No surprise: Chuck Schumer refuses to stand up for Hagel

Israel/Palestine

The Israel lobby continues to use the gay issue as cover for going after Chuck Hagel as possible Defense Secretary nominee, and the media allow the lobby to get away with it. Both Andrea Mitchell and David Gregory of NBC, apostles of conventional wisdom, hint that the possible nomination is going down. NBC News:

Asked by NBC’s David Gregory whether President Barack Obama should nominate Hagel to replace departing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Schumer said, “Well, that’s his choice. I think once he makes it, his record will be studied carefully. But until that point, I think we’re not going to know what’s going to happen.”

When Gregory asked directly whether he could support Hagel’s nomination, Schumer replied, “I’d have to study his record. I’m not going to comment until the president makes a nomination.”

 

Would it be too much to tell viewers that Chuck Schumer once bragged to AIPAC that his name in Hebrew, Hashomer, means guardian of Israel? Apparently so. On Meet the Press– the video is above– Andrea Mitchell did the coup de grace, transcribed below. She claims that Hagel has support in the foreign policy community. Actually, that’s precisely where he’s having problems, from the neoconservatives and traditional Israel lobby. And she says that Schumer represents the left! Well, I guess if you live in Washington:

Mitchell: What Senator Schumer said was really very very revealing. Exactly, because if a Democratic Senator is not going to come to Chuck Hagel’s defense, then I think there is serious problems there.

Gregory: And he did not come to his defense. This would be a second consecutive nomination where the president does not get his first choice…

Mitchell: This White House can not continue to float trial balloons and have them shot down. The president can’t get, be perceived to be rolled by his opponents. The problem that Chuck Hagel has, though he has a lot of support in the foreign policy community, is that he’s now getting shot at from the left and the right. Because of his past comments, which he has now retracted and apologized for, against gays.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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67 Responses

  1. American
    December 23, 2012, 2:06 pm

    Expected from Schmer.

    Anyone have any theories why Obama would leak Hagel’s name for Sec of Def if he ‘s not going to fight for him? O is not so stupid he didn’t know the I-Firsters would lauch an all out bloody smear attack on Hagel.
    So what’s the game?
    Is O using Hagel as a bargining chip for some issue votes in the Senate?

    • pabelmont
      December 23, 2012, 3:06 pm

      Caution: The gay issue may have come “from the woodwork out” as a surprise to both of them. sure, Obama asked Hagel, “Got any skeletons?” and Hagel must have said, “No” being a cautious politician. But forgot the anti-gay (whatever and whenever it was).

  2. American
    December 23, 2012, 2:16 pm

    “Because of his past comments, which he has now retracted and apologized for, against gays.”

    Dear Gays,

    This is not about you.
    Quit inserting your single issue into everything else or the next 100 times I get those survey calls from all those conserative American Family orgs I not going to keep supporting your gay rights.

    • chinese box
      December 23, 2012, 3:52 pm

      @American

      I am gay and I tend to agree with you. I couldn’t give less of a crap about something that Hagel said back in the ’90s. He’s apologized for it and it’s over. What do they think he’s going to do, reinstate DADT?

      Unfortunately, there’s a myopic segment of the gay community for whom gay rights (or the lack thereof) seems to form the lynchpin of their entire worldview. IMO these people are either self-involved or uninformed (probably both). This doesn’t just involve Israel’s pinkwashing campaign–it’s a general problem of not being able to see clearly where the gay rights struggle fits in to the larger picture, and sometimes of allowing the cause to be co-opted by people and corporations who are up to no good. You’re going to support weapons manufacturers or polluters because they offer their employees domestic partnership benefits? Really?

      • gingershot
        December 23, 2012, 5:16 pm

        ‘Unfortunately, there’s a myopic segment of the gay community for whom gay rights (or the lack thereof) seems to form the lynchpin of their entire worldview’

        Unfortunately her name is Rachel Maddow….

      • Shingo
        December 23, 2012, 5:41 pm

        Unfortunately, there’s a myopic segment of the gay community for whom gay rights (or the lack thereof) seems to form the lynchpin of their entire worldview.

        Just like Israeli firsters.

        The hypocrisy of this of course, is that they are likely to have to settle for someone who is probably to the right of Hagel on gay issues, but didn’t make such a gaff in his career.

      • American
        December 24, 2012, 10:31 am

        I get these robo survey calls all the time from these right wing orgs….it’s hysterical….they will ask a question like do you “support life” (anti abortion) or do you believe marriage should only be between a man and woman…if yes press one, if no press two…if you press no you don’t agree it hangs up on you…CLICK!….no more questions….LOL

  3. biorabbi
    December 23, 2012, 2:32 pm

    Phil, I note you use the term Israeli Lobby, or ‘The Lobby,’ but is it PC to call it a Jewish Lobby? like Saint Chuck did? As to the gay complaints, what do you think Hagel thinks about the show tunes as interpreted by Michael Feinstein? He’s a proud, openly gay Jew? but I’m not sure if he’s a neocon, but two out of thee ain’t bad.

    Actually, how about Obama nominating an aggressively, openly, gay neoconservative who loves show tunes. Phil, as a progressive, I wonder what you think about the use of the descritor aggressively to modify openly gay. Is this code word for something, a movie reference of a guy with a bandana skipping down the street.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 23, 2012, 2:50 pm

      is it PC to call it a Jewish Lobby? like Saint Chuck did?

      chuck schumer a saint. i had no idea.

      oh lookie, Chuck apologies to female flight attendant after referring to her with B-word. ouch, i wonder if he’s qualified to keep his job.

      link to nydailynews.com

      • pabelmont
        December 23, 2012, 3:12 pm

        Be careful with that “Saint Chuck” stuff. There’re two “Chucks” in this story!

