Olmert: His Own Shlemiel, or Bush’s?

While Israel’s Winograd Commission has certainly pulled no punches in excoriating the Israeli military and political leadership for their botched war in Lebanon last summer, there appears to be a massive lacuna in its conclusions. (I’m not even going to get into the question of cluster bombs and other military actions by Israel in that conflict that contravene international law.) Israel clearly went to war in haste without a considered plan, without weighing alternatives, without establishing clear objectives and without an exit strategy. That much Winograd was prepared to say bluntly. But what he doesn’t explain is why things played out in this way.

And here, I think, he’s avoiding the elephant in the room: the very clear sense, throughout the Lebanon misadventure, that Israel was coordinating its actions with Washington to an extent that the Bush Administration’s own decisions had a decisive impact on how Israel waged its campaign. Once Israel had launche its initial air raids, the U.S. quickly moved to define the objectives of the war in terms far more expansive than Israel had ever intended, using its diplomatic veto to block a ceasefire that the Israeli leadership had, in fact, been counting on when they began. I had previously written about how in order to truly understand the brutal botchup of Lebanon, the commission would have to probe the U.S. role in Israel’s decision making — the war was one in which I believe Israeli leaders ceded an unprecedented level of control over Israeli decisions to the United States.

It was clear, at the time, that the neophyte Olmert was outsourcing his decision-making to Condi Rice. I wrote at the time of the sense that Israel was waging a proxy war for the Bush Administration — a sense confirmed at the time by the hawkish dean of Israeli military correspondents, Ze’ev Schiff, who wrote at the height of the conflict:

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is the figure leading the strategy of changing the situation in Lebanon, not Prime Minister Ehud Olmert or Defense Minister Amir Peretz. She has so far managed to withstand international pressure in favor of a cease-fire, even though this will allow Hezbollah to retain its status as a militia armed by Iran and Syria.

As such, she needs military cards, and unfortunately Israel has not succeeded to date in providing her with any. Besides bringing Hezbollah and Lebanon under fire, all of Israel’s military cards at this stage are in the form of two Lebanese villages near the border that have been captured by the IDF.

If the military cards Israel is holding do not improve with the continuation of the fighting, it will result in a diplomatic solution that will leave the Hezbollah rocket arsenal in southern Lebanon in its place. The diplomatic solution will necessarily be a reflection of the military realities on the ground.

The rhetoric of the Bush Administration about this war being the dawning of a “new Middle East” confirmed a sense that it had been appropriated for the deranged purposes of Rice and Bush’s giddy fantasies about transforming the region through “shock and awe.” The extent of U.S. influence was also made clear by Israeli media reports at the time of Olmert rushing out of critical security cabinet meetings to coordinate his strategy on the phone with Rice — hard to picture Ariel Sharon doing that, actually. But Schiff also makes clear that, plainly, the Israelis had no idea what they’d signed up for, which is why, as Winograd concluded, they waded into battle without a plan. (But Winograd doesn’t appear to want to ask why — presumably U.S.-Israeli relationship is a third-rail of Israeli politics that dare not be touched…) They had assumed they were launching retaliatory strikes to punish Hizballah for seizing two of its soldiers; then, suddenly, they were exected — by Washington — to militarily eliminate Hizballah.

And the neocons in and around the Administration spelled this out during the conflict, with some of Israel’s most aggressive supporters in Washington making clear what was expected of it in service to the American grand design. John Bolton’s comments, recently, about the pointlessness of Israel’s final ground offensive underscore this sense.

My friend Daniel Levy wrote a thoughtful analysis of Rice’s role in that conflict last month:

“Senior Israeli ministers are on record testifying to an investigating committee that when they voted in the cabinet to authorize the initial military strike they did not consider this to be the start of a prolonged war. Their working assumption was that diplomatic pressure would end the military conflict after 48 to 96 hours.

That did not happen – America prevented it, thereby making Israel a prisoner to accomplishing a mission that was never realistic. The delay in diplomacy did not change the substance of the deal eventually reached, it did, however, cause more death, destruction and loss of American prestige.”

A year ago, I wrote an op ed in Haaretz questioning whether it was in Israel’s best interests to hitch it’s wagon to a dangerously misguided Bush Administration’s wild and obviously doomed revolutionary schemes, because “it’s a safe bet that Assad, Nasrallah, Ali Khamenei and Hamas will be there long after Bush, Rice and their fantasy are wheeled off the stage.” In the piece, I wrote this of the Lebanon war:

When Olmert stumbled into Lebanon last summer, he may have been expecting Washington to play the role of the big brother who would drag him, still swinging, off Hassan Nasrallah, having demonstrated his “deterrent” power without getting himself into too much trouble. Instead, he found Washington impatiently egging him on, demanding that he destroy Nasrallah to prove a point to the Shiite leader’s own big brother, and holding back anyone else who tried to break up the fight. As neocon cheerleaders like Charles Krauthammer made plain, the administration was disappointed at Olmert’s wimpish performance.

The Winograd report, as far as I can tell from the reporting I’ve seen, has avoided asking these questions. And that’s unfortunate, not only because it fails to establish a complete picture of what shaped Olmert’s decision making — was he just a shlemiel, or was he Bush’s Shlemiel? — but because it avoids forcing Israelis to confront the consequences of the disastrous policies the Bush Administration has purused, often on its behalf, over the past eight years.

This entry was posted in Situation Report. Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Olmert: His Own Shlemiel, or Bush’s?

