Senator Chuck Hagel on the Hot Seat

Monday, December 17, 2012 11:48 PM

Neocon hatchet-woman Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post is having a big fat cow over the possible Chuck Hagel nomination to be Secretary of Defense. (See below.) She has plenty of company. It is all about Israel of course. No deviation from the brainwashed Washington consensus regarding the self-styled Jewish State can be tolerated for one minute, otherwise the world will spin off its axis. 

Anyone with reservations, any noteworthy official in Washington--Gentile, Jewish or space alien--who is not brainwashed or not suborned, must be denounced and preemptively destroyed by the Israel Lobby minions before he or she gains a foothold. Let's see what Mr. Peace Prize Obama does in response. Even money, he drops Hagel like a hot potato.

I am wondering where the knee-jerk, attack-dog Senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham are on this issue. We’ll see. They may not want to take on an authentic leader like Chuck Hagel. As a Senator, he was a sound critic of their mindless and ruinous Neocon foreign policy. In any verbal confrontation, these three dwarfs would be unmasked, as it were, and look like what they are.  

Read the Bret Stephens link in the Wall Street Journal, if you can stomach it.


Update 1) Professor David Bromwich: Chuck Hagel and the Trial-Balloon Method, Huffington Post, December 24th.

Update 2) Connie Bruck: Chuck Hagel and his Enemies, The New Yorker, December 26th

Update 3) Professor Stephen Walt: What’s at stake in the Hagel affair, Foreign Policy, December 26th.

Update 4) William Pfaff: Chuck Hagel, the Defense Department, and the Israel Lobby, December 26th.


EXCLUSIVE: ADL pans possible Chuck Hagel pick by Jennifer Rubin [Dec. 18th, 2012]

Abe Foxman, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, emails me from overseas on the potential for Chuck Hagel to be picked as secretary of Defense:

“Chuck Hagel would not be the first, second, or third choice for the American Jewish community’s friends of Israel.  His record relating to Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship is, at best, disturbing, and at worst, very troubling.   The sentiments he’s expressed about the Jewish lobby border on anti-Semitism in the genre of professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt and former president Jimmy Carter.”

Foxman’s criticism follows in the wake of a column by Bret Stephens who documents Hagel’s insinuations about dual loyalty. Today Stephens writes, “Prejudice—like cooking, wine-tasting and other consummations—has an olfactory element. When Chuck Hagel, the former GOP senator from Nebraska who is now a front-runner to be the next secretary of Defense, carries on about how 'the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here,' the odor is especially ripe.”

Hagel’s use of the phrase “the Jewish lobby” was not isolated, but it was unique among elected officials outside the Pat Buchanan fringe and would be unprecedented for a cabinet official. Stephens notes:

Mr. Hagel’s Jewish lobby remark was well in keeping with the broader pattern of his thinking. “I’m a United States Senator, not an Israeli Senator,” Mr. Hagel told retired U.S. diplomat Aaron David Miller in 2006. “I’m a United States Senator. I support Israel. But my first interest is I take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States. Not to a president. Not a party. Not to Israel. If I go run for Senate in Israel, I’ll do that.”

Read these staccato utterances again to better appreciate their insipid and insinuating qualities, all combining to cast the usual slur on Jewish-Americans: Dual loyalty. Nobody questions Mr. Hagel’s loyalty. He is only making those assertions to question the loyalty of others.

I and others have documented Hagel’s objection to sanctions against Iran and his particularly anti-Israel voting record. But these remarks are something different — the expression of rank prejudice against American Jews. Hagel has never apologized for, retracted or even sought to explain his remarks.

No official would be considered for high office if he questioned the loyalty of Asian Americans or Arab Americans, so it is difficult to understand why Hagel has gotten so much consideration. But then again, perhaps this is simply evidence of defining deviancy, or anti-Semitism, downward. In any event, the calls for Obama to diversify his cabinet with a woman at the Pentagon seem a graceful cover for dumping Hagel. Really, where are the women?

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