        Getting almost as confusing as why we (or anyone) REALLY cares if a possible Defense Secretary (whose job includes supervising the killing of untoward numbers of innocents all in the national interest) should be vetted according to whether they use B-words or N-words or Z-words or J-words or * * * *.

      • Mooser
        December 23, 2012, 6:04 pm

        “should be vetted according to whether they use B-words or N-words or Z-words or J-words or * * * *.”

        Oh, I don’t know, it might be an advantage if he had some control over his mouth. Or do Defense Secretaries spend most of their time holding up vials and thundering “Delenda est Iraq”!

      • piotr
        December 24, 2012, 12:24 pm

        “est” is at the end of a Latin sentence. You think in Hebrew, I guess.

    • Mooser
      December 23, 2012, 2:51 pm

      Okay, now that biorabbi has figured out (they’re sooo sensitive, these doctors) what kind of reception his “ideas” (I’m a generous guy) will get, he’s moved into the “must distract, must distract” phase. We all know what comes next.

      Wait a minute, he’s a Rabbi, and a doctor? Why this is the guy who can tell us all about the little glass straw! Explaining the benefits from both the religious and medical angles.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 23, 2012, 3:03 pm

        i think biorabbi has outdone himself with these videos. shall we ask him to take a bow mooser?

      • Mooser
        December 23, 2012, 6:22 pm

        “i think biorabbi has outdone himself with these videos. shall we ask him to take a bow mooser?”

        We so often see the bellicose, verbose and lachrymose phases of an episode, but here we seem to have some kind of jellicose explication of the Ziocaine syndrome. Or….anybody counted the ampules lately?

        Don’t ask him to bow, I’m not sure he’ll be able to standup without staggering. And he’s packin’? Oy Gevalt

      • biorabbi
        December 23, 2012, 3:14 pm

        “Wait a minute, he’s a Rabbi, and a doctor? Why this is the guy who can tell us all about the little glass straw! Explaining the benefits from both the religious and medical angles.”

        and not only that, I once heard Bobby Short live and was in seventh heaven.

    • quercus
      December 24, 2012, 8:50 am

      @Biorabbi. Gosh, what a bore you are! I’ve seen Michael Feinstein a few times on PBS programs, and I don’t think I’ve every watched a program more boring. As to his interpretation of famous show tune lyrics — nearly everyone knows about the homosexuality of Gershwin, Porter, etc., so Feinstein’s ‘interpretations’ as you refer would be surprising to all but the slowest of wit.

      Feinstein is a “proud, openly gay Jew”, so what?! I’m a proud, openly heterosexual (I am really, really, bored with the ‘gay’ appellation), non-Jew, so what?!

      What could be more tedious than individuals who are preoccupied with their sexuality and ethnic affiliation.

    • Hostage
      December 24, 2012, 11:35 am

      Phil, I note you use the term Israeli Lobby, or ‘The Lobby,’ but is it PC to call it a Jewish Lobby?

      There has been a Jewish lobby, ever since the National Community Relations Advisory Council was established in 1944. Today the successor, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), includes more than a dozen national organizations and about 130 local Jewish federations that are all legally registered lobbying entities.

      • Mooser
        December 26, 2012, 11:26 am

        “There has been a Jewish lobby, ever since the National Community Relations Advisory Council was established in 1944. Today the successor, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), includes more than a dozen national organizations and about 130 local Jewish federations that are all legally registered lobbying entities.”

        Hostage, are your memories of the great General International Convocation when the Application for the Appellation was debated, the merits and demerits considered, and the votes carefully counted, until consensus anointed these organisations with the coveted signifier “Jewish” as picaresque as mine? I wonder. As I remember their was neither a dry eye nor a negative vote in the house by the time it was all over.
        We must never ever forget the degree of authority these organisations have in calling themselves “Jewish”. And against all that opposition, too!
        Truly, we are blessed to have such representatives! I bet the Presbyterians are green with envy, and besides, “Jewish” is so much easier to spell!

  4. biorabbi
    December 23, 2012, 2:38 pm

    link to youtube.com

    I believe Michael’s song here could have been written for Chuck Hagel. BTW, I believe Michael blows a kiss of respect to the wonderful Jerry Harman at the end. All kidding aside, I’m a huge Michael Feinstein fan. He is a devotee of George and Ira, the great one Cole Porter, Rogers and Hart and others…. sort of a musical American Firster. He was the private secretary for an ailing Ira Gershwin.

    • tree
      December 23, 2012, 4:17 pm

      Biorabbi,

      While you are busy blasting Hagel, and stereotyping gays as lovers of show tunes as well, Steve Clemons has come out in Hagel’s defense. Clemons, who is openly gay, is a longtime friend of Hagel.

      I ran into the senator one night with his wife, Lilibeth, at a dinner where the Nixon Center was being renamed the Center for the National Interest. I was serving as the master of ceremonies for the evening — which featured public addresses by James Schlesinger, John McCain, and John Kyl among others. Hagel, Bob Gates, Brent Scowcroft and a cross-section of D.C.’s foreign-policy elite were there — my guess, 80 percent Republican. To my surprise and quite publicly, Hagel grabbed my hand, shook it, introduced me to his wife — and as he had to get going, gave me a manly style hug in front of quite a number of those mentioned above, including Scowcroft and Bob Gates.

