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Obama's nominations for Defense Secretary
#1

Obama's Hagel test

By all accounts President Obama wants to nominate Chuck Hagel, the former two-term Republican senator from Nebraska to replace Leon Panetta at the Pentagon as Secretary of Defense, but a coalition led by the Zionist lobby is mounting a smear campaign against Hagel. Why? It hopes to persuade Obama that he would be foolish to nominate Hagel because he is unlikely to be confirmed by a Senate in which many members are content to do Zionism's bidding in order to protect their own backs.

I'll get to what it is about Hegel's record that troubles and even frightens the Zionist lobby in a moment, but first can we, please, get the terminology right. Almost everybody who speaks and writes about the Israel-Palestine conflict does not get it right. And that creates an obstacle to understanding.

The monster that controls Congress and ties any president's hands on policy for dealing with Israel-Palestine is not the "Jewish lobby" and not the "Israel lobby."

It is wrong to describe it as the Jewish lobby for two reasons.

One is that such a description implies that it represents and speaks for all Jews. It most certainly does not.

The other is that it's not only Jews who make up the lobby. Another key element of it is composed of the "Bring on Armageddon" Christian fundamentalists.

It is wrong to describe it as the Israel lobby because such a description implies that it represents and speaks for all of Israel's Jews and the nearly one quarter of its citizens who are Arabs. It most certainly does not.

The most accurate long description of the Zionist lobby would be that it is composed of those of all faiths and none who give and demand unconditional support for the Zionist (not Jewish) state of Israel right or wrong. In my view the most practical short form of that is Zionist lobby. (Some call it the "Likud lobby". That was a case for doing so in the past, but today there are emerging fascist forces in Israel even further to the right than Likud, and the Zionist lobby speaks for them, too).

Even the term "pro-Israel" is an obstacle to understanding. When it is used without qualification, as it almost always is, it can mean either pro an Israel inside its borders as they were on the eve of the 1967 war, or pro an Israel in occupation of the West Bank (in defiance of international law) and laying siege to the Gaza Strip. Politicians who declare themselves to be "pro-Israel" should be asked which Israel they are pro.

So what is it about Hagel's views that put him today at the temporary top of the Zionist lobby's verbal hit-list?

First and foremost is his often stated view that the duty of the President and Congress is to put America's own best interests first and not allow them to become subservient to Israel's interests. He is firmly on the record with the statement, "I am an American senator, not an Israeli senator."

In 2007 he informed the Arab American Institute that he had dropped his bid for the presidency because a pro-Israel donor had told him that if he wanted funding his support for Israel should be "automatic".

A year later in a book by Aaron David Miller he was correctly quoted as saying "The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people." That enraged and still enrages the Zionist lobby and all who do its bidding, including Arizona senator John McCain who, thank goodness, didn't make it to the White House when he ran against Obama.

McCain actually said: "I know of no Jewish lobby. I know there is strong support for Israel but I know of no Jewish lobby. I hope he (Hagel) will identify who that is."

McCain wasn't challenging Hagel's imprecise terminology. He was asserting that there is no lobby organized by some Jewish Americans who give and demand unconditional support for all of Greater Israel's policies and actions.

If Hagel is nominated for the post of Secretary of Defense, I think he would be well advised to respond to McCain's challenge during his confirmation hearing. And I would have him do it with something like these words:

I was in error when I said the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people. That was an imprecise use of language on my part. I should have said the Zionist lobby intimidates a lot of people… Are you really saying, Senator McCain, that you know of no Zionist lobby which intimidates very many members of Congress and our presidents?

I also have a question for those including some here today who are seeking to demonize me. What is so objectionable about my stated view that the duty of the President and Congress is to put America's own best interests first and not allow them to become subservient to Israel's interests?

Hagel's other past sins include his call for the U.S. to engage with Hamas and his stated view that there is no military solution to Iran's nuclear problem. (I can almost hear America's military chiefs saying behind closed doors, "That's the man we want and need as our political master.")

In its efforts to demonize Hagel the Zionist lobby and its associates are not having things all their own away.

Richard Armitage, a former deputy secretary of state in the Republican administration of George "Dubya" Bush, said he didn't think the attacks on Hagel were fair. He went on: "I've known him quite closely for the last 15 years and I've never heard him utter any anti-Semitic statement. If he used the term Jewish lobby,' that's a poor choice of words and I'm sure he'll speak for himself on that… I happen to know the guy. He's not owned by anybody, he happens to think for himself, and this apparently causes some fear in some cases. He's got an unerring bullshit sensor, he's got real stones (I presume that means balls in English-English) and he doesn't mind telling you what his opinion is, which will stand him in very good stead in the Pentagon if the president nominates him."