  1. FredJ says:

    The idea is interesting but very hard to prove. It seems possible and fits the known facts as well as any other ideas I’ve heard. I can certainly believe the US held the line against diplomatic action that would have forced an end to the war sooner. But that doesn’t tell me which is the dog and which the tail.

    But history is also made on the battle field. The IDF, under Ariel Sharon, had apparently been changed into a force that could not do what Sharon was so famous for; fighting a winning land battle. They were trained as cops and counter-insurgents.

    And history is not made by just one side. The weapons that were ultimately supplied by Russia made a real difference favoring Hezbollah. Russia, two and three steps away (with Syria and Iran in between) is also a force here. Their missiles made a difference. But what is Russia’s motive?

    On another note — while Israel did not live up to expectations, Hezbollah has clearly been set back by the presence of Lebanese and UN troops in and among them. It’s got to rankle and they are sure to get in the way. Nasrallah seems to wish for the status quo ante, not a sign he has won a victory.

  2. Shlomo says:

    I don’t think the idea needs to be “proven” with a formal Israeli (or American) investigation. I think the harmful dynamics at play are crystal clear already: the American War on Terror and Israel’s counterproductive responses to terror have become mutually reinforcing.

  3. Patrick says:

    There were, however, limits to how far Israel was willing to accept US directives. I’m thinking, in particular, of the efforts of Eliott Abrams urging Israel to widen the war by directly attacking Syria. The Israelis balked at this, one of the few times in this affair that they showed some good sense.

  4. Tony says:

    Good point Patrick — I love how we’re always hearing of the danger of Pakistan’s nukes “falling into the hands of extremists” — hell, the U.S. has the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal, and they ahve Elliot Abrams in the White House!

  5. abraham says:

    Tony, another excellent article with lots of insight. This filled in a lot of gaps for me.

  6. Murphy says:

    I’m not sure I buy Tony’s thesis of the US goading an unwilling Israel into expanding its war. In the first place, the Israelis are not known for allowing other countries – including the one that give them 3 billion a year in charity – to dictate their agenda.

    Secondly, there is the fact that, since the rise of the neo-cons, “pro-Israeli” elements in the US corridors of power have become pretty much indistinguishable from the mainstream. This means that it is almost impossible to tell who is pushing a ‘pro-Israel’ agenda, and who is acting purely in US interests – whatever they may be.

    Thirdly, as many have pointed out, Syria and Hizballah may be a (limited) threat to Israel, but they pose no threat at all to the US. So it’s hard to see why the US would be so determined to urge Israel to ‘crush’ Hizballah and perhaps even attack Syria,if Israel itself were not willing to do so.

    Fourthly and finally, even if the theory that the US was pushing Israel to keep fighting is true, this does not change the fact that Israeli leaders are still the ones who bear responsibility for the war. As I’ve said, the Israelis are not shy about turning down Washington’s requests when they do not perceive them to be in Israel’s interests.

  7. Bill says:

    While neither Hizbollah nor Syria (nor Iran for that matter) pose any threat to the continental USA, they pose a critical threat to the European empire/hegemony in West Asia. The American Nation has no need of Middle Eastern hegemony, however, the American ruling class depends upon it.

  8. Murphy says:

    “While neither Hizbollah nor Syria (nor Iran for that matter) pose any threat to the continental USA, they pose a critical threat to the European empire/hegemony in West Asia.”

    Do they?

    Syria has indicated several times that it would be more than willing to join the “Western” set-up in the ME. However, it will not relinquish its rightful claim to the illegally annexed Golan Heights. Were this territory to be returned to them, there is good reason to believe that Syria would give up its support for Hizballah and Hamas, and might even become another Jordan. There is nothing intrinsically anti-Western about Syria, certainly not about its British educated young leader. Syria’s beef is with the country illegally occupying its territory – its only real problem with the US is that it aids and abets that occupation, and has (possibly at the behest of Israel) threatened Syria with regime change.

    Regarding Hizballah, again, their enemy is Israel, not the US, and not ‘the west’. Some might say that their Iran-backed agenda is inherently “anti-Western” but even if this is true, Hizballah’s strength and popularity lie in their ability to resist Israel, not in their Khomenist principles. Were there to be a just settlement in Palestine and the other occupied territories, it is very likely that Hizballah would fade away as a movement, or be obliged to re-package itself.

    What I am saying is that, insofar as Hizballah and Syria are in any way anti-Western, or anti-American, it is as a direct result of their conflict with Israel. Conversely, America’s problem with them is intrinsically tied in with their uncritical support of Israel. If the US did not fall for the canard that Israel’s enemies are America’s enemies too, it’s very hard to see why they would be so set on a policy of confrontation with both Syria and Hizballah. Not to mention Hamas.

  9. David Habakkuk says:


    As to Russia — it is worth considering the possibility that it has very strong commercial motives for selling the kind of weaponry which is actually most dangerous for Israel.

    The Soviet Union bankrupted itself very effectively, by trying to maintain the capacity to fight a world war against the United States — a power whose military industrial potential was vastly greater than its own. (Accordingly to the key NSC 68 paper of April 1950, the American production of motor vehicles was at that time more than ten times that of the Soviets.)

    The taking up of the ‘common security’ agenda of the Palme Commission by the Gorbachev-era ‘new thinkers’ reflected both the conviction that this attempt had been economically ruinous — but also the militarised nature of Soviet policy had done a great deal to create the