      That’s right. Hagel hugged an out gay man in a tuxedo at a mostly Republican gathering on national security. I wish I had been able to — or had thought to — share much of this with Chad Griffin and those in the LGBT community who had been harboring fears about Chuck Hagel.

      link to theatlantic.com

      • Cliff
        December 23, 2012, 4:25 pm

        biohazard,

        i thought all americans were inherently good

        or is it only israel firsters and christian fundamentalists

      • biorabbi
        December 23, 2012, 5:23 pm

        Michael Feinstein tells the story how he played a record for Ira Gershwin’s The Many I love played by The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and how they laughed their heads off at the hidden meanings of the lyrics. Most of the more romantic Gershwin tunes have a cryptic meaning about Ira’s feelings about himself….Many gays are lovers of show tunes but they have good taste.

        “….although he may not be the man some think of as handsome….” we’re written about himself and how Ira won the love of the beautiful flapper Lee. He viewed George as the handsome brother

      • Mooser
        December 24, 2012, 11:56 am

        Wow, those evenings, you and Micheal and Ira round the grand piano, taking turns interpreting the Great American Songbook, and exchanging Round Table anecdotes. Wish I could have been there.

  5. Annie Robbins
    December 23, 2012, 2:43 pm

    if a Democratic Senator is not going to come to Chuck Hagel’s defense

    a democratic senator andrea? because i am sure there are democratic senators who will come to hagel’s defense. schumer’s not just a democratic senator. what a bunch of hooie!

    • gingershot
      December 23, 2012, 5:20 pm

      Schumer is a fanatic neocon and no more a progressive than his buddy Joe Lieberman or Hillary

      So Mitchell hoodwinks America with Schumer because Lieberman is too far out of the closet

      • piotr
        December 24, 2012, 12:27 pm

        A fanatic neo-con would be gnawing on Hagel’s bones even as we speak. There is a difference between “ardent Zionist”, who may have doubts “is attacking Iran good for Jews” and a fanatic neo-con who has yet to find a war project he dislikes.

        However, asking Schumer to defend Hagel is a bit much. I would expect some mumbling from him on the issue.

  6. biorabbi
    December 23, 2012, 2:46 pm

    Phil, this song is for you as I know you love Obama as much as I do. In this version of the Look of Love, President Obama is clearly relishing the music of Burt Bacharach and the words of Hal David. I love the look of delight on Obama’s face here. I was going to quip that ‘The Look of love is on your face’ as being behind the aggressively, openly gay context. For anybody who loves Obama as I do, this is for you….

    • libra
      December 23, 2012, 6:21 pm

      biorabbi, I’m afraid you literally lost Phil the moment you said you live in Arkansas. Sure, Clinton comes from there. But where exactly is it? Do you even fly over it from NY to LA?

  7. biorabbi
    December 23, 2012, 2:56 pm

    A good Hagel strategy might be to give an introduction in his Senate hearings how much he loves show tunes, then break off into a rendition of Mel Brooks…. The Inquisition, what a show, The Inquisition, here we go, we’re on a mission to convert the Jews…. This could then be followed by him crooning “A Foggy Day, In London Town….” The significance here would be to show he’s supports not the meanie American Firster that The Lobby is painting him as. He could end his number with a wistful air-kiss to Chuckie Schumer, thus pacifying the gays and the all-powerful gay Jews.

    • Mooser
      December 23, 2012, 6:33 pm

      Biolrabbi, I want to thank you. Ever since you told us you are a “doctor” (like you are a Rabbi?) I have made a new fanatic commitment to maintaining my wellness and health to the full extent I can. I mean, look, if you’re a doctor, other doctors had to, you know certify, you and work with you. Scares me to death to think about it!

      • biorabbi
        December 24, 2012, 1:48 am

        Mooser, touche, awesome retort and ain’t that the truth. LOL.

      • Mooser
        December 24, 2012, 11:34 am

        Sure, hey what the hell, it’s only the health of your patients. You have of course, no particular obligations in that regard. And in fact, you are free to promote Israel and Zionism in your work. Just think of yourself as a IDF soldier with a hypo instead of an Uzi. Gosh, I wonder if Herzl ever saw medical mistakes as a boon for Zionism, like he did anti-Semitism.

        Won’t I look the fool when “biorabbi” reveals he is an anti-Zionist trying to make Zionists look bad, and I fell for it!

  8. Les
    December 23, 2012, 3:01 pm

    [We know that the anti-gay slur was made years ago. How old is Hagel's reference to "Jewish Lobby?]

    Senators: Hagel would face tough confirmation
    Associated Press – 1 hr 34 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Two senators predicted Sunday that former Sen. Chuck Hagel would face a difficult confirmation if nominated by President Barack Obama to be defense secretary.

    Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent who’s retiring and wouldn’t have a vote, cited Hagel’s less-than-hawkish positions on Iran. Lieberman told CNN’s “State of the Union” that it would be “a very tough confirmation process,” and “there are reasonable questions to ask and that Chuck Hagel will have to answer.”

    On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said it would be “a challenging nomination.”

    “I don’t think he’s going to get many Republican votes,” Graham said.

