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  • February 1, 2013

    Holy Cow—Hagel Was EMBARRASSING!

    By Jeff Dunnit z, Yid with Lid

    Regular readers of this site know that I have not been in favor of former Senator Chuck Hagel’s nomination—but even his biggest detractors did not expect the performance he gave today during his senate confirmation hearings.   It wasn’t that he said things that people disagreed with, or got caught with some sort of scandal–he looked totally unprepared and out-classed. He was pathetic.

    The guy knew what he would face…his own statements and record, many of them were posted here. Chuck Hagel had weeks to figure out responses–and OH MY GOD, he didn’t even understand what containment means.


    When being questioned on Iran he said  questioning the Obama administration supports “containment” (allowing Iran to get the bomb). Then what had to be less than five minutes later he walked it back;

    “I was just handed a note that I misspoke that I said I supported the president’s position on containment. If I said that I meant to say that we don’t have a position on containment,”

    The progressive National Journal’s Michael Hirsh Called The Containment Exchange, “Perhaps One Of The Worst Moments In A Fairly Bad Day For Hagel.” “Perhaps one of the worst moments in a fairly bad day for Hagel came when even one of his apparent supporters, the committee chairman, Carl Levin, D-Mich., was forced to restate his position for him after Hagel twice misspoke about a critical issue: whether the Obama administration would accept mere ‘containment’ of Iran’s nuclear program, rather than prevention of it.”

    Later he called the Iranian government (which stole the last election) and “elected legitimate government.” And when asked about it by NY Senator Gillibrand retracted that statement:

    “What I meant to say–should have said–it’s recognizable,” Hagel said. “It’s been recognized, is recognized at the United Nations. Most of our allies have embassies there. That’s what I should have said, and…thank you.”

    RECOGNIZED? As in “Hey aren’t You Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?”

    Lindsey Graham took him to the woodshed.  The South Carolina senator hammered Hagel on his  “Jewish lobby’s” comment. He asked the former senator if he could “name one person intimidated” by the Israeli lobby. Hagel couldn’t. “I didn’t have in mind a single person,” he said. Then Graham asked Hagel if he could name “something that was dumb” that the Israeli lobby had forced U.S. legislators to do, and Hagel said he didn’t know that either.

    The absolutely worst moment for Hagel came when questioned by freshman Senator Ted Cruz, Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) destroyed Hagel over his 2009 interview with Al Jazeera where he agreed with a description of the United States as the “world’s bully,” and one that called for Israel to be cited for War Crimes

    CNN’s Dana Bash later reported that senators were in disbelief about how bad Hagel was.

    Just before the second round of questions Hagel made a statement that launched a million face-palms

    “A number of questions were asked of me today about specific programs, submarine programs, different areas of technology and acquisitions, and our superior technology. I’ve said I do not know enough about it. I don’t. There are a lot of things I don’t know about. If confirmed, I intend to know a lot more than I do. I will have to. But at the same time, I would never think that this, as I said earlier, is about me or I will be running anything. I will be the leader. I’ll be responsible. I will be accountable, but I’ve got to rely on the right teams, the right people to bring those people together. And again, it’s accountability and responsibility. I would stop there, if that gives you some sense of how I would intend to do this business.”

    If you asked me this morning if Hagel would be confirmed by the Senate, despite my objections to his nomination I would have answered in the affirmative. After today’s embarrassing display there is a legitimate chance he may be blocked or even have his name withdrawn before this process is over.

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  • Posted by Ted Belman @ 7:09 am | 33 Comments »

    33 Comments to Holy Cow—Hagel Was EMBARRASSING!

    1. Canadian Otter says:

      It’s encouraging to see the strong support for Israel that exists among Congressmen, and how they’ve worked to expose and defeat candidates to govt appointments who have a record of anti-Israel bias. Being pro-Israel is still a political asset. Rand Paul has been positioning himself for the next presidential primaries by visiting Israel and expressing support.~~~~~ Israelis underestimate the amount of support their country has among American non-Jews. This fact is downplayed by Israeli government authorities who use the excuse of “international pressure” to justify policies hurtful to the future of Israel. ~~~~~ Today it’s American non-Jews who back Israel, but there was a time when US Zionists were the main pro-Israel activists with influence on the US government.

      I was just browsing through David Bedein’s blog on Times of Israel, and found this article about Prof. Ben Zion Netanyahu, guest speaker at Bedein’s high school in the United States, who taught him how organized Zionists worked then. Prof. Netanyahu was the head of the Revisionist Zionist movement in the USA in 1946. He was also Bibi Netanyahu’s father. ~~~~~ Ben Zion Netanyahu, the Mufti and the U.S. election of 1946 – http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/21212/

    2. yamit82 says:

      Canadian Otter Said:

      It’s encouraging to see the strong support for Israel that exists among Congressmen, and how they’ve worked to expose and defeat candidates to govt appointments who have a record of anti-Israel bias. Being pro-Israel is still a political asset.

