Hagel Announces Non-Campaign Campaign

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hagel.jpg
Former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson taught me a term recently that I did not know about — the “non-paper” paper. Diplomatic initiatives that need to stay in the dark or that need to be launched with complete deniabiliy are sometimes moved forward with a sheet of paper and a roster of proposals — with no return address and no promised commitment of the proposing party or government.
Senator Chuck Hagel is at this moment launching a “non-campaign campaign.”
Hagel is in Nebraska this morning announcing that he will not announce his candidacy for either the presidency, another senate term, or even retirement from public life until the fall of this year. But he is sending signals — big ones — that he’s going to be a ‘player’ in nearly every significant domestic and international policy issue that confronts America at this pivotal point in its national history.
Hagel seems to be announcing a new national and international activism — in which he will raise money for his political action committee — and without saying it, he’s becoming the new Independent who, like Joseph Lieberman, may be less loyal to scripted party direction. Hagel seems to be saying in his statement (see full Hagel statement below) that this is no time for ideology; this is a time for thinking and problem-solving.
Hagel is not alone in this non-campaign campaign strategy and of waiting while the early “rabbits” in the race, the current front-runners like Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and John McCain on the Republican side, stumble and find themselves out too soon.
Hagel is incrementally building — which will frustrate some — but he’s attempting to avoid the quick boom/quick bust cycle of many other campaigns.
His statement is strong and implies substantial criticism of the status quo political order.
Now, we need to see what evolves from here.
Senator Chuck Hagel’s Statement:

Statement by U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel on His Political Future
March 12, 2007

America stands at an historic crossroads in its history. It is against this backdrop that I find myself at my own crossroads on my political future. Burdened by two wars, faced with dangerous new threats and global uncertainty, beset by serious long-term domestic problems and divided by raw political partisanship — America now reaches for a national consensus of purpose. America’s response to the challenges and opportunities that confront us today will define our future. Finding solutions to these challenges and capitalizing on these opportunities will not wait until the next election.
I have worked hard over the last ten years on foreign policy and national security issues, climate change and energy, education, entitlement reform, especially Social Security reform, health care, veterans benefits, GSE reform, and immigration reform. This year will be an important year for these critical issues– and I intend to offer new initiatives on each of them. I want to give these and other subjects my full attention over the next few months. I believe it is in the interests of my Nebraska constituents and this country that I continue to work full time on these challenges.
America is facing its most divisive and difficult issue since Vietnam — the war in Iraq, an issue that I have been deeply involved in. I want to keep my focus on helping find a responsible way out of this tragedy, and not divert my energy, efforts and judgment with competing political considerations.
I am here today to announce that my family and I will make a decision on my political future later this year.
In making this announcement, I believe there will still be political options open to me at a later date. But that will depend on the people of Nebraska and this country. I cannot control that and I do not worry about it. I will continue to participate in events across this country, raising money for my Political Action Committee to assist Republican candidates, and raising funds for a Senate re-election campaign.
In conclusion, I would first like to commend my colleagues who are currently seeking their Party’s presidential nomination. I admire each of them for their willingness to put themselves on the line and pursue their strong beliefs and ideals.
I believe the political currents in America are more unpredictable today than at any time in modern history. We are experiencing a political re-orientation, a redefining and moving toward a new political center of gravity. This movement is bigger than both parties. The need to solve problems and meet challenges is overtaking the ideological debates of the last three decades — as it should. America is demanding honest, competent and accountable governance.
A global political readjustment is also in play today…and will respond to America’s leadership. What is at stake for the future of America is larger than just American politics. Politics is simply the mechanism democracies use to affect responsible change. The world is not static, it is dynamic.
At the beginning of my remarks I said that America is reaching for a national consensus of purpose. We will find it because Americans expect it and will demand it. I do not believe America’s greatness is lost to the 20th Century. There are chapters of America’s greatness yet to be written. I intend to continue being part of America’s story.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

68 comments on “Hagel Announces Non-Campaign Campaign

  1. Pissed Off American says:

    Heres another news article that directly refutes MP’s claims,(it is interesting to me that someone would use disinformation to defend an organization they claim to oppose), about Cheney’s reception at the AIPAC conference, the actual Levy article from Salon.
    http://fairuse.100webcustomers.com/fairenough/salon061.html
    an excerpt…..
    Particularly striking, though, was the predominant attitude at the conference about the administration still in office. During the opening night’s events, large video screens behind the speaker’s podium showed a chronological slide show of U.S. presidents and their Israeli prime minister contemporaries, and when the display eventually reached George W. Bush, the room erupted into applause — far more applause than the crowd had given for Reagan, Kennedy or even Truman. And when Cheney first appeared on the stage on Monday morning, the crowd immediately rose to its feet and filled the room with loud applause, which continued intermittently through his predictably hawkish speech.
    It seemed a remarkable contrast to the currently dismal public opinion polls regarding Bush and Cheney. As one delegate standing nearby commented during the vice president’s speech, “This has got to be the last crowd that still greets him this way.”

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  2. Pissed Off American says:

    Heres a little more on the “tepid” reception MP falsely claimed Cheney recieved at the AIPAC convention….
    http://tinyurl.com/2rsekt
    an excerpt…….
    Pelosi was booed by some in attendance after she criticized the Bush troop ‘surge’ plan, reports Levey, but Boehner received a standing ovation upon saying, “Who does not believe that failure in Iraq is not a direct threat to the state of Israel? The consequences of failure in Iraq are so ominous for the United States you can’t even begin to think about it.”
    Cheney’s presence yielded a rousing, warm reaction, says Levey. “When Cheney first appeared on the stage on Monday morning,” he writes, “the crowd immediately rose to its feet and filled the room with loud applause, which continued intermittently through his predictably hawkish speech.”

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  3. Pissed Off American says:

    Perhaps MP will entertain the fantasy that Obama will speak openly about the Palestinian issue in the future. AIPAC has made it clear that such lapses in “judgement” will not be tolerated. MP maintains that AIPAC does not stop us from doing, (or encourage us to do), something we wouldn’t do anyway, without their encouragement. But does MP really believe that Obama will speak openly again about his TRUE sentiments in regards to the Israeli/Palestinian issue? Not a snowball’s chance in hell. He has been warned, and you can rest assured he won’t cross AIPAC again.
    March 16, 2007
    The Problem with Barack Obama’s Israel Pose
    by Joshua Frank
    Sen. Barack Obama isn’t quite sure how he feels about the lopsided situation between Israel and Palestine. Less than two weeks after Obama gloated to AIPAC about his love for Israel, he unexpectedly admitted the truth while campaigning in Iowa recently. “[N]obody is suffering more than the Palestinian people…” said Obama, “the Israeli government must make difficult concessions for the peace process to restart…” The truth hurts indeed, and Obama has been feeling the wrath of the pro-Israel activists since his statement last week.
    Nonetheless, Obama shouldn’t be trusted on the issue. While Rep. Dennis Kucinich hired avid pro-Palestine advocate Noura Erakat to sit on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Obama has been backpedaling – assuring AIPAC and others that he is unwavering in his support for Israel’s continued bullying of Iran and occupation of Palestine.
    “[Iran] is a genuine threat” to the United States and Israel, expressed Obama at a forum sponsored by AIPAC on March 12 in Washington D.C., only one day after his lucid remarks in Iowa. At the event Obama also reiterated that he would not rule out the use of force in disarming Iran, a position shared by the other leading Democratic presidential contenders, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.
    Earlier this month on March 2, Obama spoke at an AIPAC Policy Forum in Chicago where he clearly laid out his full stance on Israel, promising he would not alter the U.S./Israeli relationship. “[W]e must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defense programs,” he said. “This would help Israel maintain its military edge and deter and repel attacks from as far as Tehran and as close as Gaza.”
    So while Obama admits that Palestinians suffer more than Israelis, he still won’t do a damn thing to balance out the asymmetrical relationship. In fact, Obama has made it clear that U.S. taxpayers will continue to foot the bill for Israel’s ever-growing arsenal of weapons and missiles if he is indeed elected president in 2008.
    In Obama’s March 2 speech, he even had the audacity to declare that “we have to press for enforcement of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which demands the cessation of arms shipments to Hezbollah, a resolution which Syria and Iran continue to disregard. Their support and shipment of weapons to Hezbollah and Hamas, which threatens the peace and security in the region, must end.”
    If Obama is truly interested in invoking U.N. Resolutions to prop up his case for a military assault on Iran, we may as well note the some 65 Resolutions the senator has blatantly ignored that condemn Israel’s actions – past and present – including Resolution 242 which calls for the withdraw of “Israeli armed forces from territories occupied” during the Six-Day War of 1967.
    Sen. Obama, despite his acknowledgment of Palestinian suffering, has little to offer those who recognize that lasting peace in the Middle East will only begin when the U.S. radically alters its relationship with Israel. Continued funding of Israel’s illegal occupation won’t end the violence – it’ll only continue it.
    http://www.antiwar.com/frank/?articleid=10683

