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Aug 13, 2006

Olmert the worst ever?

It looks like PM Olmert will be remembered by history as the worst Prime Minister Israel ever had, if nothing changes.

PM Olmert has agreed to the Ceasefire proposed by the UNited Nations in Resolution 1701. I read the text of the resolution. I do not understand why Israel agreed to accept it. The only reason I can assume was world pressure, specifically I am sure the U.S.A quietly told Plmert that they have had enough of his pathetic performance in the free world's fight against terrorism and he should stop embarassing them as a poor version of an ally. Bush or Condi probably told him quietly that he should accept the deal or else.

The resolution does not address Israel's reasons for going to war. The resolution does not mention at all the return of Israel's captive soldiers. Not a word. It bases the future of Southern Lebanon on the previous resolution (I think 1559 but the number slipped my mind suddenly), which never was implemented by Lebanon prior to this conflict and there is no reason to assume it will be implemented now.

Olmert has accepted the deal. At the same time, he is still sending more troops in to Lebanon. This is totally inexplicable. The resolution only goes into effect on Monday morning. I do not understand why. If we came to an agreement, why not make it immediate? But regardless, why send in more troops that will probably accomplish nothing because they only have 1 day left of fighting (or a few more days if Olmert waits for the international troops as he says he will). What can they accomplish in this short time span that they have not accomplished in the past 4 weeks?

Soldiers are still coming out of Lebanon talking about the confusion and lack of clarity in the orders. Commanders are not coordinated and multiple divisions fighting in the same area effect a situation in which nobody knows who they are fighting against. This means they have to be more cautious to ensure they are not shooting at Israeli troops, which makes everybody more prone to Hezbollah fighters. Soldiers are dying hand over fist in Lebanon right now for what seems like absolutely no purpose and no gain.

Olmert - it is time for you to bring our troops home. When they come home it will be time for you to go home.


  1. Amen, brother!! Olmert needs to step down. WHAT DID THOSE SOLDIERS AND INNOCENT PEOPLE DIE FOR?!?

  2. It is very simply, CYA. He wants to end the war with some kind of bang so that he can declare victory. Of course, given the time constraints, this may boomerang on him as well.

  3. And once again - I retierate my comments from a few posts ago: Writing posts of this nature - while they mayve have some valid points - are just as bad as leaking seceret information to the press, or promoting anti-Israeli hasbara that demoralizes the country and strengthens the enemy eventually helping, in one way or another, to kill our friends and brothers that are still in there.
    There'll be a time and a place for all this criticsm. Now is not it.

  4. While I don't disagree that the war could have been prosecuted more effectively we must keep in mind that israel responded immediatly to an attack...there was no build-up to war. It is a war on the fly.
    The goal of the war was to remove hezbollah from southern lebanon. This un plan demands that the soldiers be transffered to lebanon's custody and that southern lebanon be (ultimatly) patrolled by the lebanese army.
    If the agreements of the cease-fire are upheld then israel willsee her objectives met.
    Meanwhile, during the period of cease-fire,while hezbollah may have a chance to regroup, if the cease-fire is not adhered to, the wait will be moreprofitable for Israel then for hezbollah. Israel will retain the high ground within southern lebanon. Israel has killed and wounded and captures ten times the enemy's corresponding numbers. Israel will be in a position of strategic advantage.
    While on the P.R front Israel may have lost the war from a military perspective this, may simply be a battle which creates a strategic advantage...which is how you win a war.

  5. Jack - it is

    Olah - Yes he does. it looks like many mk's will be pushing that agenda soon..

    bluke - exactly. Hopefully nt, but if recent experience is any indication, it probably will..

    bluke - will check those out

  6. dayli - this post is something I did not even write - I just linked to an article in Haaretz...
    I agreed with you and felt the same way up until about the third week of the war. I did not write criticial commentary until about the middle of the third week (aside from criticism on small irrelevant matters), specifically for the reason you mention.

    However, there are reasons I feel it does not apply any longer, along with what I wrote regarding your previous comment.
    First of all, everybody is doing it, so there is nothing wrong with me doing it(and the question about if everybody was jumping off the roof would you does not apply). and why should I be the only "friar" who is not?

