The latest non-scandal scandalizing the American commentariat is whether Barack Obama will be able to nominate former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as his new Secretary of Defense. The narrative is that the Zionist lobby is eager to scuttle Hagel’s nomination because he has uttered one too many words “critical” of Israel, and displayed too many sentiments suspected of being contrary to the agenda of the lobby: namely, destroying Iran.
The narrative is true enough.
That the lobby does not want Hagel is clear, and his nomination would be a defeat for the lobby’s right wing.
Still, it is barely a scandal, except in the sense that it is scandalous how narrow the parameters of debate are in this country such that leftists think that an aggressive nationalist like Hagel merits their defense.
There are a few reasons for that.
First, Hagel’s policy prescriptions for dealing with Iran are, in fact, American policy. US policymakers have been huffing and puffing about a US attack on Iran for over a decade – without producing that attack. They are not the only ones. While the Israeli political class itinerantly threatens Iran, its defense intelligentsia warns against it. So does the Pentagon and the US State Department. At the military level, there is no direct war on Iran, and the absence of a military attack against Iran is not a policy secured by the dominance of responsible and beleaguered technocrats fending off the neocons’ pressure.
It is simply the consensual policy amongst most of the Washington elite.
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