    Reply

  4. Pissed Off American says:

    “The notion that a foreign power, or one organization, is “controlling” us and “making” us do stuff we don’t want to do, or wouldn’t do otherwise, is nonsense.”
    “I say, prove it.”
    Posted by MP
    You have reversed your opinion about what caused the Dems to drop the Iran language in their resolution, eh MP?
    If you don’t see the proof, you’re a damned fool. God knows, there is plenty of it to see.

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  5. MP says:

    “Yeah, it’s a real shame that the Polish lobby egged us into attacking Belorus, isn’t it? That behemoth has got to be stopped!”
    But if they did, would we see sales of the Protocols of the Elders of Cracow skyrocket?
    My point is not anyone’s criticisms of the specifics and substance.
    My point is the way these criticisms bleed so easily into stereotyped thinking.
    When Jews use their money to further their agenda, it’s “rich Jews controlling” and or a “foreign power controlling” and how now, according to POA, AIPAC has “infiltrated” into every aspect of American society.
    (I’ll leave aside the fact that these are Americans who’ve “infiltrated” their own country. Ha!)
    But when it comes to Tobacco throwing their money around, well, it is “slimey” to make money off of addicts but, hey, people “choose” to smoke. No one’s “controlling” them, even though untold millions have been spent over decades and decades and truckloads of lies have been told about the affects of smoking.
    Well, you know what? Congress chooses to vote the way it does. Bush and Cheney choose to go to war with the countries they choose to go to war with. And the American people choose to vote these folks into office. The notion that a foreign power, or one organization, is “controlling” us and “making” us do stuff we don’t want to do, or wouldn’t do otherwise, is nonsense.
    I say, prove it.

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  6. Marky says:

    Yeah, it’s a real shame that the Polish lobby egged us into attacking Belorus, isn’t it? That behemoth has got to be stopped!

    Reply

  7. MP says:

    Part of the problem is…one never hears about the gentile money, the Polish money, the French money, the Catholic money…and yet all of these groups have a lot of money and use it to further their aims. I have no problem with Clarke’s critique or the SUBSTANCE of what he said.
    To me, this is the money quote: “This was an awkward way to put it; the euphemism surely sounded more contentious than anything Clark might have said straightforwardly.”

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  8. Pissed Off American says:

    March 12, 2007 Issue
    Copyright © 2007 The American Conservative
    Bloggers vs. the Lobby
    Israel’s propaganda fortress faces a surprising new challenge.
    by Scott McConnell
    Despite the failure in Iraq, the repudiation of the president’s foreign policy in opinion polls and the 2006 elections, and the collapse of respect for the U.S. in most other countries, support for the Bush Doctrine of preventive war remains surprisingly intact among one important slice of Americans: the presidential candidates of both major parties. New York Times columnist David Brooks recently lamented that Democratic contenders were sounding soft, crafting their foreign-policy positions to generate “applause lines in Iowa.” He needn’t have worried. The parade of White House aspirants to appear before a hawkish Israeli audience in Herzliya, and an equally hawkish AIPAC crowd in New York, is a truer gauge of where leading candidates stand.
    On New Year’s Day, Israeli superhawk Benjamin Netanyahu called for an “intense international public relations front” to persuade Americans of the need for military confrontation with Iran. The sight of John Edwards addressing a conference in Israel by satellite feed, along with John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney—the latter two actually flew in to speak in person—indicated that the front already exists. All the candidates spoke as if preemptive war in the Middle East was a tried and true success. As a correspondent from Jewish Week summed it up, the U.S. presidential hopefuls were “competing to see who can be most strident in defense of the Jewish state.” The consensus choice for the competition’s winner was Romney, but the putatively liberal Edwards, who described preventing Iran from securing nuclear weapons as “the greatest challenge of our generation,” made a surprisingly strong showing. No leading presidential contender suggested that attacking Iran might be a bad idea.
    This hawkishness is actually an outlier sentiment, popular only among those running for office. In Washington, it’s difficult to find a foreign-policy expert who thinks that any good would come of a strike on Iran. Even the neocons have their doubts. The Iraq War, miserable concept that it was, had far more respected backers.
    American military options are poor. Surgical air strikes wouldn’t do anything decisive to Iran’s nuclear program, but they would create huge problems for Americans in Iraq and perhaps lead to a two or threefold rise in the price of oil. The U.S. lacks the troops to enforce regime change through a land invasion and has already demonstrated its inability to successfully occupy a Muslim country one-third Iran’s size. Furthermore, Iran, according to U.S. intelligence estimates, is ten years away from a nuclear weapon. Its seemingly nutty current president is losing support in the country. Those most theologically opposed to the Shia Islam that Tehran espouses are the very al-Qaeda Sunnis who set this dreadful train of events in motion in the first place.
    So why do leading politicians line up for “The Bush Doctrine: Take Two”? On the Republican side, it might be explained by a desire to cater to elements of the Christian Right that believe a final showdown with Islam is called for on religious grounds, or to talk-radio listeners who want to nuke the “Islamofascists” because that’s what weapons are made for. Such groups form part of the GOP base. But what of Edwards, what of Hillary Clinton—both eager to be on the record for keeping all options on the table? It’s a question that cannot be truthfully answered without reference to the neuralgic subject of the Israel lobby.
    It is a tough issue to address, as Gen. Wesley Clark, a middle-of-the-pack Democratic presidential contender in 2004, recently discovered. Upon reading an Arnaud de Borchgrave column that discussed a then incipient Israeli campaign to pressure Hillary Clinton and other Democrats to “publicly support immediate action by Bush against Iran,” he lost his cool, saying to Arianna Huffington, “How can you talk about bombing a country when you won’t even talk to them? It’s outrageous. We’re the United States of America; we don’t do that.” Pressed by Huffington to explain why he was sure Bush would attack Iran, he answered, “You just have to read what’s in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers.”
    This was an awkward way to put it; the euphemism surely sounded more contentious than anything Clark might have said straightforwardly. And of course some people chose to ignore Clark’s correct assertion that the Jewish community was very divided on the Iran issue. Within days, the general was in caught in a familiar crossfire, smeared as an instigator of anti-Semitism by some Republican Jewish organizations, his remarks headlined as “Protocols of the New York Money People” by a Wall Street Journal columnist. Soon he was engaged in a humiliating apology and repentance ritual with Abe Foxman of the ADL.
    At this point the story could have taken the same path it has virtually every time something similar has happened since 1970—the originator of the “anti-Semitic” gaffe apologizes, some taint remains attached to his name, and everyone is reminded once again of the perils of crossing swords with “the lobby.”
    continues at……..
    http://amconmag.com/2007/2007_03_12/article.html

