Hagel in 2008 Video: US Shouldn’t Even Think About Bombing Iran (VIDEO)

February 10, 2013 7:18 pm 9 comments

Hagel comments on Iran and Israel. Photo: Screenshot.

In a newly surfaced video recorded in 2008, Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel, during a promotion event for his book, advocates engaging with Iran and Syria, expresses fear that Israel will use a “theater nuclear weapon” and cause things to “unravel in the world,” and says the US “shouldn’t even be thinking about options of bombing Iran.” In the video, an audience member asks “if Israel is attacked by Iran or an Iranian proxy like Hezbollah in a way that existentially threatens Israel, almost to the extent that Israel was attacked in ’73 and it was existentially threatened, would you support an American airstrike using U.S. forces, B2s, whatever on Iran?”  Hagel responds with a three minute lecture. A full transcription is below, with relevant highlights, courtesy of the Weekly Standard.

“I’ll answer your question as honestly as I can. That’s a hypothetical question that somehow frames up the simplicity of the hypothetical question. The complications in the Middle East, and I’m certainly not an expert there, I have a chapter on the Middle East, I do know [laughter], I know a little something about the Middle East. I spent a lot of time there. And I spent a lot of time in Israel with the prime ministers and others. You who are well informed on this issue know the complexities starting with go back to the Bible, go back to ancient times, thousands of years. I mean that, if you really want to start trying to understand the Middle East, Paul, or David Aaron Miller, who you may know, has a new book out on this, The Not So Promised Land,. And if you want to read something that is very, very enlightening, this guy he’s getting tremendous reviews on it. He’s Jewish. He worked in the State Department , worked for Baker, worked for Albright, I think he’s worked for four secretaries of state, different Democrats, Republicans. But it’s a great, great book.”

“But your question, I mean the complication of what’s going on there, Hamas is already attacking Israel. Iran supports Hamas. Iran supports Hezbollah. What I would much rather see is this administration, or hopefully the next administration, engage Iran, engage Syria. When I hear the talk about – well you can’t talk with Iran, you can’t talk with Syria and we’re, we should stay where we are and support Israel, and so on, well you miss the point.”“Our policy has been so successful I believe, hasn’t it [laughter], that the Middle East is far better off today than it has ever been, isn’t it? [Laughter.] I mean all those countries, Lebanon is in great shape, Gaza is in great shape, Israel is in great shape, Iran, Iraq, things have never looked better, because we won’t talk to anybody. We are not going to have peace, stability, security or even any hints of it in the Middle East until Iran and Syria and all the players are part of it.

“Now that doesn’t apologize for or doesn’t close our eyes to what Iran has been doing, what Iran does do, but unless they are engaged in some way , then I don’t see this getting any better, and then where this could go, where this could eventually go. Someone was asking me the other day about a nuclear exchange in the world, where that would come from. I said well I’ll give you a scenario that’s very real. If Israel gets backed up enough into a corner and Israel uses a tactical theater nuclear weapon, you want to talk about seeing some things unravel in the world. The United States shouldn’t even be thinking about options of bombing Iran or anybody else. I mean we got our hands full right now. And we’re in such a hell of a mess.”

The video of Hagel’s comments can be viewed below:

9 Comments

  • After listening to Mr. Hagel during the vetting period as well as reading several articles of interviews regarding his views regarding the Middle East, I do not have any doubt at all that Mr. Hagel is both anti-Semitic and anti-Zionistic. I think that the United States has already done whatever it could diplomatically to put Iran on notice that a nuclear armed Iran is not acceptable. The last alternative, as it should be, is disarming Iran’s nuclear capacity. This should be the consummate goal of the United States and Israel in the near future. Mr. Hagel’s assessment is both unrealistic and deeply untheoretical: it is downright bigoted and the probable modus operandi he would strive to bring to fruition were he voted the Secretary of defense of the United States.

  • Hi!

    Just Watched video and this Hagel guy is a omedian. The threat of Iran destroying Israel is something not to laugh about. I say “Kill or be Killed” Iran and for that matter all of The Middle East don’t like the idea of a Zionist State at all.

    If Israel is whipped off the map that is something I dread.

    I say The US and its allies bomb all of Irans Nuclear Facilities NOW!!! before its too late.

    Iran cannot be trusted! :(

  • Hagel thinks that we should engage Iran and Syria. Now, four years later, Syria is disintegrating and Iran is very close to going nuclear despite its continuing disingenuousness with the UN Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In short, engaging Iran in discussions have accomplished nothing, just as they have accomplished nothing with its unstable enabler and ally North Korea.

    In the mid 70′s, I was involved in a “Peace” organization which sought to bring together Jews from the US and Israel, Christians from the US and Lebanon and Moslems from Lebanon. Despite many efforts, we were unable to find any Moslems who were interested in engaging in a dialogue on Peace. In almost 40 years, absolutely nothing has changed.

    I would like to add that I responded to Ed Koch a”h’s column on Hagel and wrote him that I had read one of Hagel’s books and was not certain of his attitudes towards Israel.

    Perhaps in one of his very last e mails, prior to going into the hospital, he responded that he had no doubt that Hagel was not Israel’s friend.

  • What magic does Hagel have which will change the course of events in the Middle East when he talks with them? (He seems to have no idea of the shuk/sook negotiating mentality in the Middle East, because he is playing his cards prematurely and sending messages of weakness to the bad guys.) Such dialogue was Obama’s approach at the beginning of his administration, implying that he would use his childhood familiarity with the Islamic world. He told Mubarak to invite the Muslim Brotherhood to his Cairo speech where he reached out to the Muslim world and equated the Palestinian situation with the Holocaust. Four years later, radical Islamists are being empowered throughout the Middle East and the US is not doing much to stop them, while Israel is being set up. Hagel is a good fit for this model, which needs to be stopped.

  • Clint Eastwood’s empty chair was more coherent.

  • BS”D
    We need to find a way to stop this senseless arm raise. Using military force has never solved anything. It will encourage the ‘other,’ whoever that nation may be, to increase their weapons. That is why this insane raise to acquire nuclear arms. If Jewish people, Christians who claim to follow Jesus of Nazareth way, and Muslim et al. would commit themselves to seek peace, to invest in non-violent ways to solve conflicts and in the education and health of their nations, what a different world this would be. When we look at this beautiful world the Almighty has created and see our place in the universe, how arrogant of any nation to claim the right to build weapons of mass destruction.
    May the Creator have mercy.
    May the blessings from the Heavens be upon all Israel and every nation. Amen.
    Shalom uvrakha
    For the sake of Zion, Peace, and Justice,
    Pastor Frantz

    • Pastor Franz, The days in which the sheep will dwell with the wolves belong to “Aharit hayamim,” not sure of the translation, but it is the time beyond time. What we have now is an awakening Muslim world that finds itself lagging behind everybody else and blames the Western world for it. And until there will be a new leader in the Muslim world of the caliber of Saddat or King Hussein of Jordan who thought that there has been enough war against Israel and would accept the Jewish State as a given, war will continue. The Palestinians unfortunately are only showing a facade of peace but find daily new excuses for not talking peace. They went to the UN to declare a State that they could have already in 1948 if they really cared for one alongside Israel. They could have had State in 2000, and they could also have had one in negotiations with Prime Minister Olmert.
      Peace is very nice, but it takes two to tango. I can assure you that when the Palestinians woudl be genuinely interested in peace they will find a counterpart in Israel.
      Shalom u’vracha.

  • If this response to the question is an example of how Mr. Hagel thinks then if he becomes Sec.Def. we may have trouble surviving him.

    His jumbled “thinking” about the Middle East is embarrassing for a nominee for that high office. What was the President thinking? Maybe he wasn’t!

  • As we all know, this man is incoherent. But lets take one single point of Hagel which happens to be relevant. It is in response to whether Israel were now in a similar situation of going down under attack from multiple fronts- those defensive boundaries he and his master would impose on Israel, under threat of boycotts and sanctions:
    “If Israel gets backed up enough into a corner and Israel uses a tactical theater nuclear weapon, you want to talk about seeing some things unravel in the world. The United States shouldn’t even be thinking about options of bombing Iran or anybody else.”
    The conclusion using normal logic, should in fact be the opposite: “If we could destroy their facilities with a concentrated and sustained aerial attack on Iran`s nuclear facilities and that would prevent Israel from having to go nuclear, then we should do it”.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Music US & Canada Lady Gaga Accepts ADL Award: ‘Your Philosophies Are So in Line With Ours’ (VIDEO)

    Lady Gaga Accepts ADL Award: ‘Your Philosophies Are So in Line With Ours’ (VIDEO)

