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Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:19 PM

Israel Lobby Out In Force To Block Hagel's Appointment As US Secretary of Defence

Anti-Hagel groups in Washington are doing all they can to block Barack Obama's nominee for the post of Secretary of Defence, Chuck Hagel. The anti-Hagel alliance, led from behind the scenes by the powerful Israel Lobby group AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), also includes the DEBKA Jewish intelligence site, Washington Free Beacon and dozens of other shadowy bodies funded by right-wing multi-millionaire Sheldon Adelson, who financed Mitt Romney's failed presidential bid. The alliance believes that "the time has come to overthrow Hagel", according to neocon William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard magazine.

In the propaganda-laden DEBKA FILES, named after the traditional Palestinian dance, the groups target Hagel because "he wants to contain Iran and avoid aggression". They also accuse him of "working to undermine America's military arsenal through his intentions to reduce the defence budget". Moreover, according to the Washington Free Beacon, Hagel is "Anti-Israel and not friendly enough with Israel" while receiving funds from a previously unheard-of group called "Friends of Hamas". It has also been reported that Hagel gave a speech to the Arab organisation ADC, which is an anti-Israel body, to combat racism. In addition, representatives of the military-industrial complex have resorted to accusing him of being "weak in issues concerning US national security and the fight against America's enemies".

In all of this accusatory rhetoric, there are contradcitions in the claims made by the two wings of US Republicanism. While Senator Ted Cruz of the extreme right-wing "Tea Party" accuses Hagel of "acquiring funds from Friends of Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon", the senator from the military-industrial complex in South Carolina, Lindsay Graham, said, "I am stalling the appointment of Hagel until President Obama reveals the hidden details of the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi in September, 2012". This was Graham's way of trying to blackmail the US President and impose on him other agreements, that are not in any way related to the nomination or appointment of Chuck Hagel.

A lot of this revolves around a fabrication by a reporter from the Daily News. "Friends of Hamas" is the creation of Dan Friedman whose idea of fun was to try to link Hagel to this entirely fictional organisation. The story was picked up by Jewish-American journalist Ben Shapiro, who works for AIPAC, using www.breitbartnews.com, which specialises in opposing the Palestinian cause. Shapiro pushed the "Friends of Hamas" scam around Republican senators, and they fell for it, even after Friedman himself confessed that he had "made it up to see how far Republicans would go to cling on to any rumour that may oust Hagel".

MORE...

http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/americas/5311-israel-lobby-out-in-force-to-block-hagels-appointment-as-us-secretary-of-defence

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:24 PM

1. Nah, the OFFICIAL story according to AP is that McCain and Co. just think Hagel's a GOP traitor

for insulting Bush. As if it's actually just the Repub Senate, by itself and with no outside influence, that is opposing Hagel.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:41 PM

2. "Jewish-American journalist Ben Shapiro, who works for AIPAC"

Um, yuck at that. Ben Shapiro is a rightwing asstoad who is the editor of Breitbart.com, he doesn't work for AIPAC.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:00 PM

3. AIPAC has said nothing

Shapiro doesn't work for them and DEBKA?!!! Please find a source that isn't such a joke.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:04 PM

4. See Hagel was correct about the intimidation of the Israel lobby!!!

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:21 PM

5. This conspiracy nonsense is ridiculous - AIPAC has publicly stayed quiet

It makes far more sense to believe that it is the Republicans angered by a Republican unwilling to back the GOP orthodoxy that the invasion of Iraq led to a better world and that the surge was responsible for quieting down the Iraq civil war.

There was NEVER a point where Hagel was less hawkish than Kerry, who after all wrote Kerry/Feingold which demanded Bush create a timeline for getting out. This became the position of nearly every Democrat other than Lieberman with 6 months of it getting just 14 votes. Hagel moved towards that position and LESS AGGRESSIVELY spoke against the surge.

The difference - as a Republican - Haqel's comments gave it more weight.

