As questions swirl around the prospective nomination of Chuck Hagel as President Barack Obama’s next defense secretary, the White House has begun mounting an effort to defend the former Nebraska Senator.
As part of that campaign, Zbigniew Brzezinski appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” early Thursday to push back against charges that Hagel is a poor choice for the job.
Brzezinski told the MSNBC anchor team, which includes his daughter Mika, that Hagel’s “critics, they would like to plunge the U.S. into some new wars, promptly, and not always for U.S. national interest.”
Brzezinski was presumably referring to Hagel’s Jewish critics and their allegiance to some unnamed foreign power.
Brzezinski is an odd choice to defend Hagel against the charge that he has a “Jewish problem,” in the words of Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, or that he is anti-Israel.
Brzezinski argued in 2009 that the Obama administration should go beyond merely discouraging an Israeli strike on Iran and actually fire on Israeli aircraft should they attempt to cross Iraqi airspace on their way to Iran.
Brzezinski called this scenario a “reverse Liberty,” in reference to the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, which was mistaken for an Egyptian frigate, during the Six Day War in 1967.
Brzezinski may have reason to believe that Hagel would argue for such action as a member of Obama’s national security team.