If President Obama nominates former Senator Chuck Hagel to replace Leon Panetta as Defense Secretary, it will not only serve as a monumental middle finger to the pro-Israel community, but it will likely secure the destruction of the President’s historic legacy.
In front of about a thousand people at a recent gala for the Iranian American Jewish Federation Professor Alan Dershowitz spoke frankly about some of his recent interactions with Obama, adding that he knew the President from his Harvard Law School days.
Dershowitz confirmed the details of his anecdotes to me in a phone conversation.
The law professor told the audience that during a recent trip to Israel, he received a phone call on his cellphone from the White House which asked if he could speak to the President. As he found himself at “a very crowded Georgian restaurant” at the time of the call, he asked if they could speak later. Dershowitz dashed to his hotel room to receive the President’s call.
“You are currently in Israel,” the President said, “What are the three things that the Israelis are most thinking about?” “I’ll tell you,” responded Dershowitz, “number one is Iran, number two is Iran and number three is Iran.”
Dershowitz said that in his conversations with the President he brought up a Wall Street Journal article he had published in 2010, where we writes:
“Most people today are not aware that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain helped restore Great Britain’s financial stability during the Great Depression and also passed legislation to extend unemployment benefits, pay pensions to retired workers and otherwise help those hit hard by the slumping economy. But history does remember his failure to confront Hitler. That is Chamberlain’s enduring legacy.”
“…it is Chamberlain who has come to symbolize the failure to prevent Hitler’s ascendancy. So too will Mr. Obama come to symbolize the failure of the West if Iran acquires nuclear weapons on his watch.”
Heading into his second term, the President surely has his legacy on his mind.
When asked by David Gregory on NBC’s Meet the Press about his goals for the next four years, Obama mentioned three. Iran was not on the list.
Politico’s eBook, “The End of the Line,” cites a senior Obama aide describing the President’s attitude toward his re-election: “It was weighing on him how much was at stake,” the aide said, “How much of his entire legacy was on the line. His legacy had not been determined by the previous four years; that wouldn’t matter to history. It was all about the outcome on Election Day.”
How right the aide was, but not because of Obama’s gun control ambitions, or his plans to fix the “broken immigration system,” or even his work to “stabilize the economy and make sure it’s growing,” and the “huge opportunity around energy,” that Obama mentioned to Gregory. The reason why Obama’s entire legacy rests on the next four years is because it is in these four years that Iran will either achieve nuclear capability, or will be stunted by the free world.
Which brings me back to Hagel, who may just be the worst possible candidate for the role of halting Iran’s nuclear advances, and he is no rubber stamp either. Anyone whom I have spoken to who has actually met the man says that he is particularly dogmatic and evangelist in his views.
Hagel’s reference to the “Jewish lobby” and the coldness, bordering hostility that he showed Nebraska’s Jewish community while he was in office, pale in comparison to what his appointment would mean for the Iranian issue.
For Obama to position Hagel in the US government role that will most impact Iran’s nuclear future amounts to a leap in the direction of ensuring that he will forever be remembered as the President that failed to prevent the genocidal Iranian regime from acquiring the tools with which to carry out its maniacal ambitions.