The war over Hagel is on

Israel/Palestine
on 78 Comments
Chuck Hagel
Chuck Hagel, from the BBC

The war over Chuck Hagel’s possible appointment to be Secretary of Defense has begun in earnest, but right now at the fringe: leading the attack are neoconservatives at the Weekly Standard and the Republican Jewish Coalition who surely hope to nip this idea in the bud lest a Republican who has been openly critical of Israel gets a top policy job. 

Following an earlier anonymous threat he published from an alleged congressional staffer to paint Hagel as an “anti-Semite,” neoconservative godfather Bill Kristol has published “a fact sheet circulating widely on Capitol Hill” (who knows what that means?) that seeks to portray Chuck Hagel as an Israel-hater who would appease Iran. Some of the fact sheet’s assertions will please those who seek a balanced American policy in the Middle East: 

 In December 2005, Hagel was one of 27 Senators who refused to sign a letter to President Bush requesting the U.S. pressure the Palestinians to ban terrorist groups from participating in legislative elections…

In August 2006, Hagel was only of 12 senators who refused to sign a letter asking the EU to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization…

  In July 2002, in a Washington Post op-ed, after several of the most deadly months of Palestinian suicide bombings, Hagel wrote that the U.S. was erroneously “making Yassir Arafat the issue,” that Palestinians could not be expected to make democratic reforms as long as “Israeli military occupation and settlement activity” continue, and that “Israel must take steps to show its commitment to peace.”…

 In calling upon President Bush to demand an immediate ceasefire after Israel responded to a Hezbollah attack in 2006, Hagel said: “This madness must stop,” and accused Israel of “the systematic destruction of an American friend — the country and people of Lebanon.”

Other neocons are echo-chambering Hagel’s “anti-Israel” positions, and landing on the fact that Stephen Walt, co-author of The Israel Lobby, is for Hagel.

It doesn’t matter that Hagel is a Republican; on its twitter feed, the Republican Jewish Coalition has cited Hagel’s “fond” reflections of Iranian diplomats, retweeted an article saying that Hagel has “malignant” feelings about Israel, and has challenged the National Jewish Democratic Council to condemn Hagel, based on the 2009 statements by former NJDC leader (and Obama Jewish point man) Ira Forman that he saw Hagel as a concern for Israel supporters. RJC’s Matt Brooks calls the possible nod a slap in the face to Israel supporters:

The Jewish community and every American who supports a strong U.S.-Israel relationship have cause for alarm if the President taps Hagel for such an important post. 

But Peter Beinart argues that AIPAC won’t be able to defeat Hagel if he’s nominated and that it will fold its hand and let the hard-right howl. Also at Beinart’s shop, Ali Gharib quotes one Democrat who’s supportive of Hagel:

 I asked [Aaron David] Miller if he still viewed Hagel as “pro-Israel.” “I don’t think there’s a Senator of note in the Senate who is not pro-Israel,” he responded. “But there is a difference between a special relationship with Israel and an exclusive relationship with Israel. I believe in the former and Chuck Hagel believes the former.”

Miller is being approached because he reported Hagel’s view of the “Jewish lobby” in the notes to his book back in 2008. I picked that up then and wondered whether journalists would pick up on the charges:

[Hagel told Miller,] “The political reality is that… the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here.” Hagel then related a meeting he had in New York with a group of supporters of Israel who are pushing the U.S. to attack Iran. When Hagel said it hadn’t worked out that well in Iraq, a couple of members of the group said he wasn’t supportive enough of Israel. Hagel spoke firmly: “Let me clear something up here if there’s any doubt in your mind. I’m a U.S. Senator. I’m not an Israeli senator. I’m a U.S. Senator. I support Israel… But my first interest is, I take an oath to the constitution of the United States. Not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel.” Gee.

Several writers have suggested that Chuck Hagel could get the Bobby Ray Inman treatment. Admiral Inman was nominated by President Bill Clinton to be Secretary of Defense in the mid-90s but was opposed by the Israel lobby. “It was [the late] William Safire who went after him,” Peter Voskamp recalled in a note. “Then, after Inman held a press conference explaining why he pulled himself out of the running, the media gave him the Howard Dean treatment, suggesting that he showed himself to be a rambling weirdo and good riddance.”

I wrote about Inman in 2006, with Voskamp’s help. Here’s my post, in which Inman described the Iraq war as the work of pro-Israel zealots, a view that I would guess Chuck Hagel shares.

H/t Ilene Cohen for headline.

About Philip Weiss

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

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78 Responses

  1. Avi_G.
    December 15, 2012, 12:44 pm

    How many of those Zionist Neoconservative rats are actually qualified to make those statements, evaluate, and scrutinize a Secretary of State nominee?

    Do any of them actually qualify to pass judgment, professionally or morally?

    • justicewillprevail
      December 15, 2012, 1:40 pm

      Certainly they have no moral or any other right to interfere in state matters. It is a mark of their overweening arrogance, disregard for US democracy, and overriding sense of self-imprtance that they assume the right to manipulate the US government for their own ends, none of which correspond with the interests of US citizens. That so many in power acquiesce is a testimony to their weakness in the face of moral blackmail and threats to their careers.

    • Krauss
      December 15, 2012, 5:30 pm

      I personally think that Chuck Hagel will not even get nominated.