      All of Obama;s appointments will be approved including Hagel.

      Israel support I suspect is more posturing than real, they lose nothing and might gain a few votes on election days and some Jewish financial support but when you match up voting records against pro Israel posturing there is not much left of the pro Israel content.

      When Has congress ever denyed arms sales or donations to any of the Arab countries? The American Embassy still in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (any part is not considered part of Israel by the American government)

      What is mostly behind the hard questioning besides the obvious that Hagel is a fool and an idiot ( seems to me a little senile as well) is just Politics and a Republican chance to embarrass Obama. In the end Hagel will get enough Republican support to get his nomination.

    3. Shy Guy says:

      Canadian Otter Said:

      Being pro-Israel is still a political asset. Rand Paul has been positioning himself for the next presidential primaries by visiting Israel and expressing support.

      I don’t trust Rand Paul with a ten foot pole. He has not really expressed support for Israel. He’s expressed disdain for support of any of the Islamic regimes around Israel. To Paul, Israel is the “last country” the US has to offend, betray, punish, etc. Being the last is not the same as being a friend. Paul is very shrewd. Read his lips carefully.

    4. Shy Guy says:

      yamit82 Said:

      All of Obama;s appointments will be approved including Hagel.

      Hagel’s might actually fail. He really is THAT bad.

    5. Canadian Otter says:

      @ yamit82:
      @ Shy Guy:
      You guys make good points and I share your cynicism. However, at a time when the US is being slowly morphed into a pro-Islam nation (and a lot of other unpleasant things) – open congressional support for Israel is something to be appreciated.

      Perhaps as soon as the next presidential election demographics will require candidates to distance themselves from Israel’s interests. This is natural. Politics is politics. They will have to play to the new constituencies and to the new donors. Politics is rarely about integrity and high values. It’s about winning and it’s about power at any price. That’s why Israel should avail itself of this last wave of support – phony or not – while it lasts.

    6. Shy Guy says:

      Suggested new dictionary entry:

      ha·gel
      verb \?hay-g?l\
      ha·geled ha·geling

      Definition of HAGEL
      intransitive verb
      : to respond in a job interview with failing answers and frivolous excuses.

      — ha·geler noun

    7. Bill Narvey says:

      Yamit, your general statement about political pro-Israel Congressional posturing does not reflect the reality of where Congress has stood in voting legislation that impacts Israel for better or worse, directly or indirectly. While it may be true in some cases, it is not in others. That is the problem with general statements.

      In politics however, as you know, stated perceptions of reality, whether honestly come by or come by way of strategizing to achieve a particular result, irrespective of reality, often, if not most often outweighs reality in terms of dictating political policy and action.

      The pro-Israel posturing by both Congress and Senate, whether or not it is matched by their voting record, still has great influence on American policy and American attitudes towards Israel.

      Some examples of where Congressional pro-Israel posturing did influence votes favorable to Israel.

      Last year, following the lead by Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, Congress was pushing to withhold U.S. funding to U.N. agencies that assisted Palestinians in response to Abbas’ bid to put forth a UNSCR to have Palestine declared a state. H. Clinton over-rode that objection and ordered the funding to proceed. http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/04/11/463018/clinton-ros-lehtinen-aid-palestinians/

      Key Votes on Israel & the Middle East: House of Representatives http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/housetoc.html

      July 2012 – House votes to strengthen ties with Israel, sends bill to Obama http://thehill.com/video/house/238505-house-votes-to-strengthen-ties-with-israel-sends-bill-to-obama

      That said, I share your concerns with American foreign policy being geared to ensuring Israel has what they call a qualitative edge in military parity with her enemies. With military capacity of Israel’s enemies being increased in more sophisticated and deadly weaponry, which they seek, not with a view to defend themselves from fellow Arab nations, but to ultimately attack Israel, Israel in spite of having a military edge and being able to win such war, would in the process suffer far more casualties then if the Arabs were not so well armed.

      Obama shipping F16’s and tanks to Egypt at this time of instability and the nation being led by the MB that is openly hostile and hateful of not just Israel, but the U.S., is a good example of strengthening Israel’s enemies to wage war on Israel should they decide to do so.

    8. Canadian Otter says:

      PHEW! Good news! Only 60% of students of the Oxford Union Debating Society want Israel’s destruction. What a relief. Could have been worse – It’s good old England, after all.

