Obama Leans to Hagel for Pentagon - Good move!
WASHINGTON, Jan 5 2013 (IPS) - With President Barack Obama reportedly primed to nominate former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to head the Pentagon early next week, the powerful Israel lobby, led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), faces a major dilemma.End Quote
If it mounts a vigorous campaign to fight Hagel’s confirmation by the Senate, it could put at serious risk its relations with the president, who is about to be inaugurated for another four-year term.
Worse, if it loses such a campaign, the aura of near-invincibility that it has assiduously cultivated over the past 30 years – and which has translated into virtually unanimous votes on resolutions in both houses of Congress in support of Israeli policies from the Occupied West Bank to Iran – will suffer a serious blow.
Hagel's first order of business should be to restict Pentagon access to the Israeli military personel who think they can just walk right in. The Isreali Military personel are not entitled to free access to the Pentagon.
In early winter, an incident occurred that was seared into my memory. A coworker and I were suddenly directed to go down to the Mall entrance to pick up some Israeli generals. Post-9/11 rules required one escort for every three visitors, and there were six or seven of them waiting. The Navy lieutenant commander and I hustled down. Before we could apologize for the delay, the leader of the pack surged ahead, his colleagues in close formation, leaving us to double-time behind the group as they sped to Undersecretary Feith’s office on the fourth floor. Two thoughts crossed our minds: are we following close enough to get credit for escorting them, and do they really know where they are going? We did get credit, and they did know. Once in Feith’s waiting room, the leader continued at speed to Feith’s closed door. An alert secretary saw this coming and had leapt from her desk to block the door. “Mr. Feith has a visitor. It will only be a few more minutes.” The leader craned his neck to look around the secretary’s head as he demanded, “Who is in there with him?”End Quote
Hagel should make every Pentagon employee put in writing their position on Israel just as the Israel lobby demands in writing from every elected Congress person their position on Israel.
Those in the Pentagon who express or demonstrate a fealty toward Israel should be weeded out just as the Israel lobby weeds out members of Congress who do not express their fealty toward Israel.