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Jon Schwarz

Jon Schwarz is editor of MichaelMoore.com and was research producer for 'Capitalism: A Love Story.' He's also contributed to the New Yorker, New York Times, Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, Slate, Saturday Night Live and NPR.

January 31st, 2013 4:45 PM

Chuck Hagel Told a Really Funny Lie Today About Tables

It's the law, everybody in the U.S. government has to tell this funny lie:

SEN. CLAIRE MACASKILL: Do you believe that all options should be on the table when we confront Iran?

HAGEL: Absolutely.

Now, of course Hagel does not "absolutely" believe this. For instance, one obvious option for dealing with any Iranian ambitions to build nuclear weapons would be for the U.S. to push for a zone free of all nuclear weapons throughout the mideast. Short of the extermination of every Iranian, that's certainly the only possible stable resolution of this issue. But it will never happen because it would require that the U.S. pressure Israel to give up its nuclear weapons. (While everyone has forgotten this, Iraq wasn't just required to give up its WMD by itself. According to the relevant 1991 UN resolution, that was supposed to "represent steps towards the goal of establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction." Saddam used to plaintively mention this in speeches.) Likewise, Hagel also doesn't believe that the U.S. should consider giving up its thousands of nuclear weapons if that turned out to be the most likely path to a positive resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue.

The reason this is important is that it shows what the true priorities of our government are. If they had to rank various possibilities in order of desirability, they'd go like this:

FIRST CHOICE: Render Iran incapable of building nukes without war.

SECOND CHOICE: Render Iran incapable of building nukes via a devastating war that would likely kill hundreds of thousands of people and destroy the world economy.

THIRD CHOICE: Render Iran incapable of building nukes via the peaceful disarmament of the entire Mideast.

I also just love the idea that "all options" are on the table. There are lots of options on earth. What if, in order to confront Iran, it becomes necessary for Hagel to run naked around the Washington Monument three times while singing "I'm bringing sexy back"? Then we'd really find out just how committed Hagel is to the whole table thing.

P.S. I believe that under this law Hagel could definitely be prosecuted for lying to Congress.

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