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  9. MP says:

    I do believe it comes down to money.
    I support McCollum wholeheartedly.
    I oppose AIPAC’s policies.
    My view is that defanging AIPAC will require a change in the way politics is increasingly conducted. McCollum’s vote–and the other nay–shows to me that it is possible to vote against AIPAC’s policies. The more Reps who do it, the easier it will be.
    Fundamentally, the Reps have the power of the vote–AIPAC does not. I press my Congressman and Senator to use it.

    Reply

  10. pauline says:

    “Hillary, Obama Woo Voters at AIPAC With Anti-Iran Speeches”
    http://washtimes.com/national/20070314-121527-2114r.htm

    Reply

  11. Pissed Off American says:

    MP boils it down to money. But the fact is that those who cannot be bought are intimidated and slurred by AIPAC…..
    The letter below was sent by Representative Betty McCollum, a Democrat from Minnesota, to the executive director of AIPAC. The bill mentioned, H.R. 4681, the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, would place so many restraints on aid to the Palestinian people, and so many restrictions on the administration’s ability to deal with the Palestinians, that even the State Department has opposed it. AIPAC has strongly backed it. The Senate version of the bill, S. 2237, would allow the administration far more flexibility. On April 6, the House International Relations Committee passed H.R. 4681 by a vote of 36 to 2; McCollum was one of the two nays. As of May 11, AIPAC has yet to respond to her demand for an apology.
    Mr. Howard Kohr
    Executive Director
    American Israel Public Affairs Committee – AIPAC
    440 First Street, NW; Suite 600
    Washington, D.C. 20001
    Dear Mr. Kohr:
    During my nineteen years serving in elected office, including the past five years as a Member of Congress, never has my name and reputation been maligned or smeared as it was last week by a representative of AIPAC. Last Friday, during a call with my chief of staff, an AIPAC representative from Minnesota who has frequently lobbied me on behalf of your organization stated, “on behalf of herself, the Jewish community, AIPAC, and the voters of the Fourth District, Congresswoman McCollum’s support for terrorists will not be tolerated.” Ironically, this individual, who does not even live in my congressional district, feels free to speak for my constituents.
    This response may have been the result of extreme emotion or irrational passion, but regardless, it is a hateful attack that is vile and offensive to me and the families I represent. I call on AIPAC to immediately condemn this un-American attack and disavow any attempt to use this type of threat and intimidation to stifle legitimate policy differences. I will not stand to be labeled or threatened in a manner that questions my patriotism or my oath of office.
    Last week, I did vote against H.R. 4681 during mark-up of the bill in the House International Relations Committee. As a Member of Congress sworn to uphold the Constitution, and ensure the security of the US and represent the values and beliefs of the constituents who I serve, it was my view that H.R. 4681 goes beyond the State Department’s current policies toward Hamas and the Palestinian Authority and potentially undermines the US position vis-à-vis the coordinated international pressure on Hamas. The language contained in S. 2237 accurately reflects my position.
    Keeping diplomatic pressure on Hamas to renounce terrorism, recognize the State of Israel, dismantle terrorist infrastructure, and honor past agreements and treaty obligations, while preventing a humanitarian crisis among the Palestinian people, are all policy goals already strongly supported by myself, the Bush administration, Congress and the American people. But, if the purpose of H.R. 4681 was to send another strong message to Hamas and the Palestinian people, as Congress already has sent with the passage of S. Con. Res. 79, then I disagree with the vehicle for that message. In my opinion, Congress should be articulating clear support for the Secretary of State’s present course of action; not creating a new law which likely diminishes the diplomatic tools needed to advance US policy goals with regard to the Palestinian people, potentially cuts US funding to the United Nations, and largely restates current law while creating on-going and burdensome unfunded reporting requirements.
    As you well know, in Congress we do not shy away from condemning the vile words of despots and dictators who use anti-Semitism as a weapon to incite hatred, fear and violence. AIPAC should not have a lower standard for persons affiliated and representing its organization when they label a Member of Congress who thinks for herself and always puts the interest of our nation and people first a supporter of terrorists.
    You and your colleagues at AIPAC have the right to disagree with my position on any piece of legislation, but for an AIPAC representative to say that I would ever vote to support Middle East terrorists over the interests of my country will never be tolerated by me or the families I serve. This incident rises to a level in which a formal, written apology is required.
    Mr. Kohr, I am a supporter of a strong US-Israeli relationship and my voting record speaks for itself. This will not change. But until I receive a formal, written apology from your organization I must inform you that AIPAC representatives are not welcome in my offices or for meetings with my staff.
    Betty McCollum
    Member of Congress
    4th District, Minnesota
    Washington, D.C.

    Reply

  12. Pissed Off American says:

    Pelosi’s Betrayal
    “Antiwar” Democrats cave on Iran
    by Justin Raimondo
    Read it and weep:
    “Top House Democrats retreated Monday from an attempt to limit President Bush’s authority for taking military action against Iran as the leadership concentrated on a looming confrontation with the White House over Iraq. Officials said Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the leadership had decided to strip from a major military spending bill a requirement for Bush to gain approval from Congress before moving against Iran. Conservative Democrats as well as lawmakers concerned about the possible impact on Israel had argued for the change in strategy.”
    This settles at least three matters once and for all: To begin with, the president has been given the green light to attack Iran. Withdrawing this provision from the spending bill is an act not just of complicity, but of open collaboration with the Bush administration’s war plans. When the bombs begin to fall, and the Democrats rise up in a yowl of righteous indignation, the president will be quite justified in doing this.
    Secondly, the Democrats are either being dishonest or they lack fundamental knowledge of geography, because Pelosi is attacking the president for his Iraq “surge” even as she gives him the go-ahead for a super-surge right across the border in Iran.
    The Republicans, no matter what their particular views on the war, seem to understand that this is a regional struggle and requires a comprehensive, overarching solution. They just don’t agree on what that solution ought to be. Someone along the lines of, say, Rudy Giuliani, wants to extend the war to include the entire region, while Chuck Hagel, on the other hand, envisions a regional diplomatic and political architecture to serve as the framework for a comprehensive Middle East peace initiative.
    Addressing the recent AIPAC conference, Scooter Libby’s boss, AKA the Father of Lies, spoke the unvarnished truth:
    “It is simply not consistent for anyone to demand aggressive action against the menace posed by the Iranian regime while at the same time acquiescing in a retreat from Iraq that would leave our worst enemies dramatically emboldened and Israel’s best friend, the United States, dangerously weakened.”
    What an easy target the “antiwar” Democrats make!
    Third, one has to wonder how those who claim that recognizing the Israel Lobby’s decisive impact on U.S. foreign policy is a hate crime are going to explain away this one. Those above-mentioned “conservative Democrats” are natural warmongers (although it wasn’t always so), but exactly who, one wonders, are these other “lawmakers concerned about the possible impact on Israel”? I’ll bet Pelosi is one of them and Tom Lantos is another; no doubt the entire Democratic leadership belongs in that group.
    continues at……
    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=10674

