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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Worst IDF chief of staff evah tells J Street he doesn't believe in red lines

Dan Halutz, who made the fateful decisions to fight the Second Lebanon War solely from the air and then not to go all out, and then dumped all of his stock holdings in the war's first hours, told a J Street press event on Monday that he doesn't believe in red lines.
I don’t believe in red line policies, because when you’re stating something at time 1, it might not be the same at time 2…when you are saying red line, you’re claiming you can draw a line based on what the other side is doing…for each and every thing that’s part of the redline, when it comes to the decision, someone will come up with an excuse. You still need a coalition.
So that's why he screwed up the Lebanon war so badly? He was waiting for a UN coalition to come bail us out? I think that - as we Orthodox Jews say - we need the explanations of Rashi and Tosafoth (Medieval commentators on the Talmud) to explain that statement.
Halutz’s point was that setting lines now that are supposed to bind policymakers in the future can prevent them from adapting if conditions on the ground change. Moreover, so called red lines may not actually trigger international action against because the states who are supposed to be bound by them may disagree about whether or not Iran has actually made the level of progress in question.
Now I understand why Halutz waited until after a cease fire was signed but before it went into effect to send ground troops into Lebanon six years ago... because once he made a decision it could not be changed....
The Lieutenant General also downplayed the risk that Israel would strike Iran unilaterally in the short term, saying that “I don’t think that anyone in Israel thinks we should attack immediately in spite of all the noises recently” but warning observers “not to underestimate” the IDF’s capability and willingness to attack. He also said he supports the Obama administration’s Iran policy, saying “diplomacy, sanctions, and stick on the table (military option) is the right approach” and that he believes President Obama “means what he’s saying” on his willingness to strike Iran. He added that sanctions “are working. There’s no doubt they are working. The question is how long it will take” to make Iran change its calculus.
The problem is that the President never said explicitly that he is willing to strike Iran. And as to the sanctions, they're working to slow down Iran's economy (and maybe not even for that much longer) but they have had no effect whatsoever on the nuclear program. But hey, we need to be flexible and not make decisions, eh Dan?

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At 6:18 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Every day is a new day... yesterday disappears. When all this first started after 9/11, the U.S. went to Afghanistan and then Iraq, and the EU was supposed to be in charge of dealing with Iran's nukes. Remember the Bush people stayed out of it because of the voluble criticism from the "international community" and, occasionally, from Israeli govt people. The EU has produced an #EPICFAIL. I think I put a comment somewhere re the Euros *not* enforcing laws, but picking and choosing favored people and doing non-lawful things in support (or against the unfavored). I know it is frustrating because with a normal style President, the U.S. would step up when the Euros do their #EPICFAIL thing. But the "international community" and some segment of Israel has called for a more passive U.S. and YOU GOT IT. So if that isn't what everybody wants, then more people could speak out in favor of voting out the New Left Obama Team in this election. (Even though, if Condi comes back in, it will be more of the Halutz approach, since she it the one who seemingly interfered in support of the Palestinian cause when the IDF made any moves against the Leb II rockets. I was there and saw firsthand.)


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