Editor's note : Note this from the Israel Policy Forum on Hagel. Even the Israel Policy Forum doesn't concur with the Kristolite and Rubinite attacks on Hagel.
Remember that it is these self-anointed "experts" <sic.> who beat the drums for war, and the military who fights and dies in those wars who do not see any reason to wage them in the first place, writes Alan Sabrosky…
"Strong civilian control" in the Pentagon is the first, last and only cry of those who have agendas other than defending the US, and especially who have never served themselves in the military – either because they think themselves too good to put on a uniform, or are physical cowards, or both. That "civilian control" in the Pentagon – amateur hour on steroids – a half-century ago gave America a disaster in Vietnam, a decade ago Afghanistan & Iraq (and definitely played into the 9/11 "trigger" for both), and today wants to give us another war, this time with Iran.Remember that is these self-anointed "experts" <sic.> who beat the drums for war, and the military who fights & dies in those wars.
It is instructive to remember that President Eisenhower was a career Army officer who became one of a handful of 5-star generals. As president, he ended the war in Korea in 1953 and preserved an independent South Korea; refrained from intervening in Indochina in 1954; and forced Britain, France and Israel to back off Egypt and withdraw when they invaded in 1956, among other things that none of his civilian successors (some of whom did serve briefly as junior officers, but did not hold high military rank) managed to accomplish equally well. Do you think that Eisenhower ever stopped thinking like a general, or set aside the values he acquired during a long and distinguished military career? No. And had someone like him been president in 1967 when the Israelis attacked the USS Liberty in the midst of the Six-Day War, Israel would have found itself short several aircraft and motor torpedo boats, their base at Ashdod would have been a smoking ruin, and they would have had their butts kicked back across their pre-war borders. Better for the rest of us all around.
The only real (and barely disguised by other rhetoric) concern the neo-cons and their allies have about Hagel is that he thinks of himself as an American who would put the interests of the US ahead of Israeli interests: where they coincided he would likely support interest, when they didn't he wouldn't, and if he thought they had engineered a "false flag" operation somewhere against the US, he would likely make them very, very unhappy, almost certainly in tandem with Kerry. Good, say I, long overdue and sure to be welcomed by Americans not in thrall to AIPAC and Israel.
Dr. Alan Sabrosky's response to IPF :
Well, I have to say that this is much more balanced than the drivel emanating from the likes of Bill Kristol and Jennifer Rubin, and I do mean that as a genuine compliment, and not an exercise in damning with faint praise. I also have to say I am always amused (but not in a happy way) at the assorted comments about entities like Hezbollah (& Hamas), recognizing that exactly the same could have been said (and usually was said) about pre- (and sometimes post-) independence/revolutionary/
anti-colonial/etc. movements around the globe, including the Irgun and the Stern Gang in what came to be Israel.
But I was intrigued by this comment:
“the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here.” Though that wording is unfortunate…..
Well, other than the fact that very few people on Capitol Hill have the backbone to call that specific spade a spade, lobbies of any and all types are supposed to intimidate, punish, promise and/or reward the objects of their lobbying activities, and probably have done so ever since the chariot-makers lobby in Egypt pushed their products ahead of horse cavalry. The Jewish lobby, perhaps best personified by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (of which AIPAC, of course, is but one of 49 or 50 members – haven't checked in a while) plus brigades of smaller PAC's and lots of editors and journalists, is but the most successful current practitioner of the art in the US. So why not scrub the opprobrium of saying so? After all, if something is neither dishonest nor contrived, let it go, even if the truth – while not necessarily setting one free – does deserve to be heard.
Or don't you think so?
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Alan Sabrosky, PhD
Alan Sabrosky ((Ph.D., University of Michigan). A Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and a 1986 graduate of the U.S. Army War College, Dr. Sabrosky’s teaching and research appointments have included the United States Military Academy, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Middlebury College and Catholic University; while in government service, he held concurrent adjunct professorships at Georgetown University and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Read more here
From Israel Policy Forum’s Chair, Peter Joseph, and Executive Director, David Halperin:
In His Own Words: Sen. Chuck Hagel on the Middle East