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  13. Pissed Off American says:

    Obama criticized for comments on Palestinians
    DES MOINES, Iowa An Iowa Democrat and member of a prominent pro-Israel lobbying group is calling on Senator Barack Obama to clarify sympathetic comments he made about Palestinians.
    The Illiniois senator made the comments when he spoke Sunday to a small group of Democratic activists in Muscatine.
    He was quoted in The Des Moines Register as saying — quote — “nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people” — end quote.
    David Adelman is a member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which lobbies on behalf of Israel, and the Greater Des Moines Jewish Federation.
    He wrote Obama calling the comment deeply troubling and asking the senator to clarify himself.
    A spokesman for Obama says the senator’s comments were consistent with his previous statements.
    Those were about how the Palestinian people are suffering from the Hamas-led government’s refusal to renounce terrorism and join in the peace process.
    http://www.wqad.com/Global/story.asp?s=6222434
    When, in fact…..
    122 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 869 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000.
    Israelis and Palestinians Killed Since September 29, 2000
    1,021 Israelis and at least 4,070 Palestinians have been killed since September 29, 2000.
    Israelis and Palestinians Injured Since September 29, 2000
    7,633 Israelis and 31,296 Palestinians have been injured since September 29, 2000.
    Daily U.S. Assistance to Israel and the Palestinians
    The U.S. gives $15,139,178 per day to the Israeli government and military and $232,290 per day to Palestinian NGO’s.
    UN Resolutions Targeting Israel and the Palestinians
    Israel has been targeted by at least 65 UN resolutions and the Palestinians have been targeted by none.
    Political Prisoners and Detainees
    1 Israeli is being held prisoner by Palestinians, while 9,599 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel. (View Source)
    Demolitions of Israeli and Palestinian Homes
    0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians and 4,170 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since September 29, 2000.
    Israeli and Palestinian Unemployment Rates
    The Israeli unemployment rate is 9%, while the Palestinian unemployment is estimated at 40%.
    New Settlements Built (March 2001 – July 2003)
    60+ new Jewish-only settlements have been built on confiscated Palestinian land between March 2001 and July 11, 2003. There have been 0 cases of Palestinians confiscating Israeli land and building settlements.
    http://www.ifamericansonlyknew.org/

    Reply

  14. Pissed Off American says:

    “I’m not sure about the specifics of the “agent of a foreign power” categorization. An American-Israeli PAC is obviously going to work with the Israeli government in some ways, but I don’t know whether that makes them an agent of a foreign power.”
    I suppose using their website to advance LIEs about Iran’s nuclear capabilities does not, (in your mind), constitute the actions of “agents of a foreign power”? Gee, MP, whose propaganda are they advancing, if not Israel’s?

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  15. Marky says:

    MP,
    I liked Rosenberg’s posts too. About the registered agent business—that is a particular suggestion of Juan Cole.

    Reply

  16. rich says:

    MP:
    “I am debating in good faith here, and have always tried to do so. I’m not a member of AIPAC, but I do raise my voice within Jewish circles.”
    I know that on both points. I just wasn’t get any acknowledgment of the point I was trying to make. Thanks for doing that.
    Overall, people feel a real loss of control in terms of a) getting through to their government (what’s left of it); and b) egregious and obvious departures from clear, Constitutional, applicable rule of law. Hence the heated tone here and elsewhere.
    There are a lot of leaders, elected and otherwise, acting as though, hey, anything goes, as long as no one can stop us.
    This is worlds apart from the famous flexibility in the Constitution that allows governance to stretch to meet new & different conditions. This is a fundamental breach of trust. The spectacle of lots of lawyers knowingly passing obviously un-Constitutional laws–some that can’t even meet basic shared principles dating back to the Magna Carta–is a national low-point, and the Repubs and the country has lost a lot of face.
    Like Orrin Hatch eagerly–but erroneously– asserting that the Constitutional requirement that Prznts be native-born, because he’s salivating over Schwarzenegger’s perceived electoral prospects, the departures from Constitutional framework are reckless and foolhardy.

    Reply

  17. rich says:

    re MJ Rosenberg–I’ve liked two columns I saw w/in the last three days. Don’t know enough to say more.
    Also,
    Thanks, MP. I see no need to jump from concerns to indictments re AIPAC–and every reason to be objective about what we’re seeing. Problem is, how MUCH ARE we seeing? And yes–what we DO know at this point indicates 1) that some response by AIPAC and by Dems is absolutely necessary at this point; and 2) some concerns are validated.
    Bottom line: when it comes to Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, every special interest MUST give way and take a back seat to OUR shared, governing principles. Too much is at stake for any one party to get special access to the ear of Congress.
    Thing is: it’s not even necessary. This HAS to be a sop for Bush, to clear the way to whatever he wants. Because NOTHING about the bill’s language OR in the Constitution constrains the Prznt from exercising his Powers. That he has to go to Congress for a Declaration of War is no change from existing law.

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  18. MP says:

    “MP, how about this formulation: Does AIPAC have so much power that it has caused US policy to help Israel at the expense of advancing US interests?”
    I look at this way: AIPAC has managed to persuade Congress to take positions with which I strongly disagree. They need to be opposed. I’m not sure what other action to take against AIPAC and its influence. I don’t see outlawing it. There may be ways to curtail the power of lobbies.
    I’m not sure about the specifics of the “agent of a foreign power” categorization. An American-Israeli PAC is obviously going to work with the Israeli government in some ways, but I don’t know whether that makes them an agent of a foreign power. I just don’t know enough about the issue to say. If it does, then they should. Maybe you can fill me in on how such an agent is defined and forced to register as such.

    Reply

  19. Marky says:

    MP, how about this formulation: Does AIPAC have so much power that it has caused US policy to help Israel at the expense of advancing US interests?
    I think the answer is yes. That’s what I mean by too much influence. Questions of legality are a different matter, but I do think AIPAC should be registered as an agent of a foreign power.

    Reply

  20. MP says:

    Dear Rich…okay, I’ll think about what you say.
    As to this, “Clemons continually supports the ability of Repubs to differ from within their own party. I’d advise you to take your cue from that in two ways: 1) debate in good faith here; 2) raise your voice within AIPAC or similar circles for responsible policies consistent with Constitutional values.”
    I am debating in good faith here, and have always tried to do so. I’m not a member of AIPAC, but I do raise my voice within Jewish circles.
    As to what power AIPAC has or doesn’t have, take a look at MJ Rosenberg’s writings. I think he has a balanced view.

    Reply

  21. Kathleen says:

    I know everyone leaped to the conclusion that Senator Hagel was going to announce a run for the Republican nominatior for President in 08, but could it be that he was going to announce introudicing Articles of Impeachment against Dopey and/or Darth Cheney, and was, shall we say, dissuaded from doing it, with say, a promise of support, should he “announce” his candidacy, at a later date? Just saying.

