In the Arena

The Anti-Hagel Campaign Begins

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The 2012 election was not a wonderful experience for neoconservatives–and it was a disaster for their beloved hero, Bibi Netanyahu, a foreign leader who tried to influence the American presidential campaign. Indeed, they’ve been proven conclusively ridiculous over the past dozen years, but still they persist. Now they’re after former Senator Chuck Hagel, a possible Secretary of Defense.

Leading the campaign is Bill Kristol, who has written this thing in the Weekly Standard. Why does Kristol think Hagel is so awful? Because Hagel has spoken out against going to war with Iran, and opposed sanctions 12 years ago when Mohammed Khatami was Iran’s president and the possibility of a thaw was in the air, and favored talks with Syria’s Assad regime, a delusion shared by many Israeli leaders over the years. Hagel has also opposed the illegal expansion of Israel’s West Bank settlements. In short, he’s been a voice for sanity in the Middle East. Which, of course, puts him “out on the fringes”  as far as Kristol’s concerned.

In fact, Kristol is acting–as always–as a hand puppet for AIPAC, which is quietly beginning to lobby against Hagel, I’m told. The funny thing is,  a significant Kristol/AIPAC lobbying campaign would probably guarantee a Hagel nomination, given the way that the neocons, AIPAC and, most outrageously, Bibi Netanyahu worked against Obama in the 2012 campaign. The President probably would like nothing better than to send these folks a message, and a Hagel nomination would sail through the Senate, where he was popular among his colleagues.

Hagel is a Vietnam veteran who was severely wounded in action, and a Republican. He supported the war in Iraq at first, but wised up very quickly. He’s a good candidate for SecDef but, like John Kerry, he’s more a policy expert than an administrator, and the Pentagon severely needs administering now that overseas war operations are winding down and budget cuts take hold. There are others who’d also be good, and perhaps better administrators–Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter and former Under Secretary Michelle Flournoy are both fine candidates–but Hagel is a fine choice as well and given Kristol’s opposition, is probably now a shoo-in.

79 comments
kaktus7
kaktus7

The most amazing organ is the tail of Israel.

It wags 2 dogs: USA and Germany.

HoldenDCat
HoldenDCat

@EliLake Klein's been going on in that vein for awhile now, so it's a stretch, to say the least, to suggest he's asking to be seen as brave.

JeanPierreKatz
JeanPierreKatz

I agree with the Wahington Post that Chuck Hagel would make a very bad choice for Secretary of Defense for many of the reasons stated and that Flournoy is a much better choice.I would add that Chuck Hagel's comments are racist and condescending . Imagine anyone saying the NAACP or LA Raza intimidate many people.Defense Secretary is a job that needs someone who is very strong yet diplomatic not a hothead.

kudazachem
kudazachem

@JoeKleinTIME Of course everyone knows that "neocons" is code word for "Jews". 1 more antisemitic spit from Joe Klein but every1 expects it.

travton
travton

@TonyKaron @DanielLarison Interesting that the test of Hagel's "Israeli Lobby" claim is the claim itself

carolerae
carolerae

I'm rooting for Chuck.  One of the last sensible Republicans around.  Some people do need to receive a message, too.

kensch
kensch

Jeez you  are a repulsive twit. Kristol and hand-puppet of AIPAC. AIPAC working against Obama. Do you know ANYTHING about what you write about? Do you have any standards? One thing true of AIPAC - it's full of Jews. And - many are Dems. AIPAC's past Prez (Lee Rosenberg) is a Chicago Dem friend of Obama's for many years. Many AIPAC Board members and staffers are Dems. AIPAC does not get involved in Prez races, and is strictly bi-partisan. You complain about AIPAC's excessive power. Whatever influence it has is largely due to its being bi-partisan. Ask any AIPAC member (they are regular people) or member of Congress - even libs. Jerry Nadler, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi - all good friends of AIPAC. But your preference is to demonize rather than take a moment to understand, or God forbid, allow the possibility that those with whom you disagree might be acting in good faith. It probably took all your self-control not to call someone racist in this piece. It's amazing anyone reads you and that you can make a living with this drivel.

PFcad
PFcad

@EliLake yes. Bill Kristol accusing Chuck Hagel of being pro-appeasement is MUCH more courageous.

DianaValerie
DianaValerie

@deppenwebber @timepolitics AIPAC circus

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

Right on cue, Joe Klein.

Nice to see Time Magazine re-assuming its role as Democratic Party Organ.

Sound off!!!

ZNovetsky
ZNovetsky

Answer: No. RT @EliLake: Is there anything braver than accusing Jewish writers of being hand puppets of AIPAC? http://t.co/DhELHmxE

paulejb
paulejb

 "In short, he’s been a voice for sanity in the Middle East. Which, of course, puts him “out on the fringes” as far as Kristol’s concerned."

In an area of the world where insanity is rampant a "voice for sanity" is just another name for road kill. Chuck Hagel is just another one of those naive fools such as Neville Chamberlain who never learned that when you sup with the devil you had better bring a long spoon.

robertsgt40
robertsgt40

You can't be secretary of anything without passing the Israeli smell test.  You have to stink to be appointed.

quizblorg
quizblorg

And here I thought William Kristol would oppose a notoriously Iran-friendly and Israel-unfriendly sec of defense of his own accord, without need for any AIPAC puppetry...

But I guess to some, those puppeteering metaphors just come naturally when they're discussing Jews...

sacredh
sacredh

OT, but the world ends Friday. Anybody going to do anything crazy? I don't mean republicans. They always do crazy things. Maybe that explains this past election. Why take it seriously since nobody was going to make it to the inauguration anyway.