    Hagel, 66, is considered the leading candidate to replace Leon Panetta at the Pentagon, although a number of GOP senators have expressed reservations about a nomination. Their concerns largely center on Hagel’s past comments about Israel and Iran. Outside groups have suggested that based on Hagel’s remarks, he isn’t sufficiently supportive of Israel, an important ally in the Middle East.

    Opponents point to his votes against sanctions on Iran and letters that Hagel signed, along with ones he declined to add his name to, many of those favored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the powerful pro-Israel lobby. In August 2006, Hagel refused to sign a letter pressing the European Union to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization, one of 12 senators who balked. In 2007, he sent a letter to Bush urging talks with Iran.

    Hagel, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, has favored diplomacy over military action with Iran, and criticized talk of a strike by either the United States or Israel against Iran.

    Lieberman said sanctions are the only way to change Tehran’s behavior “short of war.” Lieberman said that Hagel had “some very outlying votes” against economic penalties on Iran over its nuclear program.

    Georgia Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson said on ABC’s “This Week” that he’ll “reserve any judgment until after the hearings we have on confirmation if in fact he is nominated.” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., was non-committal about Hagel, saying she’ll see “what happens with these hearings.”

    Hagel once made reference to the “Jewish lobby” in the United States, a comment that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called “inappropriate.”

    “There’s no such thing as a Jewish lobby,” McCain said. “There’s an Armenian lobby, there’s not a Jewish lobby. There’s an Israeli lobby. It’s called AIPAC, very influential.”

    At least two other candidates remain under serious consideration — former Pentagon policy chief Michele Flournoy and Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

    http://news.yahoo.com/senators-hagel-face-tough-confirmation-162405211–politics.html

    • American
      December 24, 2012, 11:54 am

      “There’s no such thing as a Jewish lobby,” McCain said. “There’s an Armenian lobby, there’s not a Jewish lobby. There’s an Israeli lobby. It’s called AIPAC, very influential”

      O.K. every time some asshole says it isn’t a Jewish Lobby I’m gonna call it the Jewish Lobby. It’a Jewish Lobby for Israel, the vast majority of it’s members are Jewish, all their officers and board members are Jewish.

      They know it’s a Jewish org. ….so if there’s nothing wrong with what AIPAC is doing why are they trying to convince people it’s not a specific minority interest that is behind it?

      Afraid of resentment aimed at the Jews?….’Or’…are they covering their own asses for being bought, bribed and owned by special interest minority by trying to portraying AIPAC as some Lobby supported by ‘wide variety of other Americans’ and therefore it’s all o.k. since it’s by ” popular demand”….?

      And who belongs to the ‘Armenian Lobby’?..Non Armenians?…. US Turkish -American citizens maybe?

  9. biorabbi
    December 23, 2012, 3:01 pm

    In all seriousness, if Obama does not nominate Hagel, I would hope he nominates Petraeus. First, he’s the most qualified person for the job in the entire country. Second, it would end the ludicrous, puritanical standard of public servants being driven out of office for purely private matters.

    • Mooser
      December 23, 2012, 6:29 pm

      “Second, it would end the ludicrous, puritanical standard of public servants being driven out of office for purely private matters.”

      It is not a private matter for a US Army Officer. Those are the conditions he agreed to. Great standards you got for our Officers! Do they derive from your Jewish beliefs? Say why shouldn’t our Officer’s have a wife in every country they visit on duty?
      So you figure it’s all right if America employs Generals who can’t even keep a simple marital contract? Oh…never mind, you support Israel, so every bit of corruption in the US political or military is grist for your mill, fuel for your machine.

    • atime forpeace
      December 23, 2012, 8:28 pm

      Your’e so funny, and seethrough

  10. Les
    December 23, 2012, 3:12 pm

    Hagel’s problem is not his loyalty to the US, but his insufficient loyalty to Israel according to each and every one of his critics.

  11. DICKERSON3870
    December 23, 2012, 4:07 pm

    RE: “Chuck Schumer refuses to stand up for Hagel”

    PETITION: Urging the Obama administration to nominate Hagel and fight for his confirmation.
    TO SIGN - link to petitions.whitehouse.gov

    FACEBOOK PAGE: Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense
    TO “LIKE” – link to facebook.com

  12. gingershot
    December 23, 2012, 5:08 pm

    Andrea Mitchell is one of my least favorite people because of the closet ‘reasonable-appearing’ shill act she puts on. She is a snakeoil saleswoman. She is as despicable as William Kristol with her contribution to the smear and as big of a liar as Judith Miller with her selling/hoaxing the Iraq War.

    And Andrea or Gregory will never mention the big story – that it’s the Lobby and that they themselves ARE the Lobby

    I watch the Israeli Lobby playing pattycakes – William Kristol passes to Schumer – Schumer passes to Dick Gregory – Gregory passes to Mitchell

    It’s the Neocon/Israeli Lobby smear machine – the ‘Netanyahu-Democrats’ playing footsie with the ‘Netanyahu-Republicans’ – the ‘Tribal Circle Self-Gratification’

    The fix is in – Mitchell just passed the baton and gave the rest of the ‘Netanyahu-Democrats’ cover.

    Either AIPAC must be forced to register as agents of a foreign government or Kristol, Schumer, Gregory and Mitchell should all wear buttons that say ‘Netanyahu Firster’ so there’s full disclosure of their little game

    This is the Israeli Lobby bipartisan Big Media colluding with the Israeli Lobby politicians

  13. atime forpeace
    December 23, 2012, 5:37 pm

    There is no Jewish lobby anywhere that I can see, I’m sure noone else sees it either.
    Jews in America do not support Israel reflexively in their majority, under familial pressures or through financial or professional intimidation.