    Pop superstar Lady Gaga on Thursday accepted an award from Jewish human rights group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on behalf of her Born This Way Foundation, which strives to combat bullying among young people. “Your philosophies are so in line with ours,” she said of the ADL upon accepting the Making a Difference Award in a videotaped message, which was shown at a ceremony in New York City. “We want to help young people know that their feelings and who they are on [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities At 80, Singer-Songwriter Leonard Cohen’s Jewish Roots ‘Very Much Intact’

    At 80, Singer-Songwriter Leonard Cohen’s Jewish Roots ‘Very Much Intact’

    JNS.org – Eighty years young, Leonard Cohen fits many descriptions—singer, songwriter, poet, novelist, monk. From his Jewish upbringing in Canada to the present day, Cohen has always explored his spiritual side. This month, the singer-songwriter released the CD (May 12) and iTunes (on May 8 of this year) formats of his latest album, Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour, which features live recordings from his world tours in 2012 and 2013. Last year, Cohen’s Popular Problems was voted by Rolling Stone [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports FIFA Head Says Israel Should Not be Booted From World Soccer Association

    FIFA Head Says Israel Should Not be Booted From World Soccer Association

    JNS.org – Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) head Sepp Blatter said during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that contrary to Palestinian complaints, Israel has not violated any FIFA statutes and should not be suspended from international soccer’s governing body. “We should not come to one federation saying we will exclude them,” said Blatter, the Jerusalem Post reported. “If the national association is fulfilling its obligations then there is no need to intervene,” he said. “I’m on a [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Middle East Sports Jewish Rights Group Slams Palestinian Attempts to Suspend Israel From FIFA

    Jewish Rights Group Slams Palestinian Attempts to Suspend Israel From FIFA

    Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) said on Tuesday it was “appalled” by a Palestinian Football Association initiative to suspend Israel from FIFA, calling it another “front waged in the context of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign.” “We are appalled at the temerity of the Palestinan Football Association (PFA) demand that FIFA suspend Israel at your forthcoming Congress in Zurich,” wrote the group’s international relations director, Dr. Shimon Samuels, in a letter to FIFA President Joseph [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada Star of Auschwitz Thriller Says ‘God Was Holding the Hand of Every Jew in the Gas Chamber’ (VIDEO)

    Star of Auschwitz Thriller Says ‘God Was Holding the Hand of Every Jew in the Gas Chamber’ (VIDEO)

    The lead actor in Son of Saul, an Auschwitz thriller featured at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, told the UK’s The Guardian that he believes God was “holding the hand” of each Jew who died in the Nazi gas chambers during the Holocaust. “I do not for one nanosecond like to pretend that God is off the hook. He could and should have stopped it at a much earlier stage,” Géza Röhrig, 48, said. ”But I would not be able to get [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Backstreet Boys Singer Howie D Gushes Over Masada During Israel Trip

    Backstreet Boys Singer Howie D Gushes Over Masada During Israel Trip

    Backstreet Boys singer Howie Dorough took to Instagram on Tuesday to marvel about climbing the famed Masada fortress with his band during their visit to Israel, where they will perform this week for the first time. The group’s second day of sightseeing in the Jewish state included the Masada hike, and taking a mud bath at the Dead Sea. A picture from the band’s official Twitter page shows the five singers covered in mud. While relaxing in the Dead Sea, [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews US & Canada ‘Arms and the Dudes:’ New Book, Film Detail How Ex-Orthodox Yeshiva Guys Became Top Suppliers for Afghan Army

    ‘Arms and the Dudes:’ New Book, Film Detail How Ex-Orthodox Yeshiva Guys Became Top Suppliers for Afghan Army

    A new book and its upcoming film adaptation tell the true story of how three former yeshiva students who habitually smoked marijuana scored a $300 million contract from the U.S. government to supply weapons for the Afghan Army, the New York Daily News reported on Sunday. Arms and the Dudes details how the Miami Beach potheads became “the most unlikely gunrunners in history,” according to the book’s author, investigative reporter Guy Lawson. The tale begins with Efraim Diveroli, nephew of [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater Natalie Portman: Israel-Themed ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’ Not Political

    Natalie Portman: Israel-Themed ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’ Not Political

    JNS.org – Natalie Portman, who directs and stars in the new Hebrew-language film adaptation of author Amos Oz’s A Tale of Love and Darkness, says that despite Oz’s record as a vocal left-wing critic of Israel, her film is not political. Like the book on which it is based, Portman’s film is about a young boy at the time of the founding of the state of Israel. “I think the movie is very much about this very particular, specific family story. Of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.