Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chuck Hagel’s aggressive neutrality

If President Obama nominated Jesus Christ to a Cabinet position, I would be skeptical. People don’t often associate with people who disagree with them on everything, and Obama is wrong about everything. So it didn’t take long to find out what was wrong with Chuck Hagel, Defense Secretary nominee: his confusion on Israel.

When Hagel says he’s “an American senator, not an Israeli senator,” he’s drawing a false distinction between American neutrality in the Middle East and picking a fight with Israel’s sworn enemies. Neutrality supposes both sides in the Middle East conflict are equally at fault; picking a fight supposes the fight is not worth having. A little education and honesty belie both suppositions.

The Middle East conflict started when stateless Arab Muslims (a.k.a. “Palestinians”) terrorized Jews. Why? Because the Quran calls out the Jews repeatedly as the most vile and repugnant people. Because Muslims are disposed to Jew-hatred. They see Israel’s existence as a blight on the Earth. Since Israel officially came into being in 1948, the Palestinians have vowed their lives and their loved ones’ lives to its destruction.

The Jews fought back, and they succeeded in evicting and incarcerating most of the terrorists and those who gave them quarter. The rest fled to Jordan and Sinai, dreading the prospect of cohabiting a country with Jews, the descendants of filthy “apes and pigs.” Three generations have passed, and Israel has prospered. Israelis live to love and work and worship God. The Palestinians live to die and, insha’Allah, take a few Jewish swine with them.

Israel is a natural ally of America—conservative America, at least. As Ari Fleischer notes, Israelis and Americans are “free, independent, capitalistic, and tolerant.” Unfortunately, the association with Israel cements in the minds of America haters a loathing of moral and material superiority. Malignant tumors like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinjad, who cheerily announce their ill designs on the good guys (if I may be so old-fashioned), demand to be dealt with harshly. At the least, we must reach consensus on the threat they pose to us. Hagel, however, has at various times been conspicuously silent on Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority’s designations as terrorist organizations, all clients to some extent of Iran’s mullah-ocracy.

George Gilder released a book a few years back called The Israel Test. I haven’t read it yet. Odds are good it’s packed cover to cover with brilliant insights like Men and Marriage and Wealth and Poverty, which I am reading now. But from what I gleaned from an interview Gilder gave to Dennis Prager when the book came out, he argues that Israel is a moral litmus test. The unchecked envy of Israel and Jews’ entrepreneurial success—particularly socialism and anti-Semitism—commits those people to suffer and to fail. The Nazis’ and Palestinians’ moral bankruptcy couldn’t be more self-evident; their feverish warmongering doomed them not just on the battlefield, but in the competition for cultural grace and distinction. Germany reformed while the Palestinians subsist on hate and the meager patronage of a bloated, poor, and angry Muslim world. Socialism also, how it dehumanizes creators of wealth and yet relies on them to fund dependency schemes, stands basic morality on its head. If you don’t see the injustice of organizing society around acquiescence to regular theft, your judgment on everything else is suspect.

Hagel’s aggressive neutrality on the Middle East conflict as a senator does not inspire confidence. His comments and inaction betray a lack of clear moral discernment that, in this and other venues, will further alienate allies and embolden the bad guys. I don’t want a warmonger for Defense Secretary. I want someone who accurately perceives good from bad. That may be asking for too much from a member of Obama’s Cabinet.

Cross-posted at the Red Pill Report.

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