      I always thought that Steve Rosen’s maxim about AIPAC as a ‘night flower’ was slightly incorrect. In broad swathes, it holds true, but during certain circumstances it wants to be seen.

      The reason is simple: to make an example. By making such a fuss about Hagel, it wants to remind the Belyway pols who is in charge lest they cross their way. My guess is that Obama will fold even before the nomination. He doesn’t want to get humiliated yet again, in a fight he knows he can’t win. Susan Rice was always a difficult read. Hagel, on the other, does not have the blessing of the lobby – which Rice did have.

      And everytime Obama has gone toe to toe with the lobby, he got butchered by them. I don’t think he wants to end up in a situation like that again.

      So even if Hagel isn’t nominated, the lobby wants the noise to be there on beforehand to send a message. Of course, if Obama did indeed nominate Hagel and if Hagel against all odds would win it, it would represent a huge win for democracy. But the lobby isn’t exactly weak.

    • piotr
      December 16, 2012, 10:25 pm

      Of course they are qualified! By being persistently wrong, they proved that they are serious thinkers with a strength of convictions. It is easy to make correct predictions that this or that war would fail, simply make the same stupid anti-war bet (forgetting that we won WWII and Grenada), getting accolades from cool leftists. But to champion the doomed and ugly, that takes balls. It is also well paid, and thus provably not stupid. I bet that would it pass that Chuck will be criticized, every critic will be at least senior fellow, but more often that not president or chairman of this and that. And not some el cheapo outfits, but serious organizations with multi-million budgets.

      Compare with the credentials of the author of this post. Is he at least Senior Editor or Co-Chairman of Mondoweiss Foundation? Budget we can look up in the upper right corner. I wonder if it would suffice to pay for catering at a serious dinner with policy discussions.

      PS. Would Obama be foolish enough to nominate Hagel, I think that opponents would sweat blood. For starters, making a hateful figure from someone named Chuck is an uphill battle.

  2. pabelmont
    December 15, 2012, 12:57 pm

    Sounds like a sound statesman, certainly to the extent of being willing to declare openly that representing Israel and representing the USA are (likely to be) (actually) (in principle) different things.

    Anyone see daylight here? OK, and it’s NOT “Hegel”.

    • DICKERSON3870
      December 16, 2012, 3:12 am

      RE: “[Hagel] Sounds like a sound statesman . . .” ~ Pabelmont

      MY REPLY: And a “sound statesman” is the last thing the neocons want to see in Obama’s second-term Cabinet.
      A “sound statesman” is virtually an “existential threat” to the pro-Israel lobby!

  3. justicewillprevail
    December 15, 2012, 1:00 pm

    Iran is being appeased? With sanctions which are hurting children who need vital drugs, aeroplanes which need vital parts to avoid tragedies, which are causing chaos in their economy, affecting ordinary people and not the heirarchy?

    Their is one state which is being appeased, and has been for years, and that is Israel.

  4. braciole
    December 15, 2012, 1:25 pm

    His views seem eminently sensible to me which suggests that his opponents are raving loonies.
    BTW, some one should start a campaign to allow unlimited immigration from Israel to the EU. After a few years, Israel as we know it (although not the Jewish people) may disappear from the pages of history.

    • Ellen
      December 15, 2012, 2:48 pm

      Until recently more Jews were immigrating to Germany than Israel. (And some leaving Israel for Germany. ) Then the Israeli government put pressure onto Germany to “stop that.”

      But Amnon has left the country his grandparents help build. “I moved to Germany 18 months ago,” he said, “and I’m not planning on moving back to Israel any time soon.”

      He is not alone.

      “Israel’s greatest concern at the moment is that there have never been more Israelis living abroad,” said Rabbi Walter Homolka.

      He described it as a “brain drain” and said Germany was one of the “biggest expat centres”.

      link to telegraph.co.uk

    • amigo
      December 15, 2012, 3:46 pm

      “BTW, some one should start a campaign to allow unlimited immigration from Israel to the EU. ”

      Now hold on a minute—we in the EU already have more than enough Israel Firsters.

      Send them to Russia or moldovia.

      Unless they are willing to give up their Israeli Passports for a Host Country version and pledge allegiance to that country above all others.

      Annnnd, no interfering in or trying to get their host country to put it,s interest before any other nation.

      Those are the conditions.

    • Mooser
      December 17, 2012, 7:12 pm

      “BTW, some one should start a campaign to allow unlimited immigration from Israel to the EU.”

      Unfortunately, many, many Israelis will not qualify for admission to EU, due to war of other crimes on their record. Would you like a bunch of ex-settlers and IDF men in your neighborhood?

      • Ellen
        December 18, 2012, 4:42 pm

        Mooser, we’ve got an entire sub set of the immigration legal industry in the USA dedicated to doing just that!

        link to relocation-law.com

        Between New York and D.C. there are hundreds of lawyers toiling for all those Volga White Russian “German Jews” who went to Israel and those squatter settlements because Israel pressured Germany not to allow their entry into Germany in the late 90′s.

        When this all goes down, they will wind up in the US. And like many Americans, they will be well armed and fit right in.

