Wednesday December 11, 2013
Take It to the Bank, Hagel Will WinDr. James M. Wall Salem-News.com
Obama made the nomination at the White House on Monday.
(CHICAGO) - The war against Chuck Hagel followed a predictable pattern. It will end soon when the U.S. Senate votes to confirm Hagel as President Barack Obama’s next defense secretary.
This is one of those rare occasions in American politics when you may ”take it to the bank“, that in a struggle between a U.S. presidential nominee, and the pro-Israel lobby, the presidential nominee will win.
The political war the Lobby will lose began when Lobby forces launched their initial attacks against former Republican Nebraska Senator Hagel’s rumored nomination.
Led by its media and political “myrmidons” (myrmidon: A faithful follower who carries out orders unquestioningly) the Lobby’s plan followed the usual pattern:
Obama made the nomination at the White House on Monday, January 7, where he is shown above with outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, left and Hagel, right.
In spite of the attacks the Lobby began against Hagel in mid-December, it failed to block the nomination. What led to this Obama victory?
Take notes because it is a predictable pattern (remember Chas Freeman) and it will, no doubt, be repeated the next time the Israel Lobby giant senses “danger”.
The “block Hagel” war was officially launched December 18, 2012, when the Washington Post editorialized that President Obama should not nominate former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel as his defense secretary because the President “ has available other possible nominees who are considerably closer to the mainstream and to the president’s first-term policies.”
Got that, Politics 101 students? To block a nominee before she/he is named, accuse the possible nominee of being”out of the mainstream”. Then, in the same opening salvo, bring in a safer, more desirable choice.
The Post offered its “consensus” candidate, Michele Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense, who was described by the Post as “a seasoned policymaker who understands how to manage the Pentagon bureaucracy and where responsible cuts can be made.”
The vote on Hagel, as with other new cabinet appointments, will go first to a Senate committee. (You can tell your Uncle Charlie that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has no say in these matters. Sorry, Charlie.)
When the nomination of Hagel reaches the Senate floor, a debate will proceed and a vote taken among 53 Democrats, two Independents (both of whom caucus with the Democrats), and 45 Republicans.
What will drive the debate?
Fred Kaplan writes that opponents of Hagel have ” four main concerns” in their disapproval of Hagel.
The first three of their concerns, that he will cut the military budget, “roll over” and let Iran build a nuclear weapon, and be “reluctant” to use military force, are quickly refuted by Kaplan.
The major reason the Lobby has been pushing this war, of course, is Israel, “the third rail” in foreign policy. Kaplan sums up the case the Lobby made against Hagel.
MJ Rosenberg, who writes that “I worked at AIPAC for four years and in Congress for 20″, sees the outcome of the war against Hagel from the perspective of one who “knows how the game is played”. He predicts that AIPAC, his old organization, will signal to the anti-Hagel forces that the war is over, so stand down. Rosenberg writes:
When Hagel’s name was floated, New York’s Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said he would wait and see how the debate proceeded. The possibility of a party leader of the stature of Schumer going against President Obama is quite unlikely, especially after New York Times columnists Nicholas D. Kristof, Thomas Friedman and Roger Cohen, wrote their pro-Hagel columns.
Here is Kristof:
Roger Cohen sees the choice of Hagel as an essential moment in provoking a needed debate:
Friedman wrote a recent column, “Give Chuck a Chance” that included this declaration:
Outside the Times orbit, Josh Marshall, of Talking Points Memo, poses political questions and provides direct answers:
A final word on Hagel comes from long-time Israeli anti-war activist Uri Avnery, who writes in support of Hagel from a shared view drawn from actual war experiences.
Hagel will be confirmed. You may take it to the bank.
Please visit Jim's Website, Wall Writings
Journalism was Jim Wall’s undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. An ordained United Methodist clergy person; he and his wife, Mary Eleanor, are the parents of three sons, and the grandparents of four grandchildren. They live in Elmhurst, Illinois.
Jim served for two years on active duty in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF (inactive) reserve. While serving with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years, starting in 1972. Time magazine wrote about the new editor, who arrived at the Christian Century determined to turn the magazine into a hard-hitting news publication. The inspiration for Wall Writings comes from that mindset and from many other sources that have influenced Jim’s writings over the years, including politics, cinema, media, American culture, and the political struggles in the Middle East. Jim has made more than 20 trips to that region as a journalist, during which he covered such events as Anwar Sadat’s 1977 trip to Jerusalem, and the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. He has interviewed, and written about, journalists, religious leaders, political leaders and private citizens in the region. You can write to Jim Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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