Defending Hagel, Hayes & Greenwald assail neocon stranglehold on policy

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Chris Hayes hosted a panel discussion about the Hagel nomination this morning on his weekly program Up with Chris Hayes. It’s so refreshing to have a host veer a conversation where it needs to go. With guests Glenn Greenwald, Aaron David Miller, Spencer Ackerman, Hina Shamsi and Elise Jordan.

The best clip is the 3rd in the series. Hayes opens speaking briefly, in general, about “going after a nominee before they’re a nominee,” thus putting the person in the weird position of not being able to defend himself. But directly following, Hayes talks about “a specific set of interests around the Is..[catches himself]..the relationship to Israel, try to exercise muscle to push foreign policy a certain way.” Hayes can’t specifically name the Israel lobby. We know who he means and the panel discussion that ensues is about America’s relationship with Israel and the gatekeepers.  Watch:

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Hayes cuts to a great clip of Hagel from 06 demanding Bush call for an immediate ceasefire during the Israel/Lebanon war. While Hagel calls for ending the “slaughter on both sides” he says what’s happening in Lebanon is “the systematic destruction of an American friend.” Ouch. Hagel says our relationship with Israel

[N]eed not and cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relationships, that is an irresponsible and false choice.

Hayes says what’s so striking is that a war which we supported automatically was a disaster for Israel and goes on to say in the “sweep of history,” it looks like Hagel was right. Hayes talks about “precisely the ability” to have daylight between our two countries, and sets the stage for his guests.

Greenwald (3:03)

[W]hen it come to Israel it’s so rare for a member of Congress to be willing to stand up and say something like that, usually these resolutions supporting Israel are unanimous, but it shows you how constricted, what a stranglehold there is on the debate over Israel. And because he’s willing to do that and has been willing to do that, that’s why he’s being so attacked and that why it’s so important to defend make sure we can have this debate that we need to have about Israel and the United States.

Hayes (7:21):

[This speaks to the] amazing enduring power of Neoconservatism in Washington DC long long after it should have been definitively vanquished and discredited as a conception of the world..the masterminds behind a lot of what happened in Iraq, being the most vociferous voices in pushing to escalate in Iran.

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Glenn Greenwald (4:17):

What this is about is suppressing the debate that we ought to be having over what cost there is to the American public and to the US as a government to having this constant blind loyalty to this foreign nation even when it damages US interest, Hagel is one of the military people who has raised this issue and that is why there’s this vicious attack against him.

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Aaron David Miller (1:57):

What is happening and I call it in my book ….what I call the ‘Cosmic Oy Vey’. It’s the inabilty of many in the American Jewish community to look at the United States and Israeli relationship as a real living relationship drivin by political realities, by strategic realities and sometime, I know it’s a shocker, the diverging interests that sometimes separate the United States and Israel.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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