January 8th, 2013

Some of…

…Hagel’s best friends are Jews.

The Sun doesn’t care.

Neither do I.

The Sun’s editorial staff writes:

His private views are not what we care about. What we care about is the policy line to which Mr. Hagel would hew were he to get a chance to run the defense department and advise the President…

But we’ve been covering his antics for years, and where we’ve come out is that he’s just over his head in terms of policy…

It’s not that Israel is our only test. We’ve been writing editorials in support of Congressman Ron Paul’s Liberty Campaign. We didn’t make an endorsement. But we’ve been defending him, even though he has a record that has convinced many that he has a personal animus in respect of Israel. We see a big difference between, say, Dr. Paul and Mr. Hagel. Dr. Paul has, over more than the 35 years that we’ve covered him, exhibited a commitment to certain libertarian, constitutional principles, most of which we share and all of which we respect.

By what deep principles is Senator Hagel guided in his long years of hanging back from anything that could be construed as helpful to the Jewish state or unhelpful to her enemies? He’s made no life’s work of sound money. He’s made no life’s work of constitutional fundamentals. We can’t think of a single over-riding principle in his career, save for an abiding sneer at Israel, in which he seems to take a certain mischievous glee…

It looks like Mr. Hagel’s anti-Israel record is the very raison d’etre of the nomination. It looks like the nomination is about the President’s determination to block Israel from going to its own defense against a regime that, in Iran, is preparing, by its own account, an attempt to annihilate the Jewish state. Imagine what Mr. Hagel would be like if he actually did have a problem with the Jews.

7 Responses to “Some of…”

  1. carl in atlanta Says:

    I’m no fan of David Brooks, but I’m afraid he’s got it exactly right this time:


    Money quote if you’re pressed for time:

    “Chuck Hagel has been nominated to supervise the beginning of this generation-long process of defense cutbacks. If a Democratic president is going to slash defense, he probably wants a Republican at the Pentagon to give him political cover, and he probably wants a decorated war hero to boot.”

  2. M J R Says:

    A rabbi and a minister were commisserating about how their respective congregations were dwindling.

    Many were giving up on religion, some were enticed by mormonism, some by eastern philosophies, and so on.

    The minister remarked that a lot of his flock were now finding themselves attracted to the Quaker religion.

    The rabbi sighed, “yes, some of my best Jews are Friends.”

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    M J R: good joke. I think it would be improved upon if the punch line was, “yes, some of my best Jews are Friend-ish.” But that’s just me; others might differ.

    I observe in all seriousness, though, that although not so many Jews become Quakers, some do. But a LOT of Jews become Unitarians.

  4. M J R Says:

    neo, certainly use it, amended or not, to your heart’s content! It is not original with me.

    (I was playing off the line that I’ve always heard, “some of my best friends are Jews”. But if you’ve generally heard it as “some of my best friends are Jewish”, then you should certainly go with the amended version.)

    Yes, regarding Unitarians. Many decades ago, many, many Jews were becoming Christian Scientists. Things evolve, don’t they?

  5. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    I see a theme in the appointments of Hagel and Brennan. That theme is one that has been offered up as a solution to our Islamist problem. Namely, that our support for Israel is what wins us the enmity of the jihaids. Abandon Israel and our jihadi problem disappears. It has been most aggressively pushed by a retired CIA operative who was in charge of keeping tabs on bin Laden from 1996-2004, Michael Scheuer. He has written a couple of books that have pushed the idea that, “the current state of the U.S.-Israel relationship undermines U.S. national security.” Also, along those lines has been the writing of Profesors Walt and Mearsheimer.

    Both Hagel and Brennan seem to buy into this policy idea, though they certainly have not come straight out and said we must abandon Israel in order to get the jihadis off our back. It’s a simple and attractive idea, especially if you have bought any of the left’s storyline about Israel being an illegitimate state or an aggressor state.

    People like Scheuer, Brennan, and Hagel have not taken the time to inform themselves about the goals of the Islamists or they believe, as many on the left often say, “They are not an existential threat to the U.S. and if we didn’t support Israel, they would leave us alone.”

  6. suek Says:

    I heard a statement by Obama the other day concerning Hagel’s appointment to the effect that his appointment would be “historic”…that “he would be the first former enlisted man to become the Secretary of Defense”.

    I was stunned.

    He was an enlisted man. _That_ qualifies him to be Secretary of Defense???

  7. Gary Rosen Says:

    “He was an enlisted man. _That_ qualifies him to be Secretary of Defense???”

    It’s NOT allowed to nominate the most qualified candidate for the job. That would be obviously ra-a-a-a-a-cist. You have to be a member of some oppressed class.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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