  5. chris_k
    December 15, 2012, 1:37 pm

    I watched one talk show where Hagel asked “Is it our plan to back them into the Jordan river?”

    The way Obama floats these names out that relate to the Middle East is problematic. He should decide who his team is and make an announcement. He put off a decision on where to put George Mitchell and Dennis Ross in late 2008, and succumbed to pressure to let Ross assume a position to effectively undercut Mitchell. I see that happening again here. What purpose does it serve to float a name and let the Lobby dig in its heels, so that they’ll be even angrier if Hagel gets the job?

    • David Green
      December 17, 2012, 10:12 pm

      Why do you assume that Obama’s strategy is anything other than to continue to support everything Israel does, and to hire people to carry out the charade that he supports some sort of just settlement? Do you really think that Obama is to the left of the Lobby?

      • Rusty Pipes
        December 18, 2012, 1:25 pm

        At a time when Mordechai Vanunu was exposing Israel’s nuclear weapons’ program, Obama was out on the streets protesting American nukes. Even if he has moderated considerably since his college days, considering how far-right the Lobby is, Obama, along with any American remotely sane, is to the Left of the Lobby. However, unlike other Americans, he has to raise money and support congresscritters who raise money from “the Democrats’ ATM.”

  6. Les
    December 15, 2012, 1:43 pm

    How long before Obama crumbles?

    Since most Jews vote Democratic, there is no need for a Democratic Jewish Coalition. But there is the fact that “Republican versus Democrat” is a simpleton’s notion given that our Congress is above all buy-partisan.

  7. seanmcbride
    December 15, 2012, 1:50 pm

    Chuck Hagel is flushing all the Israel Firsters out into the open where they can be closely examined and their beliefs and activities minutely dissected. Here they are so far:

    1. AEI (American Enterprise Institute)
    2. AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee)
    3. Alana Goodman
    4. Commentary Magazine
    5. Daniel Greenfield
    6. Debbie Schlussel
    7. ECI (Emergency Committee for Israel)
    8. Frontpage Magazine
    9. Gil Troy
    10. Ira Forman
    11. Jeff Dunetz (Yid with Lid)
    12. Jennifer Rubin
    13. Josh Block
    14. Michael Rubin
    15. Morris Amitay
    16. Morton Klein
    17. National Review
    18. Noah Silverman
    19. NJDC (National Jewish Democratic Council)
    20. Open Zion
    21. Pamela Geller
    22. Paul Mirengoff
    23. Philip Klein
    24. Power Line
    25. RJC (Republican Jewish Coalition)
    26. The Israel Project
    27. Times of Israel
    28. Weekly Standard
    29. William Kristol
    30. ZOA (Zionist Organization of America)

    The vast majority of those attacking Hagel are Jewish nationalists and Israeli patriots. That’s a plain fact. And these are some of their favorite attack terms:

    1. anti-Israel
    2. antisemite
    3. appeaser
    4. isolationist
    5. Jew-hater

    Keep in mind that nearly all these neocons are chickenhawks and that Hagel is an American veteran and an unquestioned American patriot. They got the Iraq War wrong; he got it right.

    If you want to follow the Chuck Hagel story, here are two methods:

    1. Prismatic: Chuck Hagel link to getprismatic.com

    2. Google News: Chuck Hagel
    link to google.com

    Watch the Israel lobby go haywire.

    • American
      December 15, 2012, 3:28 pm

      LOL…..good job Sean.

    • David Doppler
      December 15, 2012, 4:34 pm

      Great lists, Sean, and great perspective on flushing them out into the open. I sense the extremism of Likud-Beiteinu provides additional room for many to clarify that their support for Israel does not extend to authoritarian and racist abuse of an occupied people, nor to dancing to the paid piper of a foreign power on such a crucial position in US government. Avigdor Lieberman’s legal problems add additional room – why dance to the paid piper of an indicted breacher of trust, and, by some reports, fraudster, and his partner apologist?.

    • Kathleen
      December 15, 2012, 11:01 pm

      While that list is substantive but expected going to be really interesting to watch how Debbie Wasserman/Schultz, Schumer, Feinstein, know Lieberman is leaving but he knows how to do some damage and other Israeli firsters in congress try to cut Hagel off at the knees behind the scenes.

      We all need to link these post about Hagel and encourage folks to call their Reps, contact Obama’s Whouse page and let them know there are plenty of folks out here who would like to witness the Hagel nomination go forward. Let’s hope Obama sees this as an opportune way not only to promote a seriously qualified individual for the post but an individual who is a US firster. Contact your Reps and Obama let them know we are out here. Encourage others to do the same.

      • Rusty Pipes
        December 17, 2012, 4:05 pm

        Actually, as far as CA Senators go, Boxer is far more AIPAC-compliant than Feinstein. Feinstein will at least respond to constituent letters about Israel. Also, she has co-sponsored some alternate-to-AIPAC legislation with Hagel.

    • seanmcbride
      December 16, 2012, 8:57 am

      Add Ed Koch to the list of those who are ganging up on Chuck Hagel and who are trying to turn the Defense Department into an adjunct of the Israeli government:

      “Ed Koch on Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary: “It Would be a Terrible Appointment””

      link to algemeiner.com

      In a recent interview with The Algemeiner, former New York Mayor and staunch backer of President Obama’s re-election, Ed Koch, strongly opposed the possible appointment of former senator Chuck Hagel as America’s next defense secretary, due to the latter’s perceived hostility towards Israel.