    The war started with great public support. There was very little criticism in the media. I felt that bloggers, specifically me, shoulod not at that time criticize. However as time goes on and more becomes clear (simply because the war is being fought openly in the media - like the women who saw on live tv her son being injured in lebanon the other day) the need for criticism has grown.
    If Olmert would be a strong leader in this, I would agree that being quiet would still apply (probably). But by his being a weak leader and putting the soldiers in danger, the need for criticism has grown.

    Bloggers must be responsible, just like the general media must be (and they have shown they are not with their doctored photos, and I believe media displaying pictures from the war front in real time are also not and the army should not allow it). But when the criticism is already in the public forum (as it is in this war), than bloggers can also criticize.

    I am not even talking about bloggers setting new agenda and policy. I am talking about bloggers following the public trend.

    If I was a blogger with information not know to the public, that might also be different and I would have to be more careful. But every piece of info I have is taken from the public media. If I read it, you could have read it to. I point it out for people who might not have seen it, and I comment on it.

  7. dan - hopefully you are right. There is not much hope however, based on the past, and based on current statements (by both sides), that it will hold up. Nobody in the government expects it to - just listen to Israeli radio for a day with interviews of government ministers. All they talk about are the tremendous gaping holes in the resolution...

  8. I agree with you 100%. If Olmert had a shred of decency, he'd step down NOW.

    I like the last line of your post.

  9. As a general rule, people use whatever facts are presented to substantiate their own viewpoints.

    There is certainly a case to be made that Israel could have done better against hezbollah...and there is also a valid case to be made that israel did well and established a go-forward strategic advantage over hezbollah.

    Demanding/asking olmeret to step down looses weight if you've been singing the same tune since he ran for office.

  10. As a general rule, people use whatever facts are presented to substantiate their own viewpoints.

    There is certainly a case to be made that Israel could have done better against hezbollah...and there is also a valid case to be made that israel did well and established a go-forward strategic advantage over hezbollah.

    Demanding/asking olmeret to step down looses weight if you've been singing the same tune since he ran for office.

  11. Dan - I hear you. However, while I did not support him in the election, and I did and do nto like him or his style, while I do not think he is worthy or capable of the job and position he acheived, I have not called for his resignation (until now). He won the election fair and square. I think some of his coalition partners would have been serving their own interests better by not allowing him to form the government, but they did and I respected that. I have not called for his resignation (until now), while I, legitimately I think, have criticized some of his decisions. Any citizen has the right to and I did just as the media did and others did as well.

    This time I called for his resignation because I read the war and its outcome as a total "fashla" for which he was responsible.

    The government is going to be setting up a committee to investigate what happened and who was responsible.. After the outcome things will probably be clearer, but right now that is how it looks and clearly (according to the media) a majority of people in Israel think that despite the physical damage we did to Hezbollah, in every other aspect of the war, it was not managed properly and we "lost" (for lack of a better word".

  12. I don't dispute that there have been legitamite criticisms of olmeret's policies before this crisis and during. However, being vocally against his canidacy and calling for his resignation are a hairs breath apart. Like republicans impeaching clinton as opposed to republicans impeaching nixon.

    As a follow up to battles vs. war and the idea of winning or loosing, I read in haaretz today that the lebanese army will deploy in the south and hezbollah itself claims that they will have no military prescence in the south....other then the issues of the soldiers release it appears as if Israel may have achieved its strategic objectives.
    I hope.

  13. I do not think so. I think criticism is legitimate and nto a hair breadth away from a call for resignation. Now that I (and others) are calling for his resignation, it is a new page. I never liked Olmert. he was not liked when he was mayor of Jerusalem. He survived there because he is a wheeler and dealer and was great at making political deal with his opponents and other municipal parties, which is how he ended up in the PM's chair - not because of his leadership that people loved, but because of wheeling and dealing (while Sharon was PM, before elections and after elections).
    Anyway, now Haaretz is reporting that an old scandal is resurfacing. A while back Yoav Yitzchak (nfc.co.il) (a journalist) reported on some bribes Olmert had received as mayor of Jerusalem by way of real estate deals worth millions that he received huge discounts for in exchange for "unusual" building permits. That scandal is now resurfacing and supposedly the Comptroller has decided to reopen the case (I would assume new evidence must have come out for that to happen) and investigate...

    On the second point - I hope that is what happens. Every day the paper reports conflicting info. One day they say Lebanon made a deal with Hezbollah, the next they say they did not, then they say they did, etc.. I hope they take control of Southern Lebanon.


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