In his address to the Knesset last week, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert framed Israel’s war in Lebanon as a war for “our right to be normal.” His emphasis on our right to drink coffee led many to wonder if he understands the immensity of the threat we face as he curries favor with Israel’s aging baby boomers.
As polls of the Arab and Muslim world’s opinion of Israel make clear, The Jerusalem Post’s Khaled Abu Toameh probably understated the magnitude of their desire to destroy Israel when he wrote on Thursday: “Throughout the Arab and Islamic world, hatred of Israel is so immense today that, if given the chance, tens of thousands of women and men would join Hamas and Hizbullah almost immediately.”
Unwilling to admit that its entire political vision for the country is based on lies.
The government’s plan for prosecuting the war aimed at Hizbullah’s
dismantlement places the IAF as the main component of the campaign. The IAF is supposed to be assisted by limited ground operations that should not rise above the brigade level. Although this plan’s logic fell apart a week ago when it became clear that the IAF bombings had not done enough to damage Hizbullah’s war waging capabilities and its ability to rain down 100 rockets and missiles a day on northernIsrael, the government maintains its devotion to the plan because it is unwilling to admit that its entire political vision for the country is based on lies.
The Olmert government insists that Israel can separate itself from terror and jihad and live a “normal life” by building a big fence and hiding behind it. The government knows that nothing will prove to the public the emptiness of its political rhetoric better than a serious ground invasion of southern Lebanon. And so, rather than shed its hallucinatory agenda, it clings to it with all the fervor of a Communist true-believer in Stalin’s gulag.
The government’s refusal to acknowledge that it cannot win a war through half-measures and the General Staff’s insistence on believing, contrary to all evidence, that the IAF can win this war almost on its own have caused the IDF to commit avoidable tactical failures that if left uncorrected are liable to entrap us on a strategic level.
Difficulty in achieving victory when the Government’s political agenda is denying the IDF the resources needed for victory.
Even ideal commanders would have difficulty achieving victory when the Israeli government, in the interest of its narrow and misguided political agenda, is denying the IDF the resources needed for victory. The security cabinet’s decision Thursday afternoon to reject the IDF’s request to intensify the ground campaign and to call up more reserve units is nothing less than a gift to Hizbullah – a gift the IDF will be hard pressed to take back no matter who its commanders are.
Wednesday, Olmert said that the war will last as long as the public supports it. It is debatable whether it is proper for a premier who is leading his nation in a war for survival to make such a statement. But since he has placed the decision in our hands, we the Israeli people must make clear our demand for victory.
A people that demands and requires victory cannot be deterred by obstacles placed in its path. With Israel’s international, social, economic and strategic resources, it has the ability to win this war. And we have our secret weapon: the IDF.
As the soldiers and officers of Battalion 51 of the Golani Brigade demonstrated at that horrible battlefield of Bint Jbail Wednesday, our soldiers are simply extraordinary. Their heroism under fire takes your breath away. Without a doubt, it is the combination of its spirit and its hardware that make the IDF a world class fighting force.
A nation that sends its best sons into battle to defend its liberty and its very survival has the right and the duty to require its government to act responsibly and to discard hallucinatory ideological agendas before they lead us to yet another disaster.
(Note: Blog additions relected by additional blockquotes and in italics for emphasis)
To read the entire aritcle, click Column One: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly .