Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hagel and a Nuclear Iran -- Perfect Together

by Edward Olshaker

Sounding indistinguishable from Noam Chomsky or Rev. Jeremiah Wright, former Sen. Chuck Hagel agreed in an Al Jazeera interview that the United States is "the world's bully" and has depicted Israel as a cruel oppressor, yet appears to have little similar concern about the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran. 

To the contrary, Hagel has gone so far as to argue that any government (even an openly genocidal jihadist regime) possessing such a weapon would naturally respond to the gravity of their new responsibility with common sense, prudence, and sanity.

Hagel's depiction of the U.S. and Israel as the world's chief troublemakers and jihadists as benign eerily echoes the worldview of Michael Moore, who has declared "Americans kill people," Israelis "know they are wrong," and "There is no [Islamic] terror threat." It comes as no surprise that Moore, the Iranian regime, Time magazine's Joe Klein, David Duke, Oliver Stone, and others in the progressive-Islamist-neo-Nazi alliance endorse Obama's "bipartisan" choice for defense secretary. Leading Democratic senators are on board, along with the online activists of the "white nationalist" Stormfront, where one member cited Hagel's "Let the Jews pay for it" quote, and wrote, "I love this guy!" You can't say Obama hasn't brought people together.

Hagel's numerous troubling votes and statements as a senator are ultimately overshadowed by something astoundingly naïve and chilling he wrote in his book:
The genie of nuclear armaments is already out of the bottle, no matter what Iran does. In this imperfect world, sovereign nation-states possessing nuclear weapons capability ...will often respond with some degree of responsible, or at least sane, behavior...

The mother of Newtown mass murderer Adam Lanza appeared to hold a similar view, believing that placing deadly weapons in her son's hands and training him in their use would instill responsibility and bring stability to his life.

With the gun-control issue overshadowing all else these days, opponents of the Hagel nomination would be wise to cast his alarmingly irrational view in terms of the one aspect of the gun issue everyone agrees on: Guns -- and infinitely deadlier weapons -- must be kept out of the hands of the criminally insane. And no informed person can be unaware that the Iranian regime's open goal of murder-suicide in an apocalyptic final war differs from the Lanza massacre only in degree.

Incredibly for a potential Secretary of Defense, Hagel's prediction of the likely conduct of "sovereign nation-states possessing nuclear weapons capability" does not distinguish between jihadist and non-jihadist governments or acknowledge the reality of Iran's martyrdom culture. When President Ahmadinejad called the desire to commit suicide "one of the best ways of life," he was not only praising suicide bombers but also reiterating the goal of national murder-suicide announced by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1981: "I say let Iran go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world."

Similarly, in a speech urging the Muslim world to destroy Israel, Iran's Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani sadistically explained the nuclear math: "application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world." He further assured the world that Iran could handle the cost of "thirty or forty million martyrs."

As Mitt Romney emphasized, the Soviet Union "was never suicidal. Soviet commitment to national survival was never in question. That assumption cannot be made to an irrational regime that celebrates martyrdom." The critical distinction noted by Romney is a distinction Hagel has a history of willfully ignoring.

Imagine what a gracious and reassuring gesture it would have been if Obama had expressed his alleged bipartisanship by nominating Romney (or any mainstream Republican) as defense secretary. Ironically, after smearing Romney and the Republicans as bigots, Obama has gone out of his way to nominate an actual, rare Republican bigot, whose prejudice matches the fringe anti-Israel bias instilled in him by his radical mentors. And, coming 4 years after Obama's remarkably similar nominations of Chas Freeman and Van Jones, it is clear he chose Hagel because of, not in spite of, his hostility to Jews and their legitimate interests. (Had Obama similarly punished any other minority so steadfastly loyal to him, they -- and America in general -- would never have tolerated it.)

As troubling as this is, it's also an opportunity for Republicans opposed to Hagel to really shine by countering this shrewd, divisive "bipartisan" nomination with a true bipartisan response. Because there are qualified Democrats, even including some archliberals, who staunchly support Israel's security, Republicans who vote no on Hagel could jointly announce their support for one of them as an alternative.

The choice of Hagel is a reminder of what's in Obama's heart, and has already succeeded in its intended purpose. This nomination has punished his loyal Jewish supporters, delighted the rulers of Iran, brought new reason for despair to Israel, and needlessly pitted Americans against each other. In this sense, it's already "mission accomplished" for the great uniter, regardless of the outcome of this week's confirmation hearings.

Yet, even in this battle they're unlikely to win, it is essential that Republicans stand on principle and vigorously oppose Obama's legitimization and empowerment of anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, anti-gay, soft-on-terror views. There is a direct line connecting Farrakhan's disparagement of Jews and gays when Obama helped organize his historic march, and similar statements by Hagel. If the opposition party does not expose this administration's radicalism, its policies that treat Netanyahu as a foe and the genocide-espousing Muslim Brotherhood as a friend, who will? The media? Remaining silent was a losing strategy for Romney, while bold, principled opposition (by members of both parties) stopped the attempted appointments of Chas Freeman and Van Jones. Even in this season of defeat and discouragement, the fight against hate and extremism must not stop. 

Edward Olshaker


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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