Mark I. Fishman New Haven
The Jan. 31 letter, "Hagel said nothing offensive," misstates several facts. First, while this doesn't fit the letter writer's view of the world, Israel had its own doubts about the Iraq War and expressed these to the United States. One concern was that Iraq, if attacked, could turn its wrath on Israel, as a convenient target, as it had done with scud missiles during the 1991 Gulf War.
Second, Israel has been subjected to many major and minor wars against it by the Arab world. In none of those wars did it rely on any armed forces other than its own. The only American forces ever present were those that assisted during our own Gulf War in defending against the Iraqi scuds that were unleashed at the commencement of that war.
Finally, the writer sees the opposition to confirmation of Chuck Hagel through his own narrow prism. While Mr. Hagel's nomination is objectionable because of his distorted views on Israel and Jews, many others object because Hagel may roll back America's defenses. Others object because of Hagel's past anti-gay statement. Yet others may oppose him because of his opposition to gun control.