Belmont Club: If Only Stalin Knew
Which I've always heard related as 'if only the Czar knew' but Stalin was the Czar of his day... and it's been a phrase I've been thinking of a lot as I've watched the Hagel Controversy unfold.
Alan Dershowitz's belated realization that he's been swindled would have been funny if it were not so tragic. He writes that Chuck Hagel's nomination as secretary of defense "risks increasing the likelihood that Iran will develop nuclear weapons. It poses that risk because Hagel is well known for his opposition both to sanctions against Iran and to employing the military option if necessary." In this he is undoubtedly correct.
The burden is now on Senator Hagel to persuade the Senate, the American people, and the leaders of Iran that he is fully supportive of the President's commitment not to contain a nuclear armed Iran, but to prevent such a catastrophe from occurring, even if that requires the use of military force to achieve that commendable goal.
But as to causes he is completely wrong. Dershowitz's statement ignores the obvious. If the president were so committed to preventing a nuclear Iran, then why did he nominate Hagel in the first place? The president could have selected any qualified candidate. That he chose Hagel can only indicate that is the true policy he wants to implement.

Words may be true or false, but actions rarely lie. And Dershowitz recognizes the danger, but not the truth. Not yet anyway. His problem is not with Hagel, a mere creature of Obama. The problem is with Obama himself. This must be obvious to a man of his intelligence. But to admit this would be to concede a fundamental error in judgment on his part. It would mean eating not just a little bit of crow, but four courses of it.

Dershowitz supported Obama. He now laments that:
Those of us who voted for President Obama and who want to be certain that Iran is never allowed to develop nuclear weapons, as the President promised, have legitimate concerns about this nomination. We hope that these concerns can be allayed by the President and his nominee, but if they are not, it will be the highest of patriotic duties to oppose Senator Hagel's nomination.
It's kinda late for that.
There's also a digression with the shocking... shocking! idea that Generallissimo Franscisco Chavez (who's still not dead) really didn't care what Noam Chomsky thought was right or wrong.
It is not as if one could oppose Hagel because he could conduct an independent defense policy. He cannot. The only logical basis for objecting to his nomination must that in him the administration has concretely manifested its actual intentions. Thus, Hagel is just the beginning 'the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to you year by year unless, by a supreme recovery of moral health you wake up and smell the coffee' because he is an indicator of where Obama wants to go. There's more -- much more where that came from.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain 2013-01-08