    Reply

  22. rich says:

    It’s obvious what I mean by “real anti-semites.” I don’t consider folks who point out actual policies & actions of Israel, but who support the state of Israel AND/OR do not generalize about Jewish people –i.e., liberals posting here–to be anti-semitic. Nor against Jewish or Israeli interests. By anti-semitic, I mean right-wing, jew-hating, anti-semitic bigots. Obviously. And you know that.
    I think your response entirely misses the point. Which is really too bad. You fail to understand how hatred operates. Bigots use anti-semitic slurs TO BLUR THE BOUNDARY between Control & Influence. Where there is ENORMOUS influence, of course, there IS no difference.
    It’s clear the issue of WHETHer AIPAC plays a legitimate game requires a closer look by all quarters, but particularly from you, given your a priori view. AS I said, that other special interests game the system does NOT legitimate AIPAC doing so.
    Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution CLEARLY demands a public debate about War Powers; our soldiers, our citizens, and our national security demand no less.
    Had AIPAC and had the Dems gone about his in an aboveboard fashion, debating this language on the floor of the House–they wouldn’t have opened themselves up to criticism from REAL anti-semites. This method does play into the hands of bigots and it plays into existing stereotypes.
    Your distinction does not work for some obvious reasons. No one can produce definitive proof of such outright Control. (And NO one here is trying to do that.) But as the factual evidence of undue, behind-the-scenes influence piles up, that’s what will be used as evidence of the Larger Claims of Control that you rightly condemn. You say accurately that bigots will take a grain of sand and spin it into a Mythology–think what they can do with AIPAC’s open pursuit of this method.
    Transparency, public dialog, and open debate are the hallmarks of American governance. Political influence won’t go away, but all parties would be well-advised to live up to our most effective political principles, not play down our basest instincts.
    Finally, “Moreover, their [AIPAC’s] influence–all of it–depends on members of Congress acquiescing to their POV for the sake of campaign dollars.”
    This is intellectually, utterly bankrupt. It’s tantamount to saying ‘They were complicit, therefore the two working together to commit a crime as co-conspirators doesn’t matter.’
    Why introduce a hypothetical when I asked you about the LITERAL? AIPAC DID in fact manage to strip language that explicitly required Congress & Prznt Bush to adhere to Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.
    That’s hardly in the American national interest.
    As you well know, political power is reciprocal, and it does flow from constituents to elected officials: it’s where they GET their power in a democracy.
    (Documentary evidence for bigots’ conspiracy theories is not gonna show up. Demanding that people who raise substantive, real issues somehow produce evidence of other claims they dont’ hold, is as ineffective & irresponsible as the conspiracy theories of REAL anti-semites.)
    MP, I respect your thoughtful approach to many issues on this forum. But you’re stuck in a bind on this one, and in an untenable position.
    I don’t agree with AIPAC-bashing. But failure to raise real questions with their real actions and policies merely enables AIPAC to continue policies that badly damage Jewish interests and American interests.
    Clemons continually supports the ability of Repubs to differ from within their own party. I’d advise you to take your cue from that in two ways: 1) debate in good faith here; 2) raise your voice within AIPAC or similar circles for responsible policies consistent with Constitutional values.
    I refuse to make wild, broad accusations against AIPAC. But what we do know about a longstanding pattern of behavior doesn’t lend them any credibility.
    (If you need yet another example, not long ago their site was, to put it accurately, lying about what we know of Iran’s nuclear capability.)

    Reply

  23. MP says:

    Marky writes: “MP, you think it’s simply not possible that AIPAC has too much power?” Not sure how to answer this. AIPAC plays its hand as hard as it can. Where it does illegal things, it needs to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If there ought to be a law against it, then there needs to be a law against all the lobbying groups.
    (But of course that gets complicated. Tobacco, for example, was, maybe still is, responsible for a lot of jobs, especially in states like NC–so some of those ordinary folk might want to keep Tobacco around to protect their jobs.)
    My basic view is that AIPAC only has the power that Congress gives it. It only has the power to influence Congress. It doesn’t have the power to make the decisions that direct the government to do XYZ.

    Reply

  24. Marky says:

    MP, you think it’s simply not possible that AIPAC has too much power? That doesn’t make sense to me.
    In terms of being able to stifle criticism in Congress, for example, AIPAC has enormous power.
    Then there is the issue that AIPAC is in large part an agent of a foreign power, but is not registered as such. Then there’s the spying….ahem.
    I will agree that AIPAC is as legitimate as the tobacco lobby.

    Reply

  25. MP says:

    Rich writes: “Steve, to what extent does AIPAC & the Dems, by working the quiet behind-the-scenes pressure/influence game, verify their critics’ most serious concern or charge? (i.e., progressives). Separate question: To what extent does AIPAC, conducting itself in this manner, play into the hands of REAL anti-Semitic groups? (i.e., not progressives).”
    Here’s how I would sort this out. The anti-Semitic version of this would say (in essence): AIPAC not only has influence, or even lots of influence, it has CONTROL. The corollary of this is that others have NO CONTROL and are the hapless victims, or mere puppets, of whatever AIPAC wants. One litmus test of this assertion is the second corollary that AIPAC exerts more influence over ME policy than Tobacco does over its issue or the NRA does over its issue or Pharma does over its issue. And the reason for this “edge” (if it exists) is not AIPAC’s skill and determination at playing the game, but a deeper power.
    But in fact, AIPAC exerts its influence by playing very hard and well at the game that all these lobbies play just as well. Moreover, their influence–all of it–depends on members of Congress acquiescing to their POV for the sake of campaign dollars. As soon as a member of Congress says “no,” there goes AIPAC’s power to determine that vote.
    So when you say “play into the hands of REAL anti-Semites,” it’s a little hard to know what to do with that. My question to you would be, “what is the position of real anti-Semites?” It would seem to me a dubious position to take to ask AIPAC NOT to play the game like all the other lobbyists because it will confirm the views of real anti-Semites. The point is, these views are apriori and not likely to change if AIPAC changes its behavior and provides new evidence that Jews really aren’t that way. Almost all prejudice takes a grain of truth and dramatically expands and extrapolates from there.
    Is it a matter of AIPAC taking a position contrary to the true interests of Americans? Has the Tobacco worked for Americans? Has Pharma? Has the NRA? Or have they worked against the true interests of most Americans?
    Is it a matter of their lying? Who has lied more and longer and to the greater detriment of a millions of Americans than Tobacco? Or Oil for that matter?
    My point is NOT that it’s okay for AIPAC to do it because everyone else does it. Hardly. My point is where do you locate the real cause for the situation we’re in? Is it because AIPAC has these overwhelming powers and America is helpless to resist and AIPAC has to be banned or outlawed? I don’t see it–especially not when you have all these other lobbies doing essentially the same thing with respect to their own issues. And not when money is the essential fuel for American politics.
    My grandmother, who came from Hungary, taught my mother that it was dangerous to be openly Jewish. The reason was–when you boiled it all down–it played into the hands of anti-Semites. If you single out Jewish organizations for playing the same game–as disgusting as it is–as all the other players, then you are playing into the hands of the anti-Semites.
    AIPAC is going to play its hand as hard and as well as it can. It needs to be defeated on the demerits of its case and the merits of the opposing case. Not on the basis that it has too much power. That’s what MJ is doing, and I support him.

    Reply

  26. Pissed Off American says:

    And Pelosi was booed by some AIPAC members when she said that the Iraq war is not going well. On another thread MP claims Cheney recieved a “tepid” reception. It appears its not enough for MP to misrepresent Hillary’s position on Iran, as he recently did, now he is getting started on bullshitting us about AIPAC’s position on Iraq. Even when an organization can only be defended by lies, some people are willing to go that extra mile, and drop all pretense of honesty.

    Reply

  27. Winnipeger says:

    carroll wrote:
    “First, I don’t believe Israel “fears” Iran at all. That is total hype and BS for the US and Israeli sheepel.”
    this is quite an interesting claim from someone who has never been to israel or spoken with ordinary israelis.

    Reply

  28. pauline says:

    Here’s Cheney getting his stump AIPAC speech interrupted with applause 27 times Monday night, claiming the “war in Iraq is the central front in the worldwide U.S. response to the Sept. 11 attacks”.
    Huh?
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/03/13/MNG7UOK2D61.DTL&type=printable

    Reply

  29. ET says:

    Started GonzoGate on my blog today as a subsection of Impeachment Watch:
    http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/ticia/2007/mar/13/gonzogate
    Best,
    Ticia

    Reply

  30. Marky says:

    Ok, now we have a litmus test for Hagel which doesn’t involve the Iraq war: Where does he stand on the US attorney firings? This is a very important issue, hiting at the heart of the Bush administration’s disregard for the rule of law. I want to know what Hagel has to say. Maybe Steve can give him a ring. I’m sure Hagel would love to be quoted on the record on such an important issue.

    Reply

  31. Carroll says:

    Posted by rich at March 13, 2007 04:10 PM
    >>>>>>
    My humble two cents on a couple of things.
    First, I don’t believe Israel “fears” Iran at all. That is total hype and BS for the US and Israeli sheepel. As far as the Iran nuke threat, Israel’s only fear is that in the event of a dust up in the ME they would have no trump card.
    What they want is for Iran (and all others) to be back under the thumb of a friendly US ruler who will ensure favor to Israel..Economic Domination and expansion is and has been the goal for Israel. They want to gain and insure that economic domination thru US military force. Israel can never be independent of US welfare and become a real economic power or anything but the client state they are unless they can dictate to the Arab states on all matters in the ME. For decades the US has strong armed the Arab states on trade matters for Israel, but not all Arab states have caved. In particular when the Shah was deposed in Iran Israel lost considerable economic advantages in Iran. Now with the advent of Iraq and the lose of US influence world wide and the increasing trend to resist US pressure it has become even more urgent for Israel to topple all regimes not willing to cooperate with them. Israel is betting the house and going for broke..on Palestine and Iran and Lebanon and Syria. Personally I think it is going to be their last hurrah…and ours too.
    Second, I think the real anti-semitic groups are sitting back and loving this….they don’t have to say anything because the AIPAC’ers validate everything they say about jews….and some probably hope that we do attack Iran and the blowback results in some great social upheaval in favor of their Aryan cult.
    Third…our goverment has become about the two ruling parties and their financiers interest, nothing else. It’s not about the country’s interest or the people’s or the constitution. It’s all about them. It’s now an private industry, not a democratic goverment.
    I don’t want to upset Steve again so I have use code to express my strongest feelings…BWTTGASO

    Reply

  32. rich says:

    Steve,
    Can you provide some insight into the Democrats caving on legislative language barring Bush from attacking Iran w/o Congressional approval?
    Thoughts:
    1. Bush’s actions on Iraq have demonstrated that War Powers and Article, Section 8 of the Constitution is the biggest issue facing this country and this electorate, national security-wise. Governance & implementation around that principle are both verifiably broken, and U.S. soldiers are paying the price. That’s why Chuck Hagel blew up in full view of the nation a few weeks ago.
    You posted here that Mossad & Israel DO NOT view Iran as a mortal threat, due to eroding support for Amenidejad and an accurate view of Iran’s nuclear know-how & alleged ambitions.
    Yet Israel’s ‘fear’ of Iran is cited by Democrats–on ABC News–as the reason for stripping language explicitly barring Prznt Bush from attacking Iran w/o Congressional Authority.
    That such language is necessary at all only displays, for all to see, just what a 180-degrees, upside-down state of affairs we’re operating under.
    AS much as I’m uncomfortable with shrill rhetoric about AIPAC, the influence is there. The MSM news explicitly dealt with this.
    Steve, to what extent does AIPAC & the Dems, by working the quiet behind-the-scenes pressure/influence game, verify their critics’ most serious concern or charge? (i.e., progressives). Separate question: To what extent does AIPAC, conducting itself in this manner, play into the hands of REAL anti-Semitic groups? (i.e., not progressives)
    Do the Dems want to appear beholden to a special interest? Or to be caving on their own best judgment about national security? Does AIPAC want to appear to wield disproportionate influence, behind the scenes?
    A lot of interesting questions arising, across the political spectrum.

    Reply

  33. beth says:

    Hagel ranks 0% in terms of “Progressive Score” on the environment. This is the first place I go for a gut check on any candidate:
    http://www.progressivepunch.org/members.jsp?district=At%20large&issue=N0&member=NEII

    Reply

  34. rich says:

    Interesting dynamic at work in Giuliani’s & Hagel’s position relative to a) the Republican base, and b) the ongoing electoral shift.
    Despite Rudy’s PR coup on 9/11, he’s a blue-state mayor who’ll have to shift hard-right to win over the Republican base. I don’t think he can do it. Even should he take the nomination, it won’t serve him well in the general. Once the campaign is in full-swing, the full package of liabilities–divorce & family, Bernard Kerik, god/guns/gays–will get in-depth attention. Moderates won’t like his attitude or lack of regard for civil liberties–a real issue this cycle.
    Hagel, OTOH, has the Repub base sewn up due to his solid voting record on their issues. As a veteran and a pro-defense Senator, he can speak credibly about Constitutional issues, military tactics, and the misuse & abuse of our soldiers. That issue REALLY needs to be raised within the Republican party. And Republicans can’t win the general w/o speaking substantively and credibly about that.
    BUT–as has been raised here so often–Chuck Hagel needs to convince the WIDER electorate that his stand on Constitutional issues (YES, I mean Article 1, Section 8) is genuine, and represents a new direction and a return to conservative (constitutinally) values.
    IF Hagel can forge common ground on the Constitution and the use of military force with Russ Feingold and other civil liberatarians, he has a chance. IF NOT, then he won’t win.
    True centrists–those that believe in the common ground explicitly laid out in the Constitution–i.e., the libertarian ‘left [sic] and the libertarian ‘right’ [sic], will be won over IF Chuck Hagel can stay angry, stay focused on what about the War Powers needs to be fixed, and take substantive action to repair that.
    If not, I’m not convinced he can persuade enough moderates to vote Republican to take the White House.
    Note that:
    Carroll at 4:10 AM– picks up on this–
    “humm…Hagel may be more attuned . . .but leaving room to break out it for the good of the country if they didn’t come to their senses.”

    Reply

  35. jonst says:

    It is less a question of Lieberman being “…..less loyal to scripted party direction.”, than it is a question of him being less loyal to the interests of the United States.