    Below are comments made by MJay Rosenberg about the non existent lobby of mainly jewish organizations.

    “Of course, the irony about the war on Hagel is that it has been launched against him because he says that the lobby acts as one to intimidate policymakers and legislators and the lobby screams that there is no such thing as an organized lobby that does these things.

    Here is a list (not comprehensive) of those who have enlisted in the campaign against Chuck Hagel:

    American Jewish Committee

    The Anti-Defamation League

    AIPAC

    Commentary

    Republican Jewish Coalition

    National Jewish Democratic Council

    The Israel Project

    The Zionist Organization of America

    Plus, Bill Kristol, Jennifer Rubin, Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post, Ed Koch

    This list is only partial. Virtually all Jewish organizations, politicians and media figures are under pressure to condemn Hagel and many of them will. To its credit J Street is supporting Hagel and Israel Policy Forum has long been in the Hagel camp (it honored him for his support for Israel’s security in 2008).”

    Nope no lobby at all.
    Resentment is a bitch, beware the bite of the bitch.
    The tide keeps turning, just almost imperceptibly slow.

  14. just
    December 23, 2012, 5:44 pm

    Wouldn’t it have been a hoot if Andrea and David had even whispered any words wrt Hagel’s past statements re Israel, Palestine, or Peace and not just focused on the gay issue?

    I guess I’ll just be happy that Chris Hayes did yesterday.

    And Schumer knows Hagel well enough. What a slimy, weasly response.

    Thanks Annie and Phil.

  15. gingershot
    December 23, 2012, 5:47 pm

    I’m sure if I was David ‘hail to King of the Jews Bibi’ Gregory – I simply couldn’t have ‘just accidentally handpicked’ more rabid ‘usual suspect’ Neocons to coincidentally have signed up for my show for this especially magic ‘Hagel Sunday’ than Schumer and Graham

    This is how sausage is made in the Israeli Lobby – this was a set-up by Gregory, Schumer, Graham, and Mitchell

    Schumer and Graham were there for one reason and one reason only – to causally slip the 1 minute soundbyte into Hagel

    here’s the link to the Schumer/Graham clip on Hagel at 11:00 -( the last 1 minute of the clip):
    link to msnbc.msn.com

  16. David Doppler
    December 23, 2012, 6:22 pm

    It’s a matter of a Likud Loyalty Litmus test. Unless you brown your nose when the Lobby comes calling, then you will pay a price, especially if you are ambitious. The notion that Neocons serving at Netanyahu’s direction are able to put thumbs up or down on the US DOD Secretary appointment is appalling, especially where we are over-extended fiscally, militarily, and rapidly expending what credibility we have left internationally. My hopeful side imagines that Obama is letting the Lobby go into full swing, showing themselves to everyone, for the express purpose of pulling the rug out from under them all, giving them all the rope they need to hang themselves (to double up metaphors), thus rewarding someone for having refused the Lobby all along and do it all so that it looks really bad for Netanyahu going into his elections. My realist side prepares for yet another show of Obama’s unwillingness or inability to fight for what he and his supporters believe in. Another Obama-backing-off-from-bullies episode.

    • chinese box
      December 24, 2012, 8:14 am

      @David Doppler

      Bibi is so off-putting to so many that it may be better if Likud wins. The need for BDS would then become more obvious. Historically, the other two major parties haven’t shown the political will to stop the settlements either.

      I’m in favor a new peace process if it’s an honest one. However (and although I hate to say it) I don’t see Obama having the intestinal fortitude for that. That would mean another fight with the lobby in terms of choosing a controversial negotiator. Instead I see more dead end peace processing with BS “confidence building” measures with more settlements and the world going into a collective coma again.

  17. kalithea
    December 23, 2012, 6:55 pm

    That Israhell firster and shill Schumer should be forced to live with some Moldovan settlers on the West Bank for a year. Better yet, give him a one-way ticket!

  18. Sin Nombre
    December 23, 2012, 9:12 pm

    Perhaps not exactly attaining the height of candor and virtue here at least one can’t accuse Schumer of doing anything positively wrong.

    What, however, of our brave, forthright journalists here? You know, the people who claim to be in the business of candor?

    Of Mr. Gregory? Fresh from opening up a discussion about how his judaism informs and inspires him, knowing full well the source and reason of the main attack on Hagel in the last weeks and carefully not mentioning it …

    And Ms. Mitchell, synagogue-President daughter fresh (2008 not being all that long ago) from slurring non-urbanites as “rednecks” and knowing full well the same about Hagel as Gregory and then in fact going *beyond* Gregory by positively *misrepresenting* the situation by blaming gays and gays alone …

    And Mr. Gregory, knowing full well Ms. Mitchell knew the truth of same and *was* positively misrepresenting things and then not mentioning this either …

    Yessir; nothing to see here, just move along, move along.

    • Sin Nombre
      December 23, 2012, 9:58 pm

      P.S. to my last:

      Nothing to see here with this particular issue and/or at this particular time, that is.

      We are after all only talking about who is to be the mere Secretary of our Defense, an entire step down or so in the entire bloody national chain of command, at a time when a foreign power is openly trying to get us to start a war with another, and with open partisans of that first foreign power trying to influence who is in that position.

