In the runup to the Hagel hearings, North Korea tested an intercontinental rocket and indicated a third nuclear bomb test may be imminent. Dictator Kim Jong Un said the "target" of these tests is that "sworn enemy of the Korean people," the U.S.A.
Yet North Korea was mentioned only 11 times in Hagel's day-long testimony, while Iran was mentioned 170 times.
But Iran has no missile that can reach the United States, has never tested a nuclear device or bomb, has no nuclear weapons program, according to the unanimous verdict of our 16 intelligence agencies, has never enriched uranium to weapons grade, and has all of its nuclear facilities under constant U.N. surveillance and inspection.
Far from threatening America with nuclear fire like North Korea's 20-something dictator, the Ayatollah Khamenei has declared a fatwa against Iran's ever possessing atomic weapons.
This is no brief for a Tehran regime that is no friend of this country. But to suggest Iran cannot be contained as the nuclear-armed Soviet Union of Stalin and China of Mao were contained is absurd.
Whom has Iran attacked in the 33 years since the old ayatollah came back from Paris, while Uncle Sam has attacked or invaded Grenada, Panama, Haiti, Libya twice, Iraq twice, Afghanistan and Serbia?
Query: What is behind this Republican preoccupation, bordering on obsession, with Israel and its nemesis Iran, to the near exclusion of other threats and dangers faced by our country all over a world that is a good bit larger than one small corner of the Middle East? Has Sheldon Adelson replaced Henry Kissinger as the eminence grise of the GOP?
Sen. Lindsey Graham implied it was an outrage to suggest any senator may have been intimidated by an Israeli lobby that has on its wall the scalps of two chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: J.W. Fulbright and Charles Percy.
Who is Lindsey kidding?
Did Bibi Netanyahu, after dissing the U.S. president in the Oval Office, receive those 29 standing ovations at a joint session of Congress, thereby breaking Stalin's all-time record before the Supreme Soviet, because Bibi gave one helluva speech?
In this city, the Israeli lobby is regarded as right up there with the National Rifle Association as a crowd that rewards its friends and punishes its enemies, with this exception: Far more congressmen and senators are willing to stand up to the NRA than to defy AIPAC.
Where there is no vision, the people perish. Where is the vision that Republicans had in the time of Reagan?