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Chuck Hagel is President Obama's choice to be Secretary of Defense. At his Senate confirmation hearing today, he got a grilling — especially from former Republican colleagues. We hear an exchange with John McCain and what Hagel had to say about the Iraq surge, Iran, Israel and cuts in the Pentagon budget. Also, an Israeli airstrike in Syria brings backlash, and a new series on cable TV makes heroes out of Soviet Spies in America during the Cold War. What's the lesson about history as portrayed in American culture?

Banner image: Senator Charles T. Hagel answers a question at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Service Committee in Washington DC, January 31, 2013. If confirmed, he will become the 24th Secretary of Defense. DoD Photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

Making News Israeli Airstrike in Syria Brings Backlash 7 MIN, 46 SEC

Israeli warplanes struck near Damascus today, prompting supporters of Bashar al-Assad to rally behind their leader while Iran warmed of "grave consequences." It's not clear what the target was. Isabel Kershner reports from Jerusalem for the New York Times.

Isabel Kershner, New York Times (@IKershner)

Main Topic Cabinet Nominee Hagel Gets a Grilling 34 MIN, 51 SEC

Republicans John McCain and Chuck Hagel might have been friends when Hagel was in the Senate, but you wouldn't have known it today at his confirmation hearing. Republican James Inhofe of Oklahoma said Hagel supports retreat from America's global leadership and shrinking the military, which Inhofe said "will not make America safer." Even Democrats, including Michigan's Carl Levin, were concerned about where Hagel stands on Israel. We hear what was said about Iran, Israel and cuts in the Pentagon budget, and assess Hagel's chances of confirmation.

Martin Kady, Politico (@mkady)
Tom Donnelly, American Enterprise Institute (@AEI)
Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street (@JeremyBenAmi)
Miriam Pemberton, Institute for Policy Studies (@IPS_DC)

Lessons for a Long War

Thomas Donnelly

Reporter's Notebook Nostalgia for the Days of the Cold War 8 MIN, 37 SEC

At the end of the Cold War, it would have been inconceivable for an American television series to make heroes of Soviet spies. But last night, the FX channel debuted The Americans, which does exactly that. What does it reveal about the perception of history in modern culture? Jon Wiener is a professor of history at the University of California at Irvine, and the author of How We Forgot the Cold War: A Historical Journey across America.

Jon Wiener, University of California, Irvine

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