      No no, nothing to see here. No reason for any *particular* attention to fullness of reporting, openness, honesty, candor.

      It’s just … the national security and national interests and national blood (mostly “redneck”) and national treasure of the United States involved here.

      Certainly no reason to report or comment in such as way as to make sure one is putting aside one’s own personal interests, beliefs, values, concerns or etc.

      No no, none at all….

    • Annie Robbins
      December 23, 2012, 11:27 pm

      sin, i noticed this article interviewing lieberman

      link to politico.com

      Chuck Schumer, the top-ranking Jewish senator, indicated some reluctance Sunday to supporting former Sen. Chuck Hagel, should President Obama choose to nominate him for defense secretary.
      ….
      Retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), an Orthodox Jew, also expressed some hesitancy about Hagel on Sunday. Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Lieberman said there are “reasonable questions” to ask Hagel in confirmation hearings should he be nominated.

      does it even matter what anyone who isn’t jewish thinks? it’s as if … we could all care less about who the sec of defense is. why do they keep making a point of asking jewish representatives?

      • Sin Nombre
        December 24, 2012, 8:08 am

        You know, Annie, I don’t know that one can conclude any particular pro-Israeli or jewish sentiment on the part of the media by their “making a point of asking jewish representatives” about Hagel.

        Everyone knows the media feeds on controversy, so just as they are gonna go to big pro-NRA/pro-gun representatives or spokespersons for comments about any gun control measures proposed—to hopefully get some inflammatory comments or etc—they’re gonna go to those who they see as very pro-Israel for comments on Hagel.

        My problem however is that so spectacularly illustrated by this David Gregory/Andrea Mitchell reporting (so-called): At least when they go to a big NRA/pro-gun person or etc. they won’t be shy *identifying* that same is the case when reporting their comments. They won’t be shy asking about whether they took NRA money for their elections, or are members of the NRA, or have lots of NRA backers in their districts.

        As seen with Gregory/Mitchell though, not a word as to *why* they went to Schumer. Not a word as to *why* Schumer may not be backing Hagel. Not a question to Schumer as to whether his pro-Israel leanings have anything to do with it.

        It’s like … the love that dare not speak its name.

        Not only is this a gross violation of journalistic ethics, and a gross disservice to the American public—as I noted, this is about war and peace for this country even—but it’s just grossly stupid too on the part of the jewish Gregory’s and Mitchell’s out there.

        They think they’re being invisible doing this, and instead all they are doing is playing into the anti-semetic meme that jews protect jews above all, no matter what. That no jews can really be trusted. That when it comes to jewish affairs, out go the normal rules and codes and ethics and standards and principles.

        As tiresome as it may be I’ll say it again: This Hagel business isn’t just some little thing. Given what he’s said it’s directly relevant to at the very least to the issue of war and peace for the U.S. (with Iran). And yet there’s Gregory and Mitchell, playing their little pretend-ignorant game.

        You just want to scream at them: “Just how fucking stupid do you think we are? Just how fucking insulting can you be?”

        Unfortunately the inescapable answer is … lots and lots.

        And then the mainstream media like NBC who employ folks like Gregory and Mitchell wrings its mind and hands over how come people are turning to other sources for their “news,” and how come magazines like Newsweek is going down the crapper.

        It’s all just so stupid….

      • American
        December 24, 2012, 11:06 am

        “You just want to scream at them: “Just how fucking stupid do you think we are? Just how fucking insulting can you be?”….Sin Nombre

        Been my question also. How dense are these people?
        What do they think goes thru the average person’s head when they hear what we all heard in the Presidential campaign….with 50% of the talk being about their rock solid commitment to a foreign country all the way to bombing another country for it?……just the fact that half the campaign rhetoric was ‘about’ another country makes Americans scratch their heads and little red flags pop up.
        It’s just totally astounding that they and the politicians know nothing about what people on the street are saying …completely ignoring the buzz in the population about everything.
        Graham said the other day that “Hagel was out of the mainstream thought”…..Gawd!….if only he knew how mainstream Hagel’s views are on war and foreign affairs out here in the ‘actual country’ of America……Graham would be running for the hills or headed to Israel as a permanent “guest”( since he couldn’t be a citizen).

      • Mooser
        December 24, 2012, 11:51 am

        “They won’t be shy asking about whether they took NRA money for their elections, or are members of the NRA, or have lots of NRA backers in their districts.”

        Oh, the NRA isn’t worried. For his many and manifold contributions to America, Gun has been given extra rights, and needs not our questions abide.

      • seafoid
        December 24, 2012, 4:27 pm

        link to mobile.france24.com

        “I think there are some serious questions out there about whether or not we are taking seriously, within the armed services, the issue of mental health,” said Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington state, home to the army base where the accused soldier had been stationed.

        Murray, who recently raised questions about post-traumatic stress disorder diagnoses at that base, said she wondered whether the United States is “correctly” sending soldiers back into combat.

        War weary

        “I think we are looking at 10 years of war with some pretty war-weary people,” Murray told reporters outside the Senate chamber.

        Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is head trauma that either temporarily or permanently disrupts the brain’s function. It has been one of the most common injuries from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in part because vastly improved battlefield medical care has kept alive wounded soldiers who may have died in previous wars.

        Asked whether the accused soldier may have been sent back into combat too soon after suffering a brain injury, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said, “The military ought to take a very good look at it.”

