Skip to comments.Pat Buchanan: Why the War Party Fears Hagel
Posted on 12/28/2012 5:18:27 AM PST by SeekAndFind
In the fortnight since Chuck Hagel's name was floated for secretary of defense, we have witnessed Washington at its worst. Who is Chuck Hagel?
Born in North Platte, Neb., he was a squad leader in Vietnam, twice wounded, who came home to work in Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign, was twice elected U.S. senator, and is chairman of the Atlantic Council and co-chair of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
To The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol, however, Hagel is a man "out on the fringes," who has a decade-long record of "hostility to Israel" and is "pro-appeasement-of-Iran."
Lest we miss Kristol's point, Standard blogger Daniel Halper helpfully adds that a "top Republican Senate aide" said, "Send us Hagel, and we will make sure every American knows he is an anti-Semite."
The Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens continued in this vein.
"Prejudice ... has an olfactory element," he writes, and with Hagel, "the odor is especially ripe." Stephens is saying that Chuck Hagel reeks of anti-Semitism.
Hagel's enemies contend that his own words disqualify him.
First, he told author Aaron David Miller that the "Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up there" on the Hill. Second, he urged us to talk to Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran. Third, Hagel said several years ago, "A military strike against Iran ... is not a viable, feasible, responsible option."
Hagel has conceded he misspoke in using the phrase "Jewish lobby." But as for a pro-Israel lobby, its existence is the subject of books and countless articles. When AIPAC sends up to the Hill one of its scripted pro-Israel resolutions, it is whistled through. Hagel's problem: He did not treat these sacred texts with sufficient reverence.
"I am a United States senator, not an Israeli senator," he told Miller. "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. If I go run for Senate in Israel, I'll do that."
Hagel puts U.S. national interests first. And sometimes those interests clash with the policies of the Israeli government.
In 1957, President Eisenhower told Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to get his army out of Sinai. Would that disqualify Ike from being secretary of defense because, to quote Kristol, this would show Ike was not "serious about having Israel's back"?
If a senator or defense secretary believes an Israeli action -- like bisecting the West Bank with new settlements that will kill any chance for a Palestinian state and guarantee another intifada -- what should he do?
Defend the U.S. position, or make sure there is "no daylight" between him and the Israeli prime minister?
As for talking to Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, what are we afraid of?
Harry Truman talked to Josef Stalin and read Vyacheslav Molotov the riot act in the Oval Office. Ike invited Nikita Khrushchev to tour the United States three years after he sent tanks into Budapest.
Richard Nixon went to China and toasted Mao Zedong, 20 years after the Chinese were killing U.S. solders in Korea and brainwashing our POWs, and at the same time they were conducting their maniacal cultural revolution and shipping weapons to Hanoi.
Israel negotiated with Hezbollah to retrieve the remains of airman Ron Arad and traded 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in a deal with Hamas for the return of Pvt. Gilad Shalit. And we can't talk to them?
If Hagel's view that a war with Iran is not a "responsible option" is a disqualification for defense secretary, what are we to make of this statement from Robert Gates, defense secretary for Bush II and Obama:
"Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should 'have his head examined,' as Gen. (Douglas) MacArthur so delicately put it."
If Hagel were an anti-Semite, would he have the support of so many Jewish columnists and writers? If he were really "out on the fringes," would national security advisers for presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I and Obama be in his camp?
Neocon hostility to Hagel is rooted in a fear that in Obama's inner councils his voice would be raised in favor of negotiating with Iran and against a preventive war or pre-emptive strike. But if Obama permits these assaults to persuade him not to nominate Hagel, he will only be postponing a defining battle of his presidency, not avoiding it.
For Bibi Netanyahu is going to be re-elected this January. And the government he forms looks to be more bellicose than the last. And Bibi's highest priority, shared by his neocon allies, is a U.S. war on Iran in 2013.
If Obama does not want that war, he is going to have to defeat the war party. Throwing an old warrior like Chuck Hagel over the side to appease these wolves is not the way to begin this fight.
Nominate him, Mr. President. Let's get it on.
-- Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?"
One Jew-hater backing another Jew-hater.
(looking forward to this thread)
On th list of things I am happy for, “Never hitching my wagon to this idiot” is pretty high on it.
Too bad. PB seems to have some seriously good ideas. But his fixation on the Jews makes the rest suspect in my view.
And Pat? Back them or don’t. But it’s not up to us to tell them how to run a war. And it does not matter if it’s Ronaldus Magnus or Bronco-Bama telling them what to do.
Putting all of that aside, there is a dirty little rumor that he has a drinking problem.
Keep pushing it, Pat. Can't wait until we are void of any blessing? You will witness God's Wrath soon enough.
RON PAUL SAID (snix), "We should not be over there, b/c Americans do not understand the Mideast mindset."
How right RON PAUL was.....RON PAUL was proved right many many times.
Not to worry---this RON PAUL tidbit won't interfere with the pukeneos sipping chilled Cristal and eating imported Brie at their Four Seasons luncheons---where the pukes formulate US foreign policy (cackle).
Actually your post sounds unintelligent. Smarten it up a little and it might be a little more effective in offending the target audience.
pat buchanan is a moron
Looks like somebody pushed Pat’s ‘Jew Hate’ button again. He really comes unhinged on the topic.
The Mideast Mindset or the Islamonazi imperialist mindset?
If you think it “stays there” then you suck at world history where Spain and Indonesia are now considered “muslim territories”.
Such is the problem with theocratic rule.
repost that when you’re sober please.
Just to clarify my position, neither do I. Israel is totally capable of handling itself.
My deal is that as our friends and partners in the free world, we can do a lot to aid them without risking a single human life. And IMO we should.
Israel has been the scapegoat for America in that the Muzzies cannot as ‘easily’ strike us here as they can lob rickets and blow up busses in Israel. And they do. An excuse to be sure, but they do. And for us to stand by and do nothing, or worse prevent the Jews from defending themselves under threat of cut ties/support is the height of evil. And WE do (We meaning American Libs in power and the idiot Antisemites in the GOP that go along with it)
So much of the basis of our history is there. Which is another reason the left wants it gone.
That’s funny, usually Pat Buchanan would oppose a board member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Why would he then support Chuck Hagel? Of course - Hagel hates Israel!
Or best. What's the deal, Pat? You have written so brilliantly on immigration and the U.S. demographic crisis. Hagel is, and has always been, an absolute, useless p@$$y on immigration.
But I guess that for Pat, in judging a potential cabinet pick who refuses to protect America from invasion at home, his "correct" position opposing the Jews in the Middle East is more important. Even though the same Moslems in the Middle East who bankroll the endless war against Israel obsessively persecute Christians like Pat (and me) everywhere in the world, including on American college campuses.
And by the way, long before this notional nomination, the crowd at Pat's The American Conservative always loved Hagel, complete with his left-wing immigration positions.
Is there a better definition of "crank"?
Every now and again Pat and Newt show why, as smart as they can sometimes seem, they should be rejected.