There is NO politician in the US - in either policy - who is not pro Israel. Haegel included. Nothing he has said is really outside the mainstream.

This is an attack on someone they see as we see Lieberman, but the real attack is on Obama.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:49 PM

6. It's not necessarily AIPAC, but it is neocons--Chuck Schumer himself made that distinction

last week. Very pro-Israel/neocon people like Jennifer Rubin, Bill Kristol, Sheldon Adelson, and their ilk--aka "The Emergency Committee for Israel", Weekly Standard, Free Beacon. It's not a secret. Lindsey Graham and Jim Inhofe are literally using Rubin and the Free Beacon's words and phrases whenever they go after Hagel. Weekly Standard "reporters" are trying to force University of Nebraska's archivists to open Hagel's Senate archives so that they can dig up more shit he might have said about Israel. The expectation is that if Hagel has ever said anything else even remotely unflattering about Israel or their lobbies, he's toast. That is also the expectation of the Repub Senate. It goes beyond Repub Senators' pique at him, there are bigger forces at work here. Mostly it's about defense money, but some of it is indeed Israel. Read this:



http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/us/politics/michael-goldfarb-gleeful-provocateur-at-intersection-of-many-worlds.html?hp&_r=0

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:58 PM

7. One more good link, explains why they object to Hagel but not Kerry:

(although Conason ignores the Pro-Israel nuts and the defense lobby/MIC, he does make the case that Kerry and Hagel are pretty close in terms of Israel policy)

http://www.nationalmemo.com/why-senate-republicans-confirmed-john-kerry-but-stalled-chuck-hagel/

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:31 PM

8. I think they went after the biggest nominee they felt they could take down.

And mainly to demonstate their own political potency, so to speak.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:42 PM

9. Politics always plays a part--if they think there's some political benefit, they'll do it. But it's

only a small part of this, IMO. It's not just taking down any nominee of Obama's-- they have been trying to stop Hagel since his name was floated, with ads and a media campaign like no one ever saw (where are the anti-John Brennan ads? The anti-Lew ads?). It's uniquely a Hagel issue. The neocons and the MIC (and their Republican puppets in the Senate) feel that he will have some influence in not letting Obama get their war on--not just Iran, but Syria as well. Remember that they LURVE Panetta, because Panetta was content to make some social changes in the military, but otherwise left the DoD to run itself as it pleased. Also, Panetta was on board with arming Syrian rebels--a McCain pet project. Hagel would almost certainly have said "fuck no", since he generally sides with Biden. They feel Hagel will get in the way of everything. Plus, he will cut programs and projects, so...gravy train hindered.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:52 PM

10. Well, I think that's part of it, and the senate race in MA.

So I do not mean to discredit what you posted.

But that's a gamble, and I don't know if it would be enough by itself. And Hagel himself is already branded as a traitor (so much for that principled-stand and bipartisanship bullshit, eh?) so I have to think personal considerations (the need to demontrate ones continued relevance, and ones personal dislike of "traitors", after all obedience is a Republican value.

It is worth remembring that they went after Susan Rice first, first blood so to speak, so then it was time to try something bigger, like Mr. Hagel, who is not so well known and thus easier to smear, like Ms Rice.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:04 PM

11. The whole "first they went after Rice, were emboldened to go after Hagel" is the

Associated Press version of what happened, but I just don't think it's accurate. Usually two things explain every move in politics: Money, or power. With Rice, they wanted her out and Kerry's seat opened up--so, almost 100% power, in that case. Never mind that it's never been clear that she was Obama's first choice--Obama let Johnny Mac feel he scored a big victory (until Brown didn't run, that is). With Hagel, it's money AND power--a neocon-oriented Pentagon with a massive budget and plans for war (mostly on behalf of Israel). GOP flexing its muscle to punish a dissident is but a small part of the overall picture.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:09 PM

12. I think "money and power" work just fine in my version too.

I'm not suggesting that they are principled, by any means, as a re-reading will show. It is precisely because their power is based on fear and intimidation that they need a few scalps.

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