      “I believe it would be a terrible appointment,” he said, “and so do apparently most of the Jewish leaders who have expressed themselves.”

      Koch didn’t just use the “I” word to explain his motives in attacking Hagel — he used the “J” word. He’s a “liberal Zionist,” you know.

    • seanmcbride
      December 16, 2012, 9:21 am

      Add two more parties to the list of Chuck Hagel attackers, along with Ed Koch:

      1. Adam Kredo
      2. Washington Free Beacon

      “The Secretary of Defense Cuts”
      link to freebeacon.com

      A few interesting facts that emerge in the article:

      1. William Kristol is a board member of the Center for American Freedom.

      2. The Center for American Freedom publishes the Washington Free Beacon.

      3. The Washington Free Beacon publishes Adam Kredo.

      4. Adam Kredo attacked Chuck Hagel in the Washington Free Beacon on behalf of the Israeli government and the Israel lobby.

      Or:

      Israel lobby > William Kristol > Center for American Freedom > Washington Free Beacon > Adam Kredo > attack on Chuck Hagel

      Chairman of the Center for American Freedom: Michael Goldfarb.

      Do you notice how neoconservatives usually use names for their ops that are completely bogus, misleading, deceptive, manipulative, etc.? Most neocons couldn’t care less about American values, the American interest or their fellow Americans. For them it’s all about Israel and their narrow ethnic nationalism all the time.

      • Mooser
        December 17, 2012, 7:17 pm

        “Add two more parties to the list of Chuck Hagel attackers, along with Ed Koch:”

        Add two more? I thought it was complete? Is it complete now? How the heck am I supposed to get “great congnitive power” (measured in BFM’s?) out of an incomplete list?

    • Citizen
      December 16, 2012, 10:05 am

      We can add to the list Commentary Magazine/Blog. It published a hatchet job on Hagel a couple of days ago. I posted the hot link on this blog twice already.

      • Kathleen
        December 17, 2012, 2:37 pm

        I really wonder what Schumer, Wasserman Schultz etc are doing in the back rooms to undermine Hagel’s nomination. You can bet they are

        • piotr
          December 17, 2012, 10:37 pm

          For all I know, Wasserman Schultz may be an amiable idiot (mostly harmless). Schumer is a different story.

  8. yourstruly
    December 15, 2012, 2:07 pm

    “i’m a u.s. senator, not an israeli senator”

    assuming hagel is appointed & then confirmed by the senate, whether or not there’ll be any changes in u.s. middle east policies will depend upon the growth & strength of the justice for palestine movement

    so where’s justice?

    around the corner
    in just a half an hour

    • Les
      December 15, 2012, 4:53 pm

      America’s Zionist politicians are part-time Americans and part-time Israelis. We can never be sure in whose interest they are operating at any given moment.

  9. radii
    December 15, 2012, 3:33 pm

    Obama has picked Hagel knowing there is going to be fury from the israeli lobby, so if he folds then the question is why did he do it in the first place?

    … if he truly fights for Hagel, and wins, and gets him through the confirmation process, then is he signalling a get-tough approach with israel for his 2nd term? … and if so, then why the capitulation the past few months when it was clear he had the jewish vote in the bag already?

    • Kathleen
      December 15, 2012, 11:03 pm

      Exactly. Flushing out the Israeli firsters and promoting a US firster. This is such a great sign from Obama. Now if he puts up the fight. lots of us behind this…contact Obama contact your Reps. The people want Hagel as Secretary of Defense

  10. chet
    December 15, 2012, 4:39 pm

    Is this Pres. Obama’s first move in retaliation for Netanyahoo’s humiliations and his meddling in the election?

    One can only hope it is only the first move.

  11. DICKERSON3870
    December 15, 2012, 5:48 pm

    ● RE: “Following an earlier anonymous threat he published from an alleged congressional staffer to paint Hagel as an ‘anti-Semite’, neoconservative godfather Bill Kristol has published ‘a fact sheet circulating widely on Capitol Hill’ (who knows what that means?)~ Weiss

    ● MY COMMENT: I believe I know what it means (thanks to M.J. Rosenberg)! ! !

    ● SEE: “Why the U.S. Media Barely Covered Brutal Right-Wing Race Riots in Tel Aviv”, By Joshua Holland, AlterNet, 6/17/12

    [EXCERPTS] . . . Recently, Middle East analyst MJ Rosenberg appeared on the AlterNet Radio Hour to discuss the Tel Aviv riots, the stand-off over Iran’s nuclear program and how the Israel lobby helps narrow the discourse around Israel in the United States. Below is a lightly edited transcript of the discussion (you can listen to the whole interview here.)
    [EXCERPTS]
    • JOSHUA HOLLAND: From your inside perspective on that organization [AIPAC], what did you see as far as their tendency to call out criticism that they think is illegitimate or beyond the pale?
    • MJ ROSENBERG: They [AIPAC] consider all criticism of Israel illegitimate. It’s all beyond the pale. I suppose their definition would be if by some miracle someone like Joseph Lieberman made a statement critical of Israel it would be legitimate. When I worked there in the ’80s, back before everyone had computers, they had a big war room where all they did was assemble every bit of data on members of Congress, on candidates, but also on writers, celebrities – anyone in the public eye.
    In those days they would just put them in these folders. They always had at hand all this negative information — what they considered negative information — to tar people as being anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic. That stuff would be given to reporters if something came up. They were either initiated on their own to give to reporters or some reporter called them because they had a treasure trove of information.
    They still operate that way. In those days they did it directly; now they have former staffers and people who are close to the organization in the blogging world and political world who do it for them. They do it so much. When you read that someone is anti-Israel they’re the ones putting it out there. They’ve got the data. . .