MarcoGlasman
MarcoGlasman

@EliLake apparently its a formula... Jewish + writer + critical of Iran's tyranical regime = PUPPET FOR AIPAC....lol awful article

BryanPeeler
BryanPeeler

@besasley Better question: What's the evidence that Kristol has ever been right about anything?

Sam_Schulman
Sam_Schulman

@EliLake How about accusing Hagel of being anti-American? which msy explain his cheeriness about Iran, fondness for tyrants.

wolejko
wolejko

@EliLake acusing author or pundit of being anti-semite?

roknsteve
roknsteve

Nothing to see here since the Congress Contraries continue march backward into history.  And Sacredh I wish I could read your comments from years ago.  That would be more interesting than the Daily News.

sacredh
sacredh

"Oh, wait, you deleted all our old comments...never mind..."

.

kbang, That's one thing I don't mind. They've been consigned to the ether where most of mine belong.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

Note to High Sheriffs: The esteemed Joe Klein gathers 14 comments in 7 hours...?...on a weekday..?!?

Have you compared these "LiveFyre" stats to "DISQUS" yet? 

Oh, wait, you deleted all our old comments...never mind...

::shakes head::

deppenwebber
deppenwebber

@DianaValerie @TIMEPolitics AIPAC of lies.

MementoMori
MementoMori

@paulejb Good grief, who are you comparing to nazis now, paulie? You're a walking pile of hyperbole.

bobell
bobell

There's an error in the cited article, which says the president is "elected indirectly by electors."  He is in fact elected directly by the electors, who cast their votes specifically for the office of president.  If anyone can be said to elect the president indirectly, it's the individual voters.

And let's not sneer at Pon Raul, sacred.  He tied for third in the electoral vote.  Of course, so did you and I and Kevin Groenhagen and paulejb and even Freeinpa. But it's all in the Constitution, so nothing can be done, except maybe to discover that SCOTUS knows something we don't (which is hardly surprising these days).

hbradish
hbradish

@quizblorg 

Usually, much like like Cicero 2,000 years ago, they still whisper. Unfortunately.

"Softly! Softly! I want none but the judges to hear me. The Jews have already gotten me into a fine mess, as they have many other gentleman. I have no desire to furnish further grist for their mills." (Oration in Defense of Flaccus)

sacredh
sacredh

"I will commence the dark ceremony to summon the unholy Outer Gods to our worlds as Obama has instructed me to do."

.

Scratch baking cookies then. That sounds like more fun.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@sacredh 

I will commence the dark ceremony to summon the unholy Outer Gods to our worlds as Obama has instructed me to do.  Then after the purging of the unbelievers is complete we shall reign in 10,000 years of glorious wicked Socialism.  This is the way the world will end, not with a bang, but a seance.

sacredh
sacredh

Sue_N, we're having our Christmas party at work Friday. What's the point? I work with all men. I'm thinking of telling them that the world's going to end so if anybody wants to take a walk on the wild side....

Sue_N
Sue_N

@sacredh You know what pisses me off? The world ends the day after my hubby's birthday. So I still have to get him a present, but then it's lights out.

Seriously, Mayans, a little respect next time, okay?

besasley
besasley

@BryanPeeler Lots of people have already answered that...

sacredh
sacredh

Kbang, I couldn't decide what to send some friends for Christmas so I went through a bunch of old photo albums, scanned the pictures into the computer, put them on CDs and sent them as gifts. One friend called me last night and told me a great story. He showed his son the pictures. His son was shocked at one picture. It was his dad with a hottie in a bikini that had just came out of the lake. She was licking his face. The son told him to get rid of the pictures before his mom saw them. He told his son "That IS your mom. You think I married her because she could cook?". Like most of us, she'd changed a great deal in 35 years.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

@sacredh Don't sell yourself short, sacred. A "Swampland Hall of Fame" would contain a fair (ok, huge) number of of your "1000 Words" comments. 

And MIL stories...and youthful exploits...and "Bets Made with and Money Won from Crazy Republicans" stories...and... 

bobell
bobell

Go to

http://disqus.com/bobell/

Click on your name or ID at the top right. Click on "activity" in the window that opens.   You'll get all your Disqus comments, all blogs, in reverse chronological order.  It may take forever to scroll to a particular one, but they're still online, at least for now.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@sacredh Dude, cookies and seance. The Dark Side always has cookies. It's how we meet our recruitment quotas.

bobell
bobell

What, no Rapture?

sacredh
sacredh

One of the guys is retiring in 10 days. Talk about getting screwed.

sacredh
sacredh

chupkar, I've been into taking pictures for over 40 years. I was the guy that was always annoying people by taking their pictures. I couldn't even count the number of times people threatened to "shove that camera up my ass" if I didn't put it away. Now I get calls from the same people asking me if I still have any of those old pictures left. I probably have thousands. Too many people keep putting things off thinking that there's always time later to take pictures and before you know it, they're gone. Friends and family have passed away, kids have grown up and life has aged us.

.

One thing I hate about digital cameras is that people delete the best pictures. Catching a stupid expression, a yawn or a ridulous dance move are the pictures I love.

chupkar
chupkar

What a terrific idea!!! Must steal!

Sue_N
Sue_N

@bobell I want raptors, damn it. Rapture Raptors. They only gnosh on people who read those God-awful "Left Behind" books.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@bobell 

Who needs the Rapture when we can share (other people's) wealth?

Sue_N
Sue_N

@sacredh Eh, he's a lazy, tax-stealin', welfare-lovin' gubmint worker anyway. The Mayans hate you guys.