Another who has come to Hagel's defense is Brent Scowcroft, the former air force general and Republican national security adviser. He said: "Senator Hagel is one of the most well-respected and thoughtful voices on both foreign and domestic policy. At an uncertain time in America with a significant debt burden, a polarized Congress, and a host of challenges facing the international community, I am confident Senator Hagel will provide a vibrant, no-nonsense voice of logic and leadership to the United States."

Obama's decision, expected very soon, about whether or not to nominate Hagel will give us the first significant indication since his re-election of whether or not he is going to continue to dance to Zionism's tune or, as Hagel might put it, continue to be intimidated by its lobby.
http://www.alanhart.net/obamas-hagel-test/#more-2152

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#2

Senior former officials including ambassadors to Israel support Hagel appointment

A group of former top-ranking US diplomats insists few are more qualified, more non-partisan, more courageous or better equipped to head the Department of Defense'

By HAVIV RETTIG GUR December 21, 2012, 1:52 am [/url]
Chuck Hagel arrives at Camp Ramadi, in central Iraq, for a short visit with US servicemen, July 22, 2008. (photo credit: courtesy United States Marine Corps)


NEW YORK A group of top-ranking American ex-diplomats has come out strongly in support of the potential nomination of former senator Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense.
"Each of us has known the senator over the past 20 years and has found him invariably one of the best informed leaders in the US Congress on the issues of US national security," read a letter of support released Thursday that was signed by the group of former officials, including several former ambassadors to Israel and other Middle Eastern countries.
Hagel, a decorated Vietnam veteran, millionaire entrepreneur and two-term Republican senator from Nebraska, is considered the front runner for the Defense post, according to reports late last week that are thought to have been leaked by the White House.
The reports have generated a [url=http://www.timesofisrael.com/opposition-to-hagel-appointment-unites-pro-israel-advocates-womens-groups-republicans/]growing chorus of opposition
from conservatives who oppose Hagel's foreign policy views; pro-Israel activists, including many Democrats, who object to Hagel's past opposition to measures such as increased sanctions on Iran, labeling Hezbollah a terror organization, and more; and women's groups who have urged President Barack Obama to appoint a woman to the position or risk seeing a cabinet without a single woman in its top posts.
On Thursday that chorus was joined by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who is reportedly concerned about Hagel's past support for ending the US boycott on Cuba's communist regime. Rubio's spokesman Alex Conant told the Washington Free Beacon that "promoting democracy in Latin America is a priority for Senator Rubio, and he's put holds on other administration nominees over the issue. If President Obama were to nominate Senator Hagel for a cabinet position, I'm sure we would have questions about Cuba positions."
In response, the group of senior former officials have penned an open letter declaring, "We support, most strongly and without qualification, President Obama's reported intention to nominate Senator Chuck Hagel to be the next secretary of defense."
The signatories are:
- Nicholas Burns, former undersecretary of state for political affairs, ambassador to NATO and Greece
- Ryan Crocker, former ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan
- Edward Djerejian, former ambassador to Israel and Syria
- William Harrop, former ambassador to Israel
- Daniel Kurtzer, former ambassador to Israel and Egypt
- Sam Lewis, former ambassador to Israel
- William H. Luers, former ambassador to Venezuela and Czechoslovakia
- Thomas R. Pickering, former undersecretary of state for political affairs, ambassador to Israel and Russia
- Frank G. Wisner, former undersecretary of defense for policy, ambassador to Egypt and India.
The letter responds to some conservative critics who have complained in recent days about Hagel's opposition to the Iraq War.
"Senator Hagel's political courage has impressed us all," the diplomats write. "He has stood and argued publicly for what he believes is best for the United States. When he was attacked for opposing the war in Iraq as unpatriotic,' he replied, To question your government is not unpatriotic to not question your government is unpatriotic.'"
Hagel's "credentials for the job are impeccable," they insist.
"Time and again he chose to take the path of standing up for our nation over political expediency. He has always supported the pillars of American foreign policy such as: a strong NATO and Atlantic partnership; a commitment to the security of Israel, as a friend and ally; a determination to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons; and the defense of human rights as a core principle of America's role in the world."
Support for Israel is mentioned twice in the letter, an indication at the growing concern in pro-Israel circles about the nomination.
Hagel "has invariably demonstrated strong support for Israel and for a two-state solution and has been opposed to those who would undermine or threaten Israel's security," the former diplomats write.
"We can think of few more qualified, more non-partisan, more courageous or better equipped to head the Department of Defense at this critical moment in strengthening America's role in the world. If he is nominated, we urge the speedy confirmation of Senator Hagel's appointment."
http://www.timesofisrael.com/senior-form...ort-hagel/

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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