-founder of the radical anti-war group Code Pink [Jodie Evans] has bundled more than $50,000 for Sen. Barack Obamas presidential campaign, and pro-troops groups are demanding that he return the money."
From National Public Radio (NPR):
August 29, 2006
"Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been visiting countries such as China, Iran and Russia as part of an effort to build a 'strategic alliance' of interests not beholden to the United States. He considers the United States his arch enemy.":
From the Russian News and Information Agency:
July 27, 2006
"'I am determined to expand relations with Russia,' Chavez, known as an outspoken critic of what he calls the United States' unilateralism, told the Russian leader, adding that his determination stemmed from their shared vision of the global order.":
Revolution interview with ("Peace Mom") Cindy Sheehan: October 29, 2005:
['Revolution' is the official newspaper of the Revolutionary Communist Party]
From the website of the Revolutionary Communist Party (revcom.us or rwor.org) :
"Create Public Opinion, Seize Power: We are preparing minds and organizing forces for the time when there is a major crack in the system, whenever it comes and wherever it comes from: an opening that makes it possible to bring the future Revolutionary Army of the Proletariat (R.A.P.) into the field and wage a revolutionary armed struggle that actually has a chance of winning. And we have said that building our party itself is the most important part of organizing forces for revolution. This is true now, and it is true looking forward to the creation of that future R.A.P. and the waging of that armed struggle.":
Also from the Revolutionary Communist Party website: "Tearing Up the U.S. Paper Tiger in Korea: How 300,000 Chinese Troops Snuck into Korea and Kicked the Ass of the U.S. Armed Forces" RW #1059, June 18, 2000:
From David Horowitz's FrontpageMag.com /DiscoverTheNetworks.org:
"Throughout its history, one of RCP's [Revolutionary Communist Party] principal objectives has been to foment civil unrest in the United States. The most notable example of such efforts occurred on April 29, 1992, when RCP members looted and trashed the downtown and government districts of Los Angeles, triggering the infamous Rodney King riots. During the days immediately preceding the violence, RCP -- which maintained close ties to the L.A. gangs known as the Crips and the Bloods -- had circulated throughout South Central Los Angeles a leaflet featuring a statement by RCP National Spokesman Carl Dix, titled 'It's Right To Rebel' -- a quote popularized by Mao Zedong.
Encouraged by Dix, RCP activists helped lead the riots that would leave 58 people dead, more than 2,300 people injured, some 5,300 buildings burned, and $1 billion in property damaged or destroyed. On the ten-year anniversary of the rioting, RCP member Joseph Veale fondly recalled the violence as 'the most beautiful, the most heroic civil action in the history of the United States.'"
"The RCP upheld the 1992 sometimes-violent unrest in Los Angeles and nationally as a 'rebellion' in the aftermath of the Rodney King verdicts. Then-LAPD chief Daryl Gates alleged that the RCP was involved in the 'riots'. Los Angeles has long been one of the RCP's larger and more active branches. William 'Mobile' Shaw was a local leader who recently passed and received public commendation from the party."
Please examine the inherent condradiction in that statement - Hagel and Republican.
I also think that Hagel to DOD might be a case of “addition by subtraction” for GOP. It would be hard for a new GOP senator to be more faithless and worthless than Hagel.
Hagel has been kissing up to Obama for a long time in anticipation of this moment.....
Don’t imagine for a second that RINO Hagel would not jump at the opportunity.
What’s really telling is that the most far-left nutcases actually think that Hagel is an acceptable choice to them..... that says all that’s needed about where Hagel has wandered in recent years.
Hagel’s leaving the Senate anyway after this term, so there’s no bonus for us to see him in an Obamanation cabinet.
Gates would be an idiot if he stayed in this position. I don’t think he is that stupid.
Gates has a strong sense of duty and I think he might be persuaded to stay if he thought it was best for the troops and the country.