According to a number of sources former Senator Chuck Hagel, who endorsed President Obama in 2008 and in 2012 is set to be nominated as Secretary of Defense by the president Monday or Tuesday of next week. And if Hagel is nominated, this is a significant signal.
I pretty much called this last week once I saw how the White House coordinated a media assault in his favor. Prominently featured, of course, were left wing pro-Obama writers with Jewish last names like Tom Friedman and Jeffrey Goldberg.
In Goldberg's case, he even had the asininity to admit he was 'uncomfortable' with the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel nature of a lot of the people backing Hagel, but wrote, essentially, that his (Goldberg's) hatred of those he terms 'settlers' and Israelis on the right trumps that.
I've already had a lot to say about Chuck Hagel's record previously. Aside from a consistent anti-Israel stance, he is so pro-Iran that he might need to register as a foreign lobbyist. Aside from vociferously working against labeling Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as terrorist organizations, he's also on record as being opposed to even the Obama Administration's relatively mild sanctions against Iran's illegal nuclear weapons program.
And it seems it's not just Israel Hagel apparently dislikes. Aside from well-known remarks about how 'the Jewish lobby runs DC', there's also a revealing story about the USO in Haifa that's surfaced.
Israel, unlike many other countries we call allies gives America carte blanche use of many of its facilities. One of them is the Mediterranean port of Haifa, a very popular stop for the U.S. Navy.
Senator Hagel initiated efforts to shut down the USO club in the city when he served as president and CEO of the World USO from 1987 to 1990:
“He said to me, ‘Let the Jews pay for it’,” said Marsha Halteman, director for military and law enforcement programs at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), which led the battle to keep USO Haifa operational.
Hagel’s campaign to close the storied USO port struck many observers, including the U.S. Navy and congressional leaders, as misguided. Those same critics argue today that Hagel’s animosity toward the Jewish state leaves him unsuited to be the nation’s next defense secretary.
“He essentially told us that if we wanted to keep the USO [in Haifa] open—and when I say ‘we’, he meant ‘the Jews’—he said the Jews could pay for it,” said Halteman, who recalled being taken aback by the comment.
I'd call this anecdotal, except that there are numerous sources cited who reported similar remarks by Hagel on this issue.
What it signifies, just as Hagel's remarks on the so-called 'Jewish Lobby' do, is that he coflates Jews and Israel. To him, they appear to be the same.
There will be major opposition to Hagel's appointment as Secretary of Defense on Capitol Hill, and President Obama has to know that. If he is willing risk that kind of fallout to go ahead an dtry to push Hagel's nomination through when Hagel’s views on Iran and Israel are supposedly out-of-step with those of President Obama, that raises the question about whether the president’s real positions on Iran, Israel and national defense are the same as the ones he’s voiced publicly.
If Hagel is nominated, let alone appointed, it tells us essentially that regardless of the rhetoric, President Obama is unconcerned about a nuclear Iran and plans on vastly increasing the 'daylight' he wants between Israel and America.
There is simply no other way to read it.
And if Hagel is indeed nominated, I have to wonder how America's Jews - and Jewish Democrats - will regard the matter. Most of them voted for Obama, disregarding this president's previous record on Israel, his support and enabling of the Muslim Brotherhood and his long time association with a number of figures like Jeremiah Wright, Rashid khalidi, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, Edward Said, Bill Ayres and a number of others who could justifiably be considered anti-Semites. Many of America's Jews essentially bought President Obama's statements about his commitment to Israel's security, although what happened at last year's Democratic Convention should have opened a few eyes.
Now that President Obama no longer needs Jewish votes or campaign donations, does he simply feel free now to be more open about his real views?
Stay tuned..because we're about to find out.