        “A lot of deployments into this kind of action … and this kind of isolation. It’s very hard,” added Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee”

        link to vowvop.org

        National Book Award-winning author Maxine Hong Kingston has led writing-and-meditation workshops for veterans and their families. The contributors to this volume—combat veterans, medics, and others who served in war; gang members, drug users, and victims of domestic violence; draft resisters, deserters, and peace activists—are part of this community of writers working together to heal the trauma of war through art. On Friday, May 25, 2007, Bill Moyers Journal, featured Maxine Hong Kingston and Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace.Reading their words, we witness worlds torn apart then rebuilt.

        Elite Zionists don’t care about how many vets go postal post service. They couildn’t care less how many vets lose their marriages, their homes, their lives. Israel is all that counts.

        And they never do responsibility.

      • ritzl
        December 24, 2012, 9:56 pm

        Great comment, SN.

        Maybe not [just] stupid, but certainly blinkered (in the short term) and counterproductive/ignorant/willfully oblivious (in the long term).

        Again (sorry if I’m being repetitive), all profound examples of why this site is so absolutely necessary, if not critical. PW & Co. (and commenters) don’t back down much, as tough and costly as that must be.

      • just
        December 24, 2012, 8:27 am

        Great point!

      • Mooser
        December 24, 2012, 12:03 pm

        “Chuck Schumer, the top-ranking Jewish senator, Retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), an Orthodox Jew”

        Do you see what I mean, Annie? Why on earth would any Jew wish he was back in 19th century Europe, or even the Ottoman Empire? I wonder how many American Jews know what their precise relationship to the US is? I wonder how many of them believe there is a list of Jews somewhere, or that there are ‘ranks’ of intermediary Jews between Jews and Gentiles. Or is it an implicit in their social or political schema? Do they think it’s fun?
        And even when the facts are staring them in the face, they like to make a pretense of the earlier relationship? Why on earth would anybody do this? It’s fatal.

  19. gingershot
    December 24, 2012, 8:24 am

    The Invisible Obama is going to do to William Kristol what he did to Netanyahu –

    Perhaps Hagel is not the nominee for Sec of Defense – but instead the anvil upon which Kristol is to be crushed.

    Could The Invisible One be undoing the Neocon and Israel Lobby Coup running this country in response to the clear and present preeminent need of America – that which everyone here really knows HAS to happen?

    Nah – no one could be THAT good…?

    Could Zen Master be so masterfully undoing EXACTLY the thing that most needs to be undone – so masterfully as if it appears to be happening almost by magic – effortlessly conducting the soft 2nd American Revolution which freeing ourselves from the Neocons and Israel Lobby would actually be?

    Who better than Hagel to help him? Is there anyone else who even could?

    When King Kristol regains consciousness his Neocon Empire will be laying in tatters at his feet – just like King Netanyahu found a couple of months ago after he woke up after tangling with the Shao Lin Master

    During Netanyahu’s run-up to what became a desperate sprint to trying to shove Obama into Iran this last fall – I started first wondering and then convincing myself that Obama was playing Netanyahu like a violin.

    He had ‘seen Netanyahu coming’ (hey, who didn’t) but with the patience of a Zen Master or rattlesnake had just waited…waited….waited…until Bibi was fully committed, come to far to try going back on his gambit, had shot his last wad, had Israel itself trying to put Bibi in a mental institution – and then and only then finally striking and simply flattening Netanyahu out, paying no political price, winning the election, and then (in my mind at least), silently looking back at the stunned prostrated Netanyahu as if to say, though not saying, ‘is that all you got?’

    Netanyahu has been enraged ever since – over the hill certifiably mad – just witness the whole E1 debacle, losing the EU, the finger to the UN, and the Faustian bargain with Luciferman himself. Obama so un-cooled Netanyahu’s cool that Netanyahu will never ever even have his cool again.

    Obama made him look like a sucker so BADLY that Mr MIT was actually SEEN actually still thinking Romney was going to win – when everyone else on the planet besides Karl Rove knew otherwise.

    Now Netanyahu is in a manic out of his mind phase, completely unbalanced, wrongfooted, unnerved and just ‘out of control’. He’s not just playing mad dog – he IS mad dog – and the whole world also SEES it and knows what to do with this kind of mad dog. It has organizing power. Again, a masterstroke just taking it’s natural masterful course

    He made Netanyahu not only look like a fool, but a fool who had done it to himself, and even worse, that it was true that in fact he HAD done it to himself, and even worse, the whole world saw him as a fool even when he himself couldn’t, and even worse, the whole world was just laughing at him by the time he got up for his Wylie Coyote bomb speech – and that is masterful, folks. And it happened…

    It was a masterful ambush and even more amazingly – it worked like magic. And it didn’t happen by accident. Someone made it happen and that someone was the ‘invisible Obama’

    I think the same thing is happening now with William Kristol and his merry band of hubris-filled neocons. Is King Kristol of the Neocons any different or more formidable than King Netanyahu? Does anyone think Obama can’t take Kristol?

    Is this not just Part 2 of the same story, of which the dethroning of King Netanyahu was just Part 1? Is it not the same people, the same neocons, all rounded up, all out in the open, all in the k*ll zone. Did Kristol not just come a’running to Obama’s silent whistle?

    Hagel was just good bait.

    Kristol is way past ‘all in’, fully committed, ‘ain’t no going back’. He’s out in the open – and he rounded up all his friends to be with him. This will be the end of Kristol’s career if he is humiliated here and now…. Perfect.