    Reply

  36. Carroll says:

    But…where is Hagel on the dems latest..anyone know?
    That the dems dance to AIPAC’s tune is no surprise to me, but I bet a lot of dem followers are going to be in shock over this. I guess it’s now offical that that constitution does not matter to the dems either. I am being forced to say it again..
    Burn Washington to the Ground and Start Over.
    “Dems Surrender To AIPAC on Iran War Provision: Bush Can Make War Without Cong’l Approval
    By M.J. Rosenberg | bio
    So this is what we needed a Democratic Congress for. The Democratic House yielded to pressure from AIPAC to strip language from the war spending bill that would have required the President to come to Congress for approval before going to war in Iran.
    Unbelievable. The original story I posted last week about the pressure exerted on the caucus by AIPAC was dead on.
    It is hard to believe. Could even 2% of Democrats in the country favor giving Bush carte blanche to attack Iran? How is it possible that after Congress blundered us into Iraq by not requiring Bush to come back for approval that Congress would do it again.
    And this time with Democrats in control.
    This is sickening, literally. Read the original CQ story below (I posted it on Friday) and then realize that they actually pulled this off! It does not get worse than this.
    Here is the original story. And now the ugly denouement. Read it and weep. And get ready for Iraq II.”
    ..continued at
    http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/coffeehouse/2007/
    mar/12/dems_surrender_aipac_on_iran_war
    _provision_bush_can_make_war_without_congl
    _approval

    Reply

  37. Carroll says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/12/us/politics/13pollcnd.html?ex=1331352000&en=ed4691f00633839a&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
    POLL: GOP VOTERS WANT NONE OF THE ABOVE
    humm…Hagel may be more attuned to gop voters than some think. I saw his speech on c-span and thought he was sort of positioning himself as still within the Republican mold…but leaving room to break out it for the good of the country if they didn’t come to their senses. I don’t put much faith in polls but this concides with my own observations among republicans locally.

    Reply

  38. Pissed Off American says:

    This is hilarious, really. No one seems to give a shit about Hagel’s handling of the ES&S thing. Here you have a potential candidate for the presidency of the United States with a past history of failing to disclose his interests in the very company whose machines were used to elect him to office. Despite pointing this out on numerous occassions, both Scott and Steve refuse to even address it, choosing instead to brazenly market a potential candidate that has voted for every Bush disaster that has been foisted on this nation. With every passing day I become closer to accepting my room-mate’s take on this blog, which is to say it is a public relations forum for certain candidates. To see Steve constantly IGNORE Hagel’s past voting history, and IGNORE the ES&S issue, does not help advance an impression of impartiality or objectivity on Steve’s part.

    Reply

  39. JonU says:

    As is often pointed out in these situations, where does he stand on other issues?
    What about the Supreme Court? What kind of justices would he appoint? Would he pretend he wouldn’t appoint abortion foes, then give a nod and wink that he really would with a Dred Scott reference in the debates, a la GWB?
    What about other domestic policies? Alaska drilling? Natural Gas drilling destroying the environment in the mountain states? Health Care? More tax cuts for the wealthy?
    What about the issue that is subtext to all our struggles in the Middle East. Peak Oil.
    And what about what is arguably a larger issue than the Middle East? The natural world and environment. Global Warming. Destruction of species and forests. Loss of vital marsh/wetlands at a cataclysmically increasing rate.
    In regards to Iraq…
    His stance *now* (after having supported the Bush Admin/neo-con plan for preemptive invasion and unilateral action and shown no great interest in calling them on the lies during the selling of the war), is great to hear. Instead of just trumpeting him as a candidate, you should be admonishing him… “About time! Welcome to the party! Even though you have more influence and power and access to vital information, you’re well behind the rest of us. Get to work.”
    I understand the WN’s focus is foreign policy. But getting giddy over a single ultra-conservative that shows some rational thought and restraint regarding the obviously unrealistic (to be kind) neo-con agenda, should not be enough to make one lose sight of everything else that is at stake in the coming two decades.

    Reply

  40. Brigitte N. says:

    Senator Hagel cannot win the nomination of his party and certainly not the general election. The best he can do is pushing Republicans and Democrats in the right direction with respect to Iraq–getting out as soon as feasible. Besides Iraq, most of his positions are so conservative that they only the right wing of his party can embrace them.

    Reply

  41. Carroll says:

    Dems abandon war authority provision
    By DAVID ESPO and MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writers
    47 minutes ago
    WASHINGTON – Top House Democrats retreated Monday from an attempt to limit President Bush’s authority for taking military action against
    Iran as the leadership concentrated on a looming confrontation with the White House over the Iraq war
    Conservative Democrats as well as lawmakers concerned about the possible impact on Israel had argued for the change in strategy……..
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070312/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_iraq
    >>>>>>>>
    First – I wonder if Hagel will make a comment on this?
    Second – I told you so about the dems.
    Third – The only positive way to look at another drumed up ME war is whether or not the ensuing disaster from it will finally rid us of our Israeli congress, AIPAC and Israel. If so then everyone who dies because of it will truely have died for America this time.

    Reply

  42. notimpressed says:

    “Hagel announces invertebrate backbone”,
    “Hagel announces non-testicular fortitude”
    “Hagel: still Bush’s most reliable vote”

    Reply

  43. Carroll says:

    Posted by Marky at March 12, 2007 06:13 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The “mainstream American view” has taken three years to make it into the discussion.
    Before now all the discussion has been ‘framed’ around the anti war liberals vr. the war party conseratives.
    Hagel may “mainstream” the mainstream American view. I don’t see anyone else doing that. The repub candidates are still appealing to their nutcase sector. The dems candidates are still trianglulating themselves to death.

    Reply

  44. Marky says:

    “anti-war liberals”?? There aren’t enough self-identified liberals in the US to fill the back seat of Kennedy’s car. The mainstream american view is that the war was a mistake and that we should leave.

    Reply

  45. Carroll says:

    Posted by … at March 12, 2007 05:23 PM
    >>>>>>>>
    Interesting article.
    Everyone who is interested in Hagel’s running, no matter how diverse their normal politics, seems to think he is the real deal between the anti war liberals and the war party conseratives.

    Reply

  46. Carroll says:

    I am not really sure what to make of Hagel’s statement unless it is to continue the interest in his running for President and to reinforce the idea that he is going to be a player in American policy no matter what form his influence may take or what position he may end up in.
    Actually this may be smart, he can’t keep people on the hook wondering forever without some statement from him or they will lose interest, so he has given us statement to ferret out. He would not be smart to commit too early..so this may be a hang in there message, I am thinking or plotting the best course.
    If Hagel can move us any closer to a real third party and away from the two family mafia, or even just turn the repub and demo party Godfather dons upside down I am for it heart and soul.

    Reply

  47. ... says:

    ncprosecutor – is it allowable for someone to make a mistake? i suppose if they admit it, it really helps.. i think that is one of your axes with hagel and his voting record on the iraq war and etc.
    antiwars rainmondo has a good article on hagel which some might find rewarding to read.
    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=10658

    Reply

  48. tom says:

    Without wanting Hagel to BE President, it would be great if he ran, especially as a Republican critic of the Iraq war, even if his criticism was trivial and shallow. He would become the candidate of those rank and file GOPer’s who are sick of the war.
    The pro-war GOP will come down on him as a traitor.
    If he announced today, he would be destroyed. His only hope is to announce at just the right moment, when the war is going badly, and the GOP voters are sick of it, and the GOP leaders are realizing that to go to voters in the fall without breaking with Bush decisively means defeat. With exquisite timing he might get the GOP nomination. But to get the nomination, the antiwar mood has to be very high. If that is so, then, he will face a Democrat who is more antiwar than him. How does he win?
    If his timing is off, and this is more likely, he announces, rallies the GOP antiwar vote, loses the nomination to a pro-war GOP candidate, having split the party and made it more likely for a Democrat to win in 2008. He has no political career at that point, but he can read and savor the warm and effusive thank you note I will send him.

