Chuck Hagel for Defence Secretary!

The Jewish lobby is a term that the former Republican senator from Nebraska has been condemned for using to describe the unwarranted influence of the Jewish and other persons lobby for the State of Israel. John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in their masterpiece, The Israel Lobby avoided the term “Jewish lobby” because they did not want to appear to be targeting a religious group and because the Israel lobby does contain non-jews but the financial muscle and links to Israel’s governing circles are primarily Jewish. So what? So they used the term, “Israel Lobby.” However the term “Israel Lobby” does encompass mostly but not exclusively Jews, that have a mission to continue Israel’s hegemony in the Middle East, suppress Arab nationalism and silence any meaningful dialogue for a more balanced approach to the Arab-Israel conflict. The Israel Lobby was a big factor in precipitating the Bush era criminal Iraq War and the neo-con determination to link disingenuously Iraq’s Saddam Hussein to the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks on September 11, 2001. They knew it was a lie and had prepared their programme of regime change in Iraq well before the 9/11 retaliatory attacks on American sanctions, occupation of Saudi Arabia and repression of Palestinian nationalism.

Beware of the neo-cons and the Project for the New American Century crowd and the AIPACs and other groups who do have unwarranted influence. Chuck Hagel is aware of that influence; he does not claim it is illegal or anti-American but avers it does have a chokehold on policy and must be challenged. Remember it was William Kristol’s, Weekly Standard that called for “The Case for American Empire” in 2001. It is Kristol who is leading the charge against Hagel on FOX news and The Weekly Standard for daring to challenge the taboo in criticising Israel and seeking a diplomatic settlement of the Iran-nuclear issue. Kristol has an emotional bond to Israel which others need not share. The issue is would Hagel introduce a more impartial and balanced foreign policy perspective? Would his so-called “out of the mainstream” views be a tonic for in the beltway view that gave us Afghanistan, Iraq, waterboarding, drone-Nazi slaughter without accountability, enhanced interrogation and genocide in Vietnam. We need those in power to see the world through the eyes of the Palestinians, the dispossessed and who are willing to challenge the national-security elites, who have governed Washington for too long. Kudos to President Obama for this nomination and for daring to challenge the Israel lobby and its acolytes.

Chuck Hagel has blood on his hands in voting for the Iraq war in 2002. Yet Senator Hagel’s statement about the Bush-Cheney-Hillary Clinton-Joe Biden war crime in Iraq (2003) continues to resonate:

“It is interesting to me that many of those who want to rush this country into war and think it would be so quick and easy don’t know anything about war. They come at it from an intellectual perspective versus having sat in jungles or foxholes and watched their friends get their heads blown off.”

It is refreshing that a combat veteran is antiwar. Usually those vets who make it to the national-security elite club, such as Sen. John Kerry, leverage such experience as a ready-to-go-to-war American to defeat Islamic “terrorists,” communists, and other purported enemies: present and erstwhile. Kerry has totally renounced his antiwar activism and his Vietnam Veterans Against the War coming of age. Yet he will sail to Foggy Bottom. Senator Hagel dares display a reluctance to kill and have our soldiers kill others or to blindly accept Israel’s colonisation and apartheid and his nomination is highly controversial.

Maybe Chuck Hagel is too good for America. But the world needs him and justice needs him and the Jewish lobby and non-Jewish supporters of Israel need an evisceration of their power and influence in defining what is best for America and the world in terms of Middle East geopolitics.

Nota bene: I like Bill Kristol. The Weekly Standard advocated that I be fired and expelled from academia for my controversial antiwar email ten years ago. Kristol’s magazine gave me a very spacious component of their reader’s page to respond in kind. He was very fair to me in giving me a chance to defend myself. The Wall Street Journal that devoted two editorials against me allowed others to defend me but not myself.

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