    ENTIRE (LIGHTLY EDITED) TRANSCRIPT – link to alternet.org

    P.S. Can you say “night flower”? Sure you can!

  12. Keith
    December 15, 2012, 6:00 pm

    “…seeks to portray Chuck Hagel as an Israel-hater who would appease Iran.”

    Why do I suspect that this may be little more than political theater, roughly equivalent to the Republicans calling Barack Obama a socialist? The intent seems to be to create the illusion of significant differences between the various flavors of imperial militarists, thereby permitting liberals to further deceive themselves that the appointment of Hagel would actually constitute some sort of victory rather than a continuation of imperial business as usual.

    “Several writers have suggested that Chuck Hagel could get the Bobby Ray Inman treatment.”

    Inman may have made some slight difference as Secretary of Defense, however, Hagel would, at best, only appear to be a restraining influence, all the better to sell imperial militarism, just as Obama is better at selling neoliberal structural adjustment than any Republican. No need to get unduly excited.

    • David Green
      December 16, 2012, 12:09 pm

      For crying out loud, who do these people think Hagel is?

      I saw him on C-Span last night speaking at a ridiculous Senate foreign policy committee self-praise fest, with Lugar, Kerry, the whole gang. What a bloviator and a bore.

      Why on earth does anyone think that he would be doing anything other than the Empire’s business?

      • Shingo
        December 17, 2012, 5:21 pm

        What a bloviator and a bore.

        That’s funny. That;s exactly what the neocons said about him.

        Why on earth does anyone think that he would be doing anything other than the Empire’s business?

        David obviously wants a more suitable (pro Israeli) candidate who wouldn’t dare suggest that US and Israeli interests are different.

        • Keith
          December 18, 2012, 12:08 pm

          SHINGO- “David obviously wants a more suitable (pro Israeli) candidate who wouldn’t dare suggest that US and Israeli interests are different.”

          What has David Green ever said or done to cause you to claim that he is a pro-Israel crypto Zionist? Is it because he, like me, rejects the idea that the empire is being run out of Tel Aviv? If your opposition to Israeli actions is based primarily upon the belief that these actions are harmful to the well being of empire, then you need to reevaluate your moral orientation. Empire’s actions and Israeli actions are both morally reprehensible and should be opposed. In fact, empire’s actions are much worse because they effect many more people and could ultimately lead to the termination of the species and most other life forms on planet Earth. And “empire” has morphed into the corporate/financial empire that is currently turning the US into a Third World country. Take a look at what has been going on for the last 20 years. Is the de-industrialization of the US and the financialization of the economy the work of “patriots?”

  13. Inanna
    December 15, 2012, 6:48 pm

    Against the notion of AIPAC power you have Senate collegiality, which demands that colleagues and former colleagues be treated deferentially and respectfully. Not only that, the Democrats would have a hard time opposing their President’s pick and the Republicans would have a hard time opposing a fellow Republican. Furthermore, Hagel’s defence/foreign policy views resonate with the non-insane wing of the Republican faithful and lot so Independents and Democrats. Put that against a background of war exhaustion on the part of the US population and military, the behavior the President has been subjected to by Netanyahu and growing American anger at Israeli ingratitude and I’m thinking that if Obama nominates Hagel, it could well be genius.

  14. lyn117
    December 15, 2012, 6:56 pm

    OK, so “Jewish lobby” is in fact intimidating a lot of people on capital hill, thereby proving Hagel right.

  15. john h
    December 15, 2012, 10:20 pm

    It looks like Kerry is the man. link to news.yahoo.com

  16. Nevada Ned
    December 16, 2012, 12:56 am

    I have a serious question for those who think that the Iraq war was entirely (or mostly) the work of AIPAC and other Israeli zealots.
    The current war is Persian Gulf War II, started in 2003.
    No question that the Israel lobby was pushing for war.

    Before the current war was Persian Gulf War I, started in 1991.
    The President was George H. W. Bush. Nobody (or almost nobody) claims that the first war
    was started by the Israel Lobby. George H. W. Bush had a frosty relationship with the Lobby.
    His secretary of state, James Baker, is rumored to have said, “Oh, f*ck the Jews, they don’t vote for us anyway!”

    The conclusion that I draw is this: while the Israel lobby has a lot of clout, and used that clout in bellowing for war, the first and second Persian gulf wars probably would have happened anyway, even if the Lobby was not pushing for war.

  17. DICKERSON3870
    December 16, 2012, 3:01 am

    RE: “The war over Hagel is on” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Hell hath no fury like a Neocon scorned!