    Reply

  49. Carl Nyberg says:

    Steve, I know you have to ingratiate yourself to these powerful people, but….
    Chuck Hagel seems to be all show and no go.
    What has Hagel actually done to mitigate the disaster that is the Bush presidency?
    Voinovich took a stand on Bolton before Hagel did anything, right?
    Hagel seems to say nice things and then doesn’t deliver. Let me know when he does something useful. He could start by co-sponsoring Jim Webb’s bill that attempts to head off Bush attacking Iran.

    Reply

  50. JohnH says:

    Hagel is just a distraction. Besides Steve, the man has no following and no experience running a campaign beyond fixing a few voting machines in Nebraska. A non-campaign is definitely what he will run. Best we all move on to someone worth following.

    Reply

  51. psd says:

    I, Yellow Dog Democrat that I am, thought at one time that Hagel was a Republican I could live with. Then I looked at his voting record in the Senate. WRONG! The man–with the exception (NOW) of Iraq–is a true Rethuglican. He was just smarter than McCain in seeing where the wind was blowing re Bush’s war in Iraq.
    I do take issue with comparing Hagel to Joe Lieberman, who is a Rethuglican in his heart, make no bones about it….he’s just staying with the Dems temporarily….he’d rather switch than fight.

    Reply

  52. susan says:

    I think this non announcement announcement is pure Hagle. He is a master at raising expectations and then not fulfilling them.

    Reply

  53. jf says:

    Hagel would be great on L&O! But better yet, I could really get behind Hagel as the head of the Independent Party. I want that with all my heart.

    Reply

  54. downtown says:

    Mr. Clemons: why this obsession with Chuck Hagel?

    Reply

  55. lina says:

    Sen. Hagel needs a new PR team. Calling a press conference for an announcement that could have been made with a written statement makes him look like Hamlet. Not good in a national leader.

    Reply

  56. lugbolt says:

    Hagel has supported this administration’s disasterous domestic programs. In spite of Steve C, I lost interest in Hagel when he voiced opposition to Bolton in the Foriegn Relations Committee meeting, then voted for him as Ambassador to the UN. Like the GOP in general, Hagel will say anything to get votes. Enough! Enough!

    Reply

  57. Marky says:

    Someone ought to remind Steve that Hagel is leaving the Senate, regardless. He pledged to be a two-termer in 1996—and everyone knows Hagel is a man of his word. His departure will leave room for an excellent Democrat to pick up the seat—Scott Kleeb.
    Maybe Hagel will move on to L&O to replace cuddly Fred Thompson as DA.

    Reply

  58. HAS says:

    If Sen. Hagel truly believes that:
    “America is facing its most divisive and difficult issue since Vietnam — the war in Iraq, an issue that I have been deeply involved in. I want to keep my focus on helping find a responsible way out of this tragedy, and not divert my energy, efforts and judgment with competing political considerations.”
    He should begin bringing some of his reluctant Republican-party members out of the Senate closet. Until he is able to bring along a dozen Reupblicans willing to finally turn their back on the Bush administration’s war in Iraq and backwards foreign policies in general, I may admire his stance on Iraq but remain skeptical of his larger motives, which may in fact be purely “political” in nature.
    For example, among his list of issues that he listed, besides the war, were climate change. While I want to take him at his word, why did he oppose the McCain-Lieberman bill, Energy Polciy Act of 2005? It would have set standards for reducing global warming by mandating a 25 percent reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2010. The amendment would have established a market-based emissions cap and trade system and encouraged the transfer of greenhouse gas reducing technologies to developing countries. The amendment would have also created a public sector fund to develop climate-friendly technologies.
    Time to walk the walk and not just talk the talk, Senator.

    Reply

  59. carsick says:

    It’ll be interesting, and perhaps telling, to see where he spends his PAC money.

    Reply

  60. bubba says:

    Steve,
    Your political mancrushes are definitely entertaining.
    It will be interesting to see whether this man, who has by his own deeds supported and enabled the inept Bush Sadministration approximately 100% of the time for 6 years, will in fact run for president, or instead make his deals and choose to break his term limits promise (12 years max) and run for Senate again.
    Either way, he is still just part of the greater blight on American politics.
    Oh, and a hypocrite.

    Reply

  61. urbino says:

    A non-announcement announcement is a non-event event.

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  62. rich says:

    Interesting that Hagel makes a (valid) distinction between the interests and activities of a candidate and someone working to solve critical national problems. Hagel:
    “I want to keep my focus on helping find a responsible way out of this tragedy, and not divert my energy, efforts and judgment with competing political considerations.”
    “I have worked hard over the last ten years on …[list] … and I intend to offer new initiatives on each of them. I want to give these and other subjects my full attention over the next few months. I believe it is in the interests of my Nebraska constituents and this country that I continue to work full time on these challenges.”
    Hagel recognizes we’re at a critical juncture, and dealing with that is more important than reaching for the brass ring. That’s also why Feingold chose not to run.
    Kinda makes me want to get a job as a Senate staffer–be it in Feingold’s, Obey’s, or Hagel’s office. [–ducks–to cries of: “stooonnne him!!” M. Python ref.]

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  63. Stephen says:

    Steve C has it right. Hagel is clearly setting the stage for a run – IMO he’s asking to be “drafted” so he can continue the reluctant white knight scenario.
    He’s no maverick, no independent. He’s nothing like Lieberman whose independence consists of supporting the GOP on every substantive vote and the Dems when it doesn’t count. Hagel is a tried and true conservative that doesn’t have to flipflop or pander to the conservative base.
    He also gets to avoid the Iraq criticism that McCain trapped himself into. Hagel is critical of the surge, he can say that if we had done what he wanted, Iraq would be ok.
    He’ll be our next president if he runs.

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  64. DrSteveB says:

    Sort of like Wesley Clark on the Democratic side… half in and half out, meanwhile working as activist against surge and against attacking Iran, and pro-Troops (bring em home).

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  65. NCProsecutor says:

    Dear Steve,
    I understand that you have said that Senator Hagel’s is an important voice in our national dialogue. I can’t disagree. But in saying that, you ignore the fact that he has actively aided and abetted this administration’s disastrous Iraq policy with his votes in the U.S. Senate.
    It would be different if he was, say, a commentator, or even a governor. Then you could quite legitimately talk about his “voice” without addressing his foreign policy record. But he is a United States Senator for goodness sake! He has a voting record on these issues which runs contrary to your stated foreign policy philisophy in almost every way! And you promote his incipient presidential candidacy here because he says things that sound good with respect to Iraq without actually doing things that are good with respect to Iraq!
    This guy is pissing on your head and telling you it’s raining, and you’re convinced that he’s ended the drought. Please.
    Sincerely,
    NCProsecutor

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  66. Fred says:

    Hagel should have just said I AM running or I am NOT running, enough of this wishy washy I’m going to raise money for a few months and maybe then announce something bs. It’s shit or get off the pot time Senator, hop to it.

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  67. Carbon Based says:

    Chuck Hagel has a Republican’s chance in Heaven of winning the next presidential election. If the election is not canceled or stolen the next president will be a Democrat.
    Why? The Republicans started a couple of wars. Now they’re losing them, and they can’t stop themselves. People who work and bleed aren’t inclined to support this level of self-destructive incompetence, no matter how much money is being raked in by the few at the top. The people, even the Republican people, don’t love them that much.
    Sorry, Chuck. Wrong party.

    Reply

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