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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Soldiers Dying As the Politicians Are Stalling

15 soldiers died in battle last night.

It was released for publication well after mid-night. There are also rumours circulating that there are more dead soldiers, but this number is all that has been released up until now. It is now a month since this "war" started. Why do I put the word, war, in quotation marks? Well, because after a month of heavy fighting with Hezbollah, after a month of over 3,000 rockets violating the sovereignty of Israel and paralyzing half a population and turning them into refugees and walking cases of PTSD - to the point that the city of Jerusalem is changing the Shabbat Sirens to song because those taking refuge in the Holy City are being so traumatically effected when they hear the regular siren - the government has refused to pass a resolution to officially declare the country at war. If they were to do so, this war would be over within a week.

But, the simple fact is because (Sm)Olmert and Peretz, our "Defense Minister", is pussy-footing around and trying to play both sides of the line, this conflict has gone on for a month, and more people are dead because of it. Peretz said that an increased ground offensive would happen only IF dimplomacy failed. Peretz is trying to play General and politician at the same time. Unfortunately (or, fortunately, depending on your point of view), it just doesn't work that way. When you are put in charge of the Army, your sole job is to protect the country and to protect the soldiers. Peretz is trying to play "Risk" as a politician; most likely believing that he can utilyze this fight to further his political career. He thinks he will be able to walk out of this as both the one who fought a war, and as one who won it with diplomacy. As Carl Von Clausewitz so aptly said, "War is just a continuation of politics by different means." Diplomacy works at the speed of a snail. War can be won within hours after it starts. Hell, the Romans proved that a war can be won without even fighting. Tsun Tzu said, "Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor dampened, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue... In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns."

Peretz and Olmert do not seem to want to achieve victory. They merely seem to be looking to protract the fighting and put up a stand as long as possible until the international community steps in with a good enough offer to allow them to stand down. That way, they think they can say they won, both, the Dilomatic war AND the Military war. Unfortunately, for them, this country is NOT stupid. They realize that Peretz and Olmert are trying to have it both ways. They will not let them get away with it, come election time. Every-one with half a brain knows that this could have been over 3 weeks ago, IF Olmert and Peretz had allowed the Army to do its job and overwhelm Hezbollah from the beginning.

The most dangerous weapon a terrorist has is HOPE. Hope that they'll win if they hold on longer. Hope that they're actually capable of winning against a superior force. Hope is the most dangerous weapon in the terrorist's arsenal, and THAT is exactly what Peretz and Olmert (and the international community, for that fact) have given Nasrallah and his band of merry men. Nasrallah has forced mighty Israel into fighting for MONTH. That is something the strongest Arab Armies could NOT accomplish, even when attacking Israel all at once. In Nasrallah's mind, and rightly so, he has accomplished a victory, and, if he survives, will become an ICON in the Arab world. Nasrallah with his 60 year-old rockets and AK-47s stood up to Israel and her mighty Merkava tanks and F-16s. Even if Hezbollah, the military, loses, Hezbollah, the politician, will gain heavy favor in the Lebanese community and the next elections. We are likely to see a much more dominated Hezbollah government after the next elections come around. In that case, don't be surprised that within a decade, because, like the mistake Israel made 6 years ago, and if they don't finish the job swiftly now, to see the Lebanese ARMY standing on Israel's border poised to attack. Led, of course, by the "non-militant" Hezbollah government.

Israel's job is clear if those in power were to only, and, finally, seize the golden opportunity. Win a decisive victory against terrorists, and SAVE lives. If Israel continues to use this "proportional" response, expect more and more people to die on both sides, and to see Israel get bogged down in Lebanon just as they did over 20 years ago; the VERY THING that they are seeking to avoid. Strike hard. Strike Fast. War over. Lives are saved. Our beloved soldiers and paralyzed citizens can go home and rebuild.

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