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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Warped thinking behind last summer's debacle in Lebanon

It won't surprise any of you that there was a lot of warped thinking behind last summer's debacle in Lebanon. What is surprising is just how warped it was. Today, the Winograd Commission testimony of former Minister of Culture, Science and Sports Ophir Pines-Paz was released to the public. Give Pines-Paz credit for one thing: at least he had enough integrity to resign from the government after the interim report came out. That's more than you can say for Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert. But the level of incompetence in the government that emerges from his testimony is simply appalling.
Former Minister of Science, Culture and Sports MK Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor) told the Winograd Committee the cabinet did not discuss a diplomatic end-point for the Second Lebanon War, as it expected international pressure to force Israel to finish it within a few days, the Committee reported Monday.

"The leading diplomatic sources... gave us a working premise that we didn't have much time to work with, and that we needed to act until we would be stopped - but then no one stopped us. This is what happened. Not only did no one stop us, they encouraged us, and we let this go to our heads," the former minister said.

...

At a certain point the cabinet came to the view that they would have to "force the world to force us [to stop the fighting]," so Israel needed to hit hard in order to bring international pressure upon itself, Pines said.

...

According to the former minister's testimony, the cabinet was aware that Hezbollah would respond with Katyushas aimed at Israel's civilians.
Is this any way to run a war?

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