    And even more delicious, Kristol doesn’t even remember he just saw this movie a month or so ago. Kristol will have the opportunity to prove, as is last public act, that he was ineducable. Ah – the blindness of narcissism… such a powerful tool to use against one’s foe, laughs the Buddha.

    Ain’t ever going to happen? Tell it to what’s left of Netanyahu…

    • American
      December 24, 2012, 11:22 am

      Obama may be playing Zen chess. But I’ve really lost interest in ”playing the game’ as a way to avoid calling out the US I-First traitors and Israel for what they are.
      A lot of blood and money could have been and could still be saved by just playing King Kong and taking to the US bully pulpit and letting the truth rip.

    • CloakAndDagger
      December 24, 2012, 7:59 pm

      I’ll bite. How does your story end?

  20. American
    December 24, 2012, 11:14 am

    Chas Freeman speaks on the attacks on Hagel..

    “History is indeed repeating itself with Sen. Hagel; this time, as Marx predicted, as farce. All of the elements I noted in my statement of withdrawal in 2009 are there: “The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth. The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors.” None of this has changed, including the effort to make the campaign appear to be about something other than obeisance to Israel. (China in my case; so far gay rights — with more likely to come — in Sen. Hagel’s.)

    continued at …….
    link to lobelog.com

  21. American
    December 24, 2012, 12:42 pm

    All I want for Christmas is an American Lobby. ( And that’s what it will probably have to come to if we want to beat the foreign interest or any corruption in DC).
    This is an excellent paper btw covering several lobbies ….that says outright that all *American – Hyphen-Whatever* lobbies for ‘other countries” are ETHNIC membership lobbies…duh. Gawd! such a no brainer why bother to deny it?
    Also makes crystal clear with direct examples that it is the money donated to politicians by these ethnic groups that buys their decisions on US foreign policy.

    link to viet-studies.info

    Diplomacy, Inc.
    The Influence of Lobbies on U.S. Foreign Policy
    May/June 2009
    John Newhouse
    JOHN NEWHOUSE is a Senior Fellow at the World Security Institute and the author of a forthcoming book on foreign lobbies in the United States to be published by Simon & Schuster.

    (excerpt)

    THE POWER OF MONEY

    The effects of the relentless increase in the privatization of U.S. foreign policy in recent years remain underexamined and minimally understood. Many foreign governments, friendly or allied or both, deplore the skewing of U.S. policy caused by the activities of Washington based foreign agents. Not so long ago, the foreign and defense ministries of these governments would swallow hard when they saw a U.S. policy being redirected by special interests. But there was also a confidence that the U.S. government would, in the end, set policy back on a sensible course.

    Over the past several years, however, these governments have lost that confidence. They have learned that the control of policy, once lost, may not be restored to capable, disinterested hands. Instead, they see a uniquely American habit of sustaining the democratic process with money; they see a broad and deepening pattern of corrupt and corruptible members of Congress making self-serving deals with lobbyists working for foreign entities.
    Some of what these lobbyists do is harmless and perhaps even useful. However, more and more, the big money financing this activity works to steer U.S. national security policy in the wrong direction. The lobbying process ignores — or, in some cases, promotes — instability in potentially volatile regions, such as South Asia and the Middle East, often backing questionable regimes by disguising their activities and the threats they pose. The activities of lobbies representing foreign interests have contributed to the gradual erosion of the United States’ credibility and influence in the world.’

    Copyright © 2002-2009 by the Council on Foreign Relation

  22. Rusty Pipes
    December 24, 2012, 2:30 pm

    I am less concerned about what Schumer and Graham actually said (both fairly vague) than about the way that Mitchell and Graham spun their comments. The senate is a very collegial chamber, so most senators would have a hard time going on record opposing one of their colleagues for a nomination without a reason they could sell both to the public and to their colleagues. Does the Senate really want to be in the kleig lights while signing AIPAC’s napkin?

    Even Chuck Schumer, as a senator from New York, may know what he needs to say and do to please donors, but the majority of Democrats in his state do not want war with Iran and are closer to Hagel’s views on Defense. Does Schumer really want to oppose Hagel’s nomination in front of all of the Democrats in his state? Does he want to oppose the Democratic president’s nominee and be seen as putting up a roadblock to the Democrats’ agenda at the beginning of Obama’s second term?

  23. upsidedownism
    December 24, 2012, 5:46 pm

    there are all kinds of tactics employed in the politics of nominations. Couple of examples:

    If Obama dumps Hagel, and is later criticized for his policies vis a vis Israel, he’ll be able to say to people like Schumer, look, help me on this issue, I’ did you a favor before by not nominating Hagel.

    Another reason, is that floating one controversial nomination can help the actual nominee have an easier time getting Senate approval. Senators as well as Presidents have a finite amount of political capital to spend; having made the point they won’t nominate anybody, Senators will be that much more congenial to the next candidate for nominee, whoever it is.

  24. mcohen
    December 24, 2012, 9:33 pm

    hagel was the bagel but who is going to be the real choice-thats the question that you never asked so the show is not over yet until the Chicago lawyers play there hand and who comes from that side of the street?

    rahm

  25. Mooser
    December 26, 2012, 11:31 am

    I must admit, I was pretty shocked when the author opened the piece by likening a bagel to a “zero”. I was taught that “bagel” is a positive, irrational number.

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