Sunday, August 13, 2006
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 6 Comments
In 1996 another weak Prime Minister who had succeeded a renowed war hero began a military campaign against Hezbollah. While Hezbollah fired hundreds of rockets into Israel wrecking northern towns and causing the evacuation of tens of thousands of Israeli civilians, Israel launched a bombing campaign in which a UN post was hit, the shelling of Qana resulted in a worldwide cry against Israeli atrocities and Hezbollah was damaged but remained intact. Even the news stories sound indescribably familiar.
"JERUSALEM -- As Operation Grapes of Wrath continued for a second week, a palpable sense of disaster began creeping through government circles in Israel. From every point of view, the mini-war in Lebanon that had looked like a cakewalk when it was launched April 11 seemed to be turning into an embarrassing failure.
Militarily, the situation seemed to be one sustained slap in the face for one of the world's strongest and proudest armies -- the Israel Defense Force. Israel has hurled hundreds, perhaps thousands, of tons of high explosives at Hezbollah targets and at other important facilities in Lebanon since the operation was launched to put an end to the militant Islamic group's Katyusha rocket attacks on northern Israel. But the fanatical Shi'ite Hezbollah fighters were nonetheless still shooting Katyushas at Kiryat Shmona and at a string of smaller Galilee communities all the way to Nahariya on the sea."
That was ten years ago. This time there are hundreds dead and thousands wounded and hundreds of thousands evacuated. The weapons of the enemy are more sophisticated, their range longer. The damage is no longer in the millions but the billions. Operations Grapes of Wrath ended in another useless agreement and Prime Minister Peres declared victory and lost the next election. Now we have another weak Prime Minister declaring victory coming away with another useless UN resolution. Nothing has been learned since and like Peres, Olmert must go.
Olmert committed tens of thousands of IDF soldiers to a war. Many have died, many more have been wounded, some crippled for life. He committed the nation to war and hundreds of thousands had to leave their homes and take shelter. Children spent weeks under bombings. Farmers lost their stock, fields are burned, cattle dead. Out of all this we have come away with nothing except another useless agreement and worst of all we have done what we never have before... we left our soldiers behind.
While his sons sat in Paris and LA, Olmert sent the nation's sons to war. Two of those who went to war, while his sons signed petitions stating their "moral opposition" to serving, have been abandoned under this ceasefire agreement. If they do not return to their families, there is no possible way Olmert can justify staying in office.
Kadima under Olmert\Sharon crippled the military replacing capable generals with political generals who told them what they wanted to hear. Those generals fought a disastrous war. A war demonstrating that little had been learned in a decade. But still Israel did not lose the war. Its leaders handed out the surrender to Hezbollah through the offices of the UN. No leader who surrenders while the army is in the field can remain in office.
The difference between 1996 and 2006 is that the enemy has killed hundreds and can now bombard major Israeli cities. Does anyone want to wait around to see their capabilities in 2016 or for that matter 2010 as the flow of arms from Russia to Iran to Hezbollah continues, as Hezbollah takes control of Lebanon after the victory Olmert has handed them?
Disengagement was a bloody failure. Kadima is a disaster. It's time for Olmert, Livni, Peres and Peretz to go. It's time for every member of this cabinet who voted for the ceasefire to leave. I am under no illusion that they will go willingly. I am under no illusion that their answer will be any different than Golda Meir's and Moshe Dayan's after 1973 when soldiers threw their medals at them. But regardless go they must, no matter what it takes.
Iran is on the verge of nuclear weapons. When the day comes that Iran is prepeared to deploy those weapons and make good on its threats to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, Israel must have strong leaders at the helm who can do what needs to be done. Olmert must go. The survival of the nation and the lives of millions depends on it.
Olmert must go.