Friday, January 11, 2013

The Council Has Spoken! This Week's Watcher's Council Results

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week's Watcher's Council match up.

The president's mask is off, and it didn't take long did it?


This week's winner, Joshuapundit's The Hagel And Brennan Nominations And What They Tell Us about Obama   is my view of what President Obama's new nominations of Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense and John Brennan to head the CIA really mean...and it's not pretty. Here's a slice:

I pretty much figured out that Hagel would get the nod  once the White House put the word out to the usual suspects to start  pushing him after his abysmal record  on Israel and on Iran came to light.It was especially a giveaway when they enlisted Obama surrogates with Jewish names like Tom Friedman and Jeffrey Goldberg.

I would be very surprised if Hagel didn't get confirmed by the Senate, barring something unusual happening. The body has 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans and 2 left leaning independents who mostly caucus with the Democrats, as well as a potential tie breaking vote in Vice President Biden. I doubt that President Obama didn't discreetly have his own caucus polled before he put Hagel up for nomination.

Hagel would have to lose at least 6 Democrat votes to be denied confirmation, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Administration gave behind-the-scenes permission to Senate Democrats in states with large Jewish populations like like Chuck Schumer (D-NY) or Ben Cardin (D-MD) to choose to vote no if there's enough of a margin to get Hagel across the finish line without them.

There's no question about Hagel's consistently  pro-Iran and  anti-Israel stance.  He was a reliable anti-Israel vote during his entire senate tenure, becoming one of the handful of senators refusing even to sign on to resolutions that were essentially just measures of support for an ally.

At the same time, his positions on Iran make one almost think he should have registered as a foreign lobbyist at some point.He's been a consistent opponent of even President Obama's relatively mild sanctions, no matter what he says now. He favors direct US negotiations with Hamas and Hezbollah, and was one of only 12 Senators who refused to lobby  the EU asking them to declare Iranian proxy  Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

In fact, Hagel has long been an advocate of taking Iranian proxies Hamas and Hezbollah off the State Department's list of terrorist groups, and while he was a sitting senator Hagel voted against designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.And remember, as Senator Hagel starts burnishing his veteran's credentials, that until 9/11 Hezbollah killed more U.S. servicemen than any other terrorist group. And that the Revolutionary Guard has the blood of American soldiers on its hands as well.

Just as a coincidence, Hagel also sits on the board of  Deutsche Bank, which is now  being investigated by U.S. authorities for violations of the same Iran sanctions Hagel voted against when he was in Congress.

Even worse is the message this nomination sends to Iran.They now realize that President Obama was not telling the truth about not allowing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons and has no interest whatsoever in stopping them. They have a green light.

Is Hagel an anti-Semite?  A number of his former Jewish constituents in Nebraska seem to think so. Many of them  recall him as hostile and unfriendly not just on Israel but towards the community in general:

The flavor of the accounts is given in a headline in one Jewish website: “Nebraska Jews Recall Senator Chuck Hagel as ‘Unfriendly’ and ‘Unmovable’ on Israel, ‘Didn’t Give a Damn About the Jewish Community.’” The former editor of the Omaha Jewish Press recalled that “Hagel was the only one we have had in Nebraska, who basically showed the Jewish community that he didn’t give a damn about the Jewish community or any of our concerns.” Another community leader commented that  “During his last year in office, we knew he was not going to run again, he never returned any of our calls.”

It's also a matter of record that in 1999, when the American Jewish Committee asked members of the U.S. Senate to sign an advertisement condemning anti-Semitism in Russia the AJC subsequently ran in the New York Times during Russian President Boris Yeltsin's U.S. visit, the only Senator who refused to sign was yes, Chuck Hagel.

There's a lot more where that came from, and it's literally stomach turning. But it gives us a very good look at what the next four years of this president's  reign will be like, if you connect the dots.Interesting times...

In our non-Council category, the winner was Alanna Goodman in Commentary with Hagel: “Let the Jews Pay for it”   submitted by Rhymes With Right. It also looks at the Hagel nomination with the emphasis on a telling incident in Hagel's career I also write about in my piece, his campaign to shut down a popular USO facility in the Israeli port of Haifa unless 'the Jews' coughed up money.

OK, so here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don't forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week's Watcher's Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and with short takes and weigh in...don't you dare miss it. And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.....'cause we're cool like that!

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