    • DICKERSON3870
      December 16, 2012, 3:20 am

      P.S. Does anyone else remember the “good old days” back in the 90s when Nancy Kassebaum was the moderate Republican senator from Kansas?
      How times change! ! !

    • DICKERSON3870
      December 16, 2012, 3:52 am

      RE: “Does anyone else remember the ‘good old days’ back in the 90s when Nancy Kassebaum was the moderate Republican senator from Kansas? How times change! ! !” – me (above)

      A LATE AUTUMN EVENING’S MUSICAL INTERLUDE, proudly brought to you by the makers of new Ziocaine Über-Xtreme®: It’s guaran-damn-teed to blow your effing mind!™

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  18. iResistDe4iAm
    December 16, 2012, 6:53 am

    “Send us Hagel and we will make sure every American knows he is an anti-Semite” ~ senior Republican Senate aide

    If Chuck Hagel is a real anti-Semite, would that make Barack Obama an anti-Semite if he nominates an unrepentant “anti-Semite” as Secretary of Defense?

    Or the corollary. Given Barack Obama’s unblemished pro-Israel record, if he nominates Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense would that prove that Hagel is not really an anti-Semite after all?

    Given that “the war over Hagel is [already] on”, nominating Hagel would be akin to declaring war on the Israel Lobby. Going by his unblemished record of capitulation, Obama is therefore not likely to nominate Hagel. Oh well, is Dennis Ross still available?

  19. Kathleen
    December 16, 2012, 10:12 am

    We need to do everything in our power as citizens to promote Hagel’s nomination. Contacting Reps, the Pres, petitions with signatures in support of this nomination, letters to the editors of our local papers. Push push push. Hagel would make a phenomenal Secretary of Defense. He would operate on facts and in the best interest of the US and in many ways Israel based on the 67 border. He would be more of a REAL FRIEND to Israel by letting them know they are on a self destructive path ultimately.

    • David Green
      December 17, 2012, 10:00 am

      I just have to say that this is an utterly ridiculous comment. With Hagel in this post, USFP will go on its violent and merry way, as always. You live in an absolute fantasy world, and that’s really too bad. And by the way, he will not “stand up” to Israel; no way. It’s just nonsense, and a complete distraction.

      • Kathleen
        December 17, 2012, 2:39 pm

        Is that what you are hoping that Hagel would not “stand up” to Israel. He all ready has. And all indications is that he would. Keep pushing for Hagel with your Reps, with Obama, writing letters to the editor stating why Hagel would be so great as the Secretary of Defense

        • David Green
          December 17, 2012, 3:01 pm

          So what made anyone think that Obama would make a difference? Always some snake oil on the horizon.

        • Shingo
          December 17, 2012, 5:19 pm

          David is obviously concerned that there might indeed be change and that this might impact his beloved Israel.

          Another JStreeter.

        • Annie Robbins
          December 17, 2012, 9:51 pm

          makes lemons out of lemonade if anyone can shingo.

        • David Green
          December 17, 2012, 9:58 pm

          “JStreeter.”

          Great epithet. A real zinger. Thanks for putting so much thought into it.

      • Kathleen
        December 17, 2012, 4:01 pm

        By the way David Green if Hagel is just going to roll over and bark for the I lobby and Israel by militarily intervening in Iran the way Israel and the I lobby would like why would they start ripping him up as soon as they got wind of the potential nomination. If Hagel is just going to stand in line with Clinton etc and kiss Netanyahu’s ass on the continued expansion of the illegal settlements what is the fuss about Hagel that the I lobby is putting out? If there is no threat of Hagel basing US foreign policy and defense on facts then the I lobby would be just going along. But clearly that is not the case.

        Folks let your Reps and Obama know there is plenty of support out here for Hagel’s nomination

        • David Green
          December 17, 2012, 9:56 pm

          If Hagel manages to get the job, it’s because he’ll shape up and get with the program. There is absolutely no reason to believe that he will do anything to rock the boat. One person can never make a difference. Only a wholesale movement against the USFP establishment can. That hasn’t happened since Vietnam. It won’t happen as the result of a “realist” fantasy, even if that’s the prevailing wisdom on MW.

        • Kathleen
          December 18, 2012, 8:55 am

          David clearly if Hagel is Obama’s choice they are steering a new course. The I lobby and Israel are going to pull out all of the stops. As if they ever had any stops. Hope we find out what kind of strings Schumer, Wasserman Schultz will be pulling. Both devoted Israeli firsters. Both put Israel’s security in front of US national security. Lieberman will go after Hagel tooth and nail from outside the Senate.

        • David Green
          December 18, 2012, 9:36 am

          Your devotion to U.S. “national security” reveals an uncritical attitude toward the rampant militarism which characterizes our foreign and domestic policies. Shame on you.

        • Kathleen
          December 18, 2012, 10:01 am

          David still have not answered my question to you. So if Hagel is not a threat to the I lobby and Israel because of his rational thinking about these issues based on facts why is the I lobby going ape shit over his possible nomination? If there is nothing to fear in their eyes why this response? Bloody Bill Kristol has this issue on his front cover. If Hagel would just fall in line as you have presented then there is nothing to worry about.

          Folks contact Obama and your Reps, news outlets, national radio and TV talk shows (Cspan) and voice your support for Hagel’s nomination and why.