      The Jewish Chronicle was ecstatic. Wow, only 60%

      And guess who’s giving the green light to all that anti-Israel hatred? A Jewish girl.

      http://israelmatzav.blogspot.ca/2013/02/great-news-only-60-of-oxford-union.html#links

    9. Laura says:

      Whoever Obama appoints will be hostile to Israel because Obama himself is hostile to Israel. So better that someone openly hostile like Hagel gets the position.

    10. Bert says:

      Opposition to Hagel is coming from gentile senators and NOT from any of the many Jewish senators. I sense a steady decline in support for Israel among Democrats. As American demographics include more minorities for the Democrat party I can imagine a time when U.S. politics will start to resemble that of Britain where antisemitism is becoming mainstream.

    11. Bernard Ross says:

      Canadian Otter Said:

      And guess who’s giving the green light to all that anti-Israel hatred? A Jewish girl

      the “jewish” girl is guilty of fraud and the oxford union has been notified that she was not a fulbright scholar as she claimed and not a descendant of a holocaust victims nor was she ever in the birthright program. an aticle was written on her, I think at the gatestone institute. Perhaps she is not even jewish.

    12. Bernard Ross says:

      I think Hagel is meant to be a “useful idiot”, a republican who will make the defense cuts that obama wants and will not disagree with controversial obama positions. Obamas master’s agenda will be carried out with Hagel as the front man. I think its mainly about cutting defense funding.

    13. birdalone says:

      @ Shy Guy:
      sorry yamit but I agree with ShyGuy that what came apart for Hagel is now the more over-riding concerns over how he performed in a hearing, when he knows from direct experience how Senate confirmation hearings work.
      Sem. Corker had already suggested concern over Hagel’s temperament, high staff turnover.
      What I saw was Hagel making controlling his temper his #1 priority. I did not count the clenching of jaw muscles, but Hagel wanted to strangle McCain, who was pushing all the buttons that only a {former) friend would know to push.
      Apparently Hagel can not control his temper AND answer prosecutorial-style questioning simultaneously, which then goes to whether he is a good choice for the USA’s #1 military-to-military diplomat. Until this hearing, I figured maybe Hagel was a fine choice for tending to the militaries of Pakistan and Egypt, but now not so sure.

      Two points, for now, 1) the Senate Dems are lukewarm in Hagel support – only trying to do what is the norm – defer to the president’s choice. The irony is that key Dem bases were stunned by the choice of Hagel. Woman wanted former DoD#3 Flournoy (who seems to really not want it). LGBT wanted ANYONE else. Enviros think Hagel is a climate change denier. and
      2) the DoD #2 Ashton Carter might be the nominee for SecEnergy now that Chu has announced he is leaving.

      btw, it is obvious to me that Kerry, Hagel, Brennan are all part of Obama+EU hope to impose the 2002 Saudi plan on Israel, now quite complicated by hourly events in Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt.

      Jack Lew for SecTreas is ANOTHER piece of this jigsaw puzzle, because he does not appear very qualified. Geithner is gone, yet no hearing even scheduled for Lew.

      countdown to when someone notices that Hagel never sat on the Armed Services Committee, which is why he is vague on Pentagon details.

    14. yamit82 says:

      Shy Guy Said:

      Hagel’s might actually fail. He really is THAT bad.

      That would be a Pyrrhic victory as “Fuck the Jews Baker” is waiting to replace him.

      Laura Said:

      Whoever Obama appoints will be hostile to Israel because Obama himself is hostile to Israel. So better that someone openly hostile like Hagel gets the position.

      We are on the same page Laurale.

      This is an internal American matter, Jews and Israel gain nothing by opposing. Kerry is every bit as bad maybe even worse and he sailed through. This is political posturing by some Republicans who chose to use Israel and the Jews to make Obama slightly uncomfortable. I don’t like the idea of one political party using Israel and Jews as a club to beat their opponents. The Republican record is nothing to brag about.

      There is enough about Hagel to disqualify him without using Israel and the Jews, first and foremost he is stupid and an idiot to boot.

    15. birdalone says:

      yamit82 Said:

      This is political posturing by some Republicans who chose to use Israel and the Jews to make Obama slightly uncomfortable.

      maybe, but the usual point of a Dem prez nominating a Republican to the cabinet, esp at Defense, is to actually promote bi-partisanship.
      Why should Senate GOP support Hagel? who actually has no party since 2008 when he publicly flirted with Bloomberg for a third party run.

      So, now the Dems are privately asking why they should support someone who has no support from the GOP?

      however, the GOP should have grilled Hagel on the F35JSF and Navy Littoral Combat Ship programs, both plagued by problems. THAT would have made Hagel look ignorant.

