Hagel confirmation confounds America
Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:22AM
With America involved in multiple wars, Afghanistan, now in Mali, with America moving toward intervention in Syria, will defense policy, one outlining real national interest and, just perhaps, more realistic limitations on American power, alter America’s global strategy?”Moments ago it was announced, the US Senate, voting 58/41 along party lines, confirmed Senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. Four Republicans joined Democrats in supporting Hagel in a nomination battle entirely based on the issue of American political subservience to Israel. All 12 Jewish senators voted to confirm Hagel. The two-term Republican senator from Nebraska, now Secretary of Defense and first combat veteran ever to hold that position, has been outspoken in his independence from Israeli influence, at least by American standards. Earlier in the day, the Senate ended a Republican filibuster with a 71/27 vote, setting the stage for Hagel’s confirmation. Among the Republican senators to cross the aisle and support fellow Republican Hagel, was Rand Paul, son of former representative and unsuccessful presidential candidate, Ron Paul, foremost critic of America’s broken “Federal Reserve” banking system. To analysts, the confirmation process has been particularly unique in that it has been the most naked exposure the powerful Israel lobby has had, exposure too blatant that it was featured in comedy skits on network television.
In particular, a powerful wedge has been driven between AIPAC, the Israel lobby, and military and veterans organizations. Support for Hagel has been well above 90% with these powerful groups normally closely aligned with Israel.That bond appears to be broken, temporarily at least. Though the media is trying to portray Hagel as damaged by the endless smears he was subjected to during the confirmation hearings, President Obama remained steadfast in his support of Hagel. The initial vote on Hagel’s confirmation was blocked when 40 Republican senators walked out of congress, shutting down the government. The move was orchestrated by Las Vegas gambling boss, Sheldon Adelson, key financier behind the failed Romney campaign, who put up millions to block the Hagel nomination. Forty-one Republicans chose, not just to oppose a highly qualified candidate but also to lay bare the reach of, not just the Israel lobby but interests in the “hospitality industry,” another way of saying “organized crime.” One of the key issues brought up during the hearings was Iran. Hagel has stated on more than one occasion his willingness to engage Iran. The real question is more basic; is Hagel ready to distance himself from the Islamophobic mythology of the past and accept two consecutive National Intelligence Estimates. Thus far, under pressure from Israel, not just the media but American officials have gone into a zombie-like state of denial over any evidence that Iran is and has been keeping its promises regarding nuclear enrichment programs. Will Hagel, as with his predecessors, continue to be oblivious to evidence and continue the dogmatic blithers that even President Obama has continually mouthed? Another key issue tied to Hagel’s assumption of control of America’s defensive posture is “sequestration.”
America’s government has been forced to accept drastic austerity measures “across the board.” As defense is the largest tap on America’s financial resources, they will be subjected to the greatest cutbacks.The largest American military aid programs are those that assist Israel. Discussions of cutbacks on Israeli aid are already at the rumor stage for the first time in decades. Additional cuts in “humanitarian aid” to Israel, the billions American taxpayers spend to subsidize the lifestyle of Israel’s Jewish population only is unlikely to be reviewed, not under newly appointed Secretary of State John Kerry. Critical for Mideast policy will be the promise of a new rationality and, if conceivable, a new intellectual depth that could develop if America were to return to a worldview that is not dominated by the tenets of Zionism. With America involved in multiple wars, Afghanistan, now in Mali, with America moving toward intervention in Syria, will defense policy, one outlining real national interest and, just perhaps, more realistic limitations on American power, alter America’s global strategy? An additional factor was seen in financial markets this week with the jolt caused by the Italian elections. Americans saw, for the first time in many months, the vulnerability they share with Europe. A new defense strategy in the Middle East, a drawdown of forces, in particular the massive naval contingent in the region, along with needed corrections in the price of natural gas, crude oil and refined fuels, long artificially boosted through war manipulation and speculation, could restore financial confidence. For several years, as the Iraq War has subsided into a state of permanent low intensity civil conflict, America, at the behest of Israel, has maintained a full war footing in the Persian Gulf, a dangerous and costly endeavor. Observers will note Hagel’s actions over the upcoming weeks. Will America return to mission oriented defense policy, a policy tied to American security or will the longstanding dogmatic adherence to demonization and imaginary enemies continue? GD/HSN