Given the out of control slander and vicious opposition of the Zionists and the neo-cons to Chuck Hagel’s leaked nomination prospects, this comes as a pleasant surprise.
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
New York Times December 25, 2012
In case you haven’t heard, President Obama is considering appointing Chuck Hagel, a former United States senator from Nebraska and a Purple Heart winner, as the next secretary of defense — and this has triggered a minifirefight among Hagel critics and supporters. I am a Hagel supporter. I think he would make a fine secretary of defense — precisely because some of his views are not “mainstream.” I find the opposition to him falling into two baskets: the disgusting and the philosophical. It is vital to look at both to appreciate why Hagel would be a good fit for Defense at this time.
The disgusting is the fact that because Hagel once described the Israel lobby as the “Jewish lobby” (it also contains some Christians). And because he has rather bluntly stated that his job as a U.S. senator was not to take orders from the Israel lobby but to advance U.S. interests, he is smeared as an Israel-hater at best and an anti-Semite at worst. If ever Israel needed a U.S. defense secretary who was committed to Israel’s survival, as Hagel has repeatedly stated — but who was convinced that ensuring that survival didn’t mean having America go along with Israel’s self-destructive drift into settling the West Bank and obviating a two-state solution — it is now.
I am certain that the vast majority of U.S. senators and policy makers quietly believe exactly what Hagel believes on Israel — that it is surrounded by more implacable enemies than ever and needs and deserves America’s backing. But, at the same time, this Israeli government is so spoiled and has shifted so far to the right that it makes no effort to take U.S. interests into account by slowing its self-isolating settlement adventure. And it’s going to get worse. Israel’s friends need to understand that the center-left in Israel is dying. The Israeli election in January will bring to power Israeli rightists who never spoke at your local Israel Bonds dinner. These are people who want to annex the West Bank. Bibi Netanyahu is a dove in this crowd. The only thing standing between Israel and national suicide any more is America and its willingness to tell Israel the truth. But most U.S. senators, policy makers and Jews prefer to stick their heads in the sand, because confronting Israel is so unpleasant and politically dangerous. Hagel at least cares enough about Israel to be an exception.
ROBERT STEELE: Thomas Friedman is a gifted observer and educator. While he is the high-grade version of a Zionist media asset (Judith Miller being the low-rent version), he has shown a welcome consistency and balance on trying to tell the truth about Israel in a manner that forces the point: Israel as led by Zionists is its own worst enemy. My interpretation of Friedman’s column is that both the Zionists in Israel and the Zionists in the USA have realized they went a bridge too far on Chuck Hagel — the push-back against Zionist meddling specific to the Chuck Hagel’s nomination has been stronger than any push-back I have seen before. When combined with the fact that Israel has still not apologized formally to the USA on any Day of Atonement since the USS Liberty, my personal hope is that this reasonable statement by Friedman is the strongest possible message to Bill Kristol and others from those with the money: “Shut the Fuck Up.” Chuck Hagel’s biggest problem is not going to be confirmation — it is going to be found in his selection of supporting senior staff. Unless he brings with him to the Pentagon holistic thinkers, he will come and go without having left a mark despite his own personal intelligence and integrity.