    16. yamit82 says:

      @ birdalone:

      Bird our reasoning as usual is flawless but I still think it depends on Obama. I don’t see the democrats opposing Obama and I don’t think there will be enough Republicans voting against. If Obama has second thoughts then Hagel will withdraw, (health reasons)?

      btw, it is obvious to me that Kerry, Hagel, Brennan are all part of Obama+EU hope to impose the 2002 Saudi plan on Israel, now quite complicated by hourly events in Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt.

      Jack Lew for SecTreas is ANOTHER piece of this jigsaw puzzle, because he does not appear very qualified. Geithner is gone, yet no hearing even scheduled for Lew.

      countdown to when someone notices that Hagel never sat on the Armed Services Committee, which is why he is vague on Pentagon details.

      Kerry, Hagel, Brennan, looks like Obama’s fearsome threesome, otherwise known as the three Monkeys.

      btw, it is obvious to me that Kerry, Hagel, Brennan are all part of Obama+EU hope to impose the 2002 Saudi plan on Israel, now quite complicated by hourly events in Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt.

      Maybe but Obama need to denuke Israel first and I see an attempt to tradeoff Irananian Nukes for Israels and America to provide Israel with a Nuke umbrella including a worthless formal defense treaty. Maybe even a lot of worthless digital dollars.

      Now putting a Jew in charge of a crumbling economy is what the Europeans used to do, put the Jews in positions to be blamed like tax collectors and money lenders. Lew claims to even be an observant Jew, all the better to scapegoat the Jews. Obama is devilishly smart. The Jews are criminally stupid.

    17. Canadian Otter says:

      @ Bernard Ross:
      Thanks for the info about the girl involved in the anti-Israel debate at Oxford.

      the “jewish” girl is guilty of fraud and the oxford union has been notified that she was not a fulbright scholar as she claimed and not a descendant of a holocaust victims nor was she ever in the birthright program. an article was written on her, I think at the gatestone institute. Perhaps she is not even jewish.

      She may have psychological issues, and her animosity against Israel may be an expression of something else that bothers her. I don’t know what her issues are but too many anti-Zionist Jews seem to have mommy or daddy issues. Amos Oz is one of them. Turning against their parents’ dreams or religion is their way of rebelling, even in those who prolong their teen rebellion years way into their sixties and seventies. The tone with which they talk or write about their parents often reveals a lot.

    18. Canadian Otter says:

      BERNARD – SPAM FILTER has zapped my reply to you. It’s not even in moderation. Just gone. This is is the THIRD instance today alone!

    19. mrzee says:

      @ Bernard Ross:
      That gatestone article has been pulled. She was a Fulbright scholar and on the birthright program. The author seems to have only checked under her married name. Both were under her maiden name. She’s still an obnoxious bitch under any name.

      http://elderofziyon.blogspot.ca/2013/01/anti-israel-activist-anna-baltzer.html

    20. yamit82 says:

      @ Bill Narvey:

      None of you links work on my browser.

      Last year, following the lead by Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, Congress was pushing to withhold U.S. funding to U.N. agencies that assisted Palestinians in response to Abbas’ bid to put forth a UNSCR to have Palestine declared a state. H. Clinton over-rode that objection and ordered the funding to proceed.

      Pls. Narvey, the Congress controls the budgets for the whole Federal Government and funds could have been blocked for any number of reasons.

      I remember the excuse Rep. Ros-Lehtinen gave at the time and it was really very Lame. Nobody goes around congress unless it’s by mutual consent and there is always tradeoffs in these circumstances.

      That said, I share your concerns with American foreign policy being geared to ensuring Israel has what they call a qualitative edge in military parity with her enemies. With military capacity of Israel’s enemies being increased in more sophisticated and deadly weaponry, which they seek, not with a view to defend themselves from fellow Arab nations, but to ultimately attack Israel, Israel in spite of having a military edge and being able to win such war, would in the process suffer far more casualties then if the Arabs were not so well armed.

      I am not convinced Israel holds a military edge. The Arabs get the same weapons we do only collectively more of them. It forces us all into an Arms race good for American Military Industries, balance of payments, trade balance and employment for America but for Israel it’s a heavy burden and we can’t compete. Peace could really become a possibility if there were a real embargo against all countries in our region. Israel in such a case would be military self-sufficient the Arabs not.

      America creates and fosters an arms race and complains that there is no stability and peace????

      The Case for Ending Aid to Israel
      By
      Doug Bandow


      This article appeared in National Interest on June 5, 2012.

