How many people are capable of being Secretary of Defense in the United States? I mean, I am clearly not… and probably you’re not. But it seems reasonable to me that there are perhaps at least 100, give or take a few, men who are equipped to govern this agency.
So why in the world does the supposedly pro-Israel president pick Chuck Hagel—someone who has gone on record criticizing our closest and maybe only ally in the Middle East—Israel?
Last week the Washington Free Beacon reported on the synopsis of a speech that Hagel gave in 2007 by a close supporter.
The report, written by Hagel supporter and political consultant George Ajjan, claimed Hagel had described the U.S. Department of State as an extension of the Israeli government.
Hagel says he doesn’t remember making those remarks, which might as well be an admission. The fact that he can’t recall at least reveals how he thinks. Imagine if someone had confronted him: “Senator in 2007 it was revealed that you encouraged men to wear women’s clothing.” Do you think he would say, “I don’t recall?” No, he would outright reject it because it is not something he believes (I don’t think…) or would say.
However, according to the words of someone who does remember another speech at Rutgers University, the senator is quite hostile towards Israel. Kenneth Wagner sent this email in April of 2010:
“I am sitting in a lecture by Chuck Hagel at Rutgers,” Wagner wrote in the email. “He basically said that Israel has violated every UN resolution since 1967, that Israel has violated its agreements with the quartet, that it was risking becoming an apartheid state if it didn’t allow the Palestinians to form a state. He said that the settlements were getting close to the point where a contiguous Palestinian state would be impossible. “He said that he [thought] that Netanyahu was a radical and that even [former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi] Livni, who was hard nosed thought he was too radical and so wouldn’t join in a coalition [government] with him. … He said that Hamas has to be brought in to any peace negotiation,” Wagner wrote.[i]
But rather than admit they made a mistake, the White House is pushing for a Hagel vote because “we have the votes,” believing that they have the 51 votes needed. But why would they want him? It was already revealed that he once said:
“The political reality is that… the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here…. I’ve always argued against some of the dumb things they do, because I don’t think it’s in the interest of Israel…. I’m not an Israeli senator. I’m a United States senator. I support Israel, but my first interest is, I take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States, not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel.”[ii]
Come on President Obama, swallow your pride and choose one of the dozens of other qualified candidates who is not hostile against one of our best friends.
The White House is not budging:
WH Source: No more deal making needed on #Hagel. “We have the votes for cloture. Happy for others to join but Hagel will be confirmed”[iii]
Politics before the people!
[i] Washington Free Beacon