Chuck Hagel's nomination as secretary of defense brought two old issues to the forefront -- the Iraq war and U.S.-Israeli relations. Beneath the ankle biting lies a significant competition over U.S. grand strategy.
All the money spent by the Sheldon Adelsons of the world, to sink this nomination, is a colossal waste. Chuck Hagel will be confirmed, and neoconservative influence over our military policy will finally, and thankfully, be dead.
Barack Obama arrived in Washington in 2009 buoyed by the slogan "change we can believe in." The bitter Hagel hearings will be a fierce reminder that, when it comes to foreign policy, old is new, and the words "change" and "Washington" don't belong in the same sentence.
You can be sure: Hagel's military service in Vietnam will be mentioned -- and praised. You can also be sure of this: no senator will ask Hagel about his presence during the machine-gunning of an orphanage in Vietnam's Mekong Delta or the lessons he might have drawn from that incident.