"The Jewish people as a whole will be its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races...and by the establishment of a world republic in which everywhere the Jews will exercise the privilege of citizenship. In this New World Order the Children of Israel...will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition..." (Karl Marx in a letter to Baruch Levy, quoted in Review de Paris, June 1, 1928, p. 574)
Israel Lobby is taking aim at another prospective Obama administration
appointee deemed insufficiently supportive of Israel’s Likud policies,
ex-Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel. A similar campaign of
vilification was waged against Ambassador Chas Freeman in 2009, as he
History is indeed repeating itself with Sen. Chuck Hagel; this time,
as Marx predicted, as farce. All of the elements I noted in my statement
of withdrawal in 2009 are there:
“The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and
indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation,
the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and
an utter disregard for the truth. The aim of this Lobby is control of
the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment
of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of
political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all
options for decision by Americans and our government other than those
that it favors.”
None of this has changed, including the effort to make the campaign
appear to be about something other than obeisance to Israel. (China in
my case; so far gay rights — with more likely to come — in Sen.
Hagel’s.) [For details, see below “Hagel: Neocons’ Last Stand?”]
There are some differences, however. I had been appointed. Hagel has
not yet been nominated. Unlike Secretary of Defense, the head of the
National Intelligence Council is not subject to Senate confirmation. If
nominated, Sen. Hagel faces hearings in which he has the opportunity to
clear his name and a process of voting in which politicians must take a
stand rather than hide behind the Lobby.
Neither were available to me. The campaign against Hagel is also more
open than the internet and corridor-whispering campaign against me.
The Secretary of Defense is a policy official, the head of the NIC is
responsible for analytical input but not for policy decisions. The NIC
is a subcabinet position, with a supervisor who reports to the
President. The Secretary of Defense has no superior other than the
President, who cannot disclaim responsibility or leave the decision
whether to stand or fight to a subordinate.
Finally, Sen. Hagel appears actively to want to return to government
service. I agreed only reluctantly to do so. Sen. Hagel’s appointment as
Secretary of Defense would cap an honorable political career by
elevating him to higher office. My return to government at the same
level as my last position in it would have been an invisible afterward
to 30 years of dignified but obscure public service.
The stakes seem at first glance to be surprisingly similar. In 2009, I
noted that “the outrageous agitation … [over my appointment casts]
doubt on [the President's] ability to consider, let alone decide what
policies might best serve the interests of the United States rather than
those of a Lobby intent on enforcing the will and interests of a
As I and others foresaw, my defeat was the first of many setbacks to
Obama’s declared objective of righting U.S. policies in the Middle East
and repairing our relations with the Muslim world.
The controversy over my appointment also politicized appointments to
the intelligence community. But that over Hagel is far more important
and potentially far-reaching in its effects. It threatens to extend the
process of “borking” from the Supreme Court to the Cabinet appointment
process and, if it appears to deter the President from nominating Hagel,
it will confirm the domestic and international impression of President
Obama as someone who confuses following from the front with leadership
and who habitually yields rather than stands his ground.
Given the domestic political gridlock and constant retreat before
AIPAC that characterized his first term, President Obama and the United
States currently have very little credibility in the Middle East. Even
without the impact of a fall off the “fiscal cliff,” starting a second
term with yet another humiliation by the Israel Lobby would devalue
Obama and American prestige for at least the next four years, leaving us
at the mercy of decisions by others that we cannot influence.
Sen. Hagel is drawing on conservative political colleagues to defend
himself. Much as I sympathize with what he’s going through, it seems
best not to taint his case by appearing to wish to reopen my own.
Those opposing him are making arguments that demonstrate their
obsession with Israel at the expense of all other American interests. In
the process, they are isolating themselves by offending a widening
circle of thoughtful American patriots. Their effective abetment of
self-destructive impulses in Israel has helped to create an ever more
potent existential threat to that country. Their hubris now threatens
their credibility here.
Napoleon wisely said that one should never interrupt the enemy when
he is making a mistake. These people are enemies of Israel as well as
all that is decent in this country. Enough said.
Charles W. “Chas” Freeman Jr. had a 30-year career in the
U.S. Foreign Service, the State Department and the Defense Department,
including a stint as U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1989 to 1992.
In February 2009, he was named by Director of National Intelligence
Dennis Blair to chair the National Intelligence Council. But appointment
was withdrawn after several weeks of intense criticism from staunch
supporters of Israeli policy. [This post derived from an e-mail exchange
with ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern and was posted with Ambassador
Freeman’s approval as well as at LobeLog.com.]
Article 19 of the UN Human Rights Charter explicitly states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of
opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of