    21. bahmi says:

      @ Canadian Otter:
      Oh, yes, the strength behind the Congressional delegations’s firm commitment to Israel is truly gratifying. Watching Lindsay Graham bust up Hagel was really great and it reminded me of the truly amazing chokehold we have on the American political process. Graham obviously was opting for an Oscar winning performance in front of his masters. It was strange from the beginning when Obama chose Hagel for the job. I mean, Obama choosing a Republican? I think Obama doublecrossed Hagel by allowing the process at hand to gut Hagel and embarrass another Republican, part of Obama’s desire to cut the GOP off at the knees. It’s very clear that we are doing something right, even if it’s wrong.

    22. birdalone says:

      @ yamit82:
      yamit: you get close to the dilemma of the Lew nomination. Hagel ended his hearing by giving an out – he was very clear that he was NOT looking for a new job when Obama called. and then there was that odd story he told, about a priest, a rabbi, and a psychiatrist…when Hagel decided he wanted to fight in Vietnam rather than deploy to Germany.

      anyway, anyone have the video of Merkel lecturing Morsi on antisemitism?

    23. Alan says:

      Any Jew or any so-called American who says he cares about our National Security and Israel yet will vote for Ovomit again, or ANY Demoncrap Senator or Congressman after this, after so many are STILL willing to back Hagel truly need those Ovomitcare Ted Kennedy posthumous pre-frontal lobotomies.

      Democrats in supporting Hagel have clearly proven, especially Chuckie Schumer, aka “Uncle Leo” aka the Ned Eisenberg clone (Ned Eisenberg was the actor on “Law and Order SVU” who always played the NEBBISH defense attorney, and whose clock was always getting cleaned by “Kasey Novak”)that if Hitler were a Democrat, they’d support him too.

      What’s next, Dems? If Ovomit demanded that he wanted Hagel’s fellow anti-Semitic, pro-Islamist RINO James “F the Jews” Baker for a high administration position and said “jump”, would you as usual ask “HOW HIGH”?

    24. Honey Bee says:

      @ Bernard Ross:

      You get a gold star for you ” usefull idiot” coment.

    25. Honey Bee says:

      @ Canadian Otter:

      You and me, I get zapped too,and I believe I am the only female courages enough to cross swords with yawl,at lest the only Bee.

    26. Honey Bee says:

      @ Bernard Ross:

      Not all Jewish girls, I sting. No one ask me to debate cause I would show up quoting Shakespere and Kinkey Friedman.

    27. dionissis mitropoulos says:

      @ bahmi:
      bahmi Said:

      it’s very clear that we are doing something right, even if it’s wrong.

      Bahmi, indulge me!

      What is it that is wrong in what we are doing?

      You write cryptically (sort of), and i’m desperate to understand.

      Don’t just disappear like last time.

    28. dionissis mitropoulos says:

      @ Canadian Otter:
      Canadian Otter Said:

      I don’t know what her issues are but too many anti-Zionist Jews seem to have mommy or daddy issues. Amos Oz is one of them. Turning against their parents’ dreams or religion is their way of rebelling, even in those who prolong their teen rebellion years way into their sixties and seventies. The tone with which they talk or write about their parents often reveals a lot.

      Very perceptive!

      I have thought about it a little, and have (tentatively) concluded that the hostility towards their parent(s) must be justified, most of the times. What is really unjustified (and stupid, sometimes) is letting themselves generalize this hostility by turning it against what reminds them of the parent’s misdeeds.

      Through this unwarranted generalization, not only do they become hostile to things that might be beneficial to them (Israel, for example), they also miss the opportunity to take revenge and resolve their anger by directing it to the ones responsible for it – the parent(s).

    29. dionissis mitropoulos says:

      Response to otter’s great point in comment #17 in cyberspace – not even in moderation.

    30. Honey Bee says:

      @ dionissis mitropoulos:

      Greeks talk to much.

    31. Honey Bee says:

      @ dionissis mitropoulos:

      Sounds like some thing c’boy would say,”baffle them with you BS.

    32. dionissis mitropoulos says:

      @ Honey Bee:
      Honey Bee Said:

      Sounds like some thing c’boy would say,”baffle them with you BS.

      Let bahmi speak, he might have something to say.

      Honey Bee Said:

      Greeks talk to much.

      Sometimes it’s useful.

    33. Bernard Ross says:

      @ mrzee:thanks the info. So far I see 3 names: Baltzer, Nardie and Piller. where does the name baltzer come from: she married a guy named nardie and her maiden name for that wedding was Piller. As for birthright I dont believe they have yet found confirmation even under the name Piller from the birthright program. they are going on her assertions and pictures.

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