        • Keith
          December 18, 2012, 11:43 am

          KATHLEEN- “David clearly if Hagel is Obama’s choice they are steering a new course.”

          Suggest that you ignore the chattering on the bridge and keep your eye on the compass before you conclude that Obama is steering a new course. So far, all that I see is the Obama administration implementing the neocon game plan in the Middle East while implementing neoliberal structural adjustment in the US. And since when did Chuck Hagel turn into Dennis Kucinich? Finally, how exactly does your idea of “US national security” differ from imperial conquest and geostrategic power seeking?

        • MHughes976
          December 18, 2012, 12:31 pm

          I agree that National Security has worrying, aggressive overtones but I think that Kathleen means, non-shamefully, that some people put Israel’s idea of security, where the aggressive overtones ring especially loud, ahead of the reasonable objective of actually protecting the United States. I that the appointment of this non-standard scion of the American right to the top military policy job would be a signal of ‘no war with Iran’, confirming many already given. That’s much better than the opposite. He wouldn’t be in charge of diplomacy, though, and I’m not sure that we see any sign or signal from Obama that a new diplomatic effort in the ME is beginning. Maybe, but we’ve been through some false dawns before.

        • Mooser
          December 18, 2012, 1:10 pm

          “the rampant militarism which characterizes our foreign and domestic policies.”

          You know, Dave, it’s staggering, and sort of frightening, that the US can have a policy of rampant militarism without forced conscription!
          Terrifying. If they at least needed to draft American kids to meet their fodder needs, I might have some hope.

        • Kathleen
          December 18, 2012, 6:00 pm

          Again why did this comment take so long to put up? Is this the new publisher person or just a new screener? That was odd

    • Mooser
      December 17, 2012, 7:22 pm

      “and in many ways Israel based on the 67 border.”

      The lines of ’67 are a “border”? I did not know that. Why do you concede all that to the Zionists?

  20. dbroncos
    December 16, 2012, 10:54 pm

    If Hagel is nominated his credibility will be questioned concerning issues not related to Israel. Zionists are usually careful about keeping their Israel-first agenda mostly hidden from view. If he is nominated I’ll count it as a definitive statement from Obama about our chances of going to war with Iran.

    • Kathleen
      December 17, 2012, 2:40 pm

      Would say a great deal about what Obama is thinking if he follows through and nominates Hagel and stands by him through the fight.

  21. DICKERSON3870
    December 16, 2012, 11:15 pm

    ● RE: “But generally losing a good, balanced, thoughtful guy on foreign policy is a real tragedy. It weakens the American political system.” ~ Mike Kraft (from Ilene Cohen’s excellent commentary)

    ● MY COMMENT: The pro-Israel lobby has absolutely no compunction about doing something that weakens the American political system as long as they see it as being to Israel’s benefit (even if only to Israel’s benefit in the short run)!
    Consider, for instance, the defeat of Sen. Chuck Percy (R-IL) with the help of AIPAC (and California bingo magnate Irving Moskowitz) back in 1984. Now we have the likes of Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) in place of Percy.

    ● SEE THESE ARTICLES/COMMENTARIES:
    MJ Rosenberg: Mark Kirk Is AIPAC’s Million Dollar Baby - link to huffingtonpost.com
    A look at who is running Mark Kirk’s office in his absencelink to mondoweiss.net
    Saving Illinois from Senator Kirklink to mondoweiss.net
    Iran hysteria: Senator Mark Kirk says ‘It’s Okay to take food from the mouths of’ innocent Iranianslink to mondoweiss.net
    Hey, Rep Kirk’s got to hide his Israel love awaylink to mondoweiss.net
    Congressman Kirk’s takedown of Freeman recalls an ugly chapter of LBJ’s riselink to mondoweiss.net
    Israel lobby’s favorite senator tries to erase Palestinian refugee status for millionslink to mondoweiss.net

  22. Nevada Ned
    December 17, 2012, 9:32 am

    Yahoo news story says that Carl Levin (D-MI), chair of Senate Armed Services Committee, says Hagel would be “terrific”.

    http://news.yahoo.com/pentagon-front-runner-strong-obama-ties-160900710–politics.html

    That’s interesting because Senator Carl Levin has received more money ($729K) from the Israel Lobby than any other Senator.
    Link: go to
    link to wrmea.org
    then click on “career recipients”

    The Yahoo news story mentions opposition based on the Israel lobby.

    So will Hagel be confirmed? Personally, I don’t feel confident enough to be able to make a prediction. We’ll see!

    • Kathleen
      December 18, 2012, 11:22 am

      Great to hear about Levin. He seems like a reasonable person most of the time.

  23. DICKERSON3870
    December 17, 2012, 10:49 pm

    ● RE: “The war over Hagel is on” ~ Weiss

    ● SEE – “Chuck Hagel: An Unconventional Realist”, By Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com, 12/17/12
    Why the Israel lobby hates him — and why we need him at DoD
    LINK – link to original.antiwar.com

    ● P.S. TO “LIKE” CHUCK HAGEL ON FACEBOOK - link to facebook.com

  24. ToivoS
    December 18, 2012, 12:21 am

    It was fun while it lasted. But Hagel is not going to be SOS, it looks like it will be Kerry. In any case the reaction of the Lobby to even the possibility that it might be Hagel is instructive. This trial balloon has flushed out many of the Zionists forces that live inside the American FP establishment. We should accept this as another educational moment. They are one vicious bunch of partisans and they are not American.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 18, 2012, 1:29 am

      hagel is not and has never been a nominee for sos. he’s up for sec of defense. don’t write him off just yet.

      • ToivoS
        December 18, 2012, 2:34 am

        whoops, I got confused on this one. Thanks Annie.

      • Kathleen
        December 18, 2012, 9:43 am

        Not only “don’t write him off” Do everything in your power to support his nomination. Calls to the White House in support to Reps in support of their votes if he is nominated, local newspapers, national radio and TV shows. Call in talk about this potential nomination. Send them to this site and encourage the audience to call contact Obama and their Reps. Pressure for his nomination.

  25. American
    December 18, 2012, 12:35 am

    Well I still want to know what Senate aide told the Weekly Standard they would drag Hagel out and show him as a anti semite.
    I am betting it came from Sen. Mark Kirk office. Kirk as of Nov. still hadn’t returned to work in the Senate, his office says he ‘may return in Jan. of 2013.
    So meanwhile his staff is running his office…or bascially we’ve had AIPAC and a unelected AIPAC stooge running a US Senate office…as if Kirk wasn’t bad enough himself.

    link to kirk.senate.gov
    Richard Goldberg
    Deputy Chief of Staff
    [email protected]
    202-224-3192

    Annie did a little expose on Kirk’s AIPAC office staff and Goldberg and Igor some while ago….showing their links to the Weekly Standard and AEI.
    link to mondoweiss.net

    My money’s on Goldberg or Igor the Russian being the one who emailed that threat on calling Hagel an anti semite to the Weekly Standard. I think I will call Kirk’s office and tell them I heard Goldberg was slandering Hagel and ask them what they have on him that proves he’s a anti semite…lol they will probably hang the phone up on me but I have this neat phone system that can record all my calls so at least I will get the …”Click”…..which I can say I took as a non denial.

    • Kathleen
      December 18, 2012, 9:40 am

      Love it. Will call tomorrow and do the same thing. We all need to be calling, contacting our Reps in support of Hagel. Contacting Obama and encouraging him to nominate Hagel. linking this information about the war on Hagel other sites and encouraging others to contact their Reps, Obama etc in support of Hagel’s nomination.

      Obama is really flushing out the Israeli firsters. More and more exposure. Wonder if Chris Matthews will keep kissing Bill Kristols, Podheretz’s collective asses? Which he has been doing a lot lately.

  26. Kathleen
    December 18, 2012, 9:32 am

    “The Hagel Thesis” over at Weekly Standard by Bill Kristol. Unable to link
    Calls Mearsheimer an “Israel hater” Kristol is a psychopathic warmonger. Does not get blood on his hands but will do everything in his power to send your children off to unnecessary and illegal wars.

    • seanmcbride
      December 18, 2012, 11:33 am

      Kathleen,

      Kristol is a psychopathic warmonger. Does not get blood on his hands but will do everything in his power to send your children off to unnecessary and illegal wars.

      # William Kristol associations
      1. 9/11 exploitation
      2. ABC News
      3. accusations of antisemitism
      4. AEI (American Enterprise Institute)
      5. Afghanistan War
      6. Afpak War
      7. Bilderberg Group
      8. chickenhawks
      9. Christian Zionism
      10. Clash of Civilizations
      11. CLI (Committee for the Liberation of Iraq)
      12. Commentary Magazine
      13. Dan Quayle
      14. Dick Cheney
      15. ECI (Emergency Committee for Israel)
      16. FDD (Foundation for the Defense of Democracies)
      17. Fox News
      18. FPI (Foreign Policy Initiative)
      19. Global War on Terror
      20. Greater Israel
      21. Harvard University
      22. Henry Jackson Society
      23. Iran War
      24. Iraq War
      25. Irving Kristol
      26. Islamophobia
      27. Israel
      28. Israel lobby
      29. ISW (Institute for the Study of War)
      30. Jewish lobby
      31. Jewish nationalism
      32. Jewish neoconservatives
      33. Joe Lieberman
      34. John McCain
      35. Keep America Safe
      36. Likud
      37. Liz Cheney
      38. Manhattan Institute
      39. Middle East Forum
      40. neoconservatives
      41. New Pearl Harbor
      42. New York Times
      43. PNAC (Project for the New American Century)
      44. Republican Party
      45. Robert Kagan
      46. Rupert Murdoch
      47. Sarah Palin
      48. Shalem Center
      49. Sheldon Adelson
      50. torture
      51. Washington Post
      52. Weekly Standard
      53. World War III/IV
      54. Zionism

  27. Citizen
    December 19, 2012, 6:05 am

    WaPo’s article bashes Hagel without directly mentioning Israel, but the Algemeiner has no qualms, calling him a “Israel-basher”: link to algemeiner.com

  28. weindeb
    December 19, 2012, 7:51 am

    How I detest such as Bill Kristol, he of the ever-mounted grin, ever eager and willing to shed the blood of others, always so very neat and well groomed, no doubt his underarms well sprayed, as he pushes for death and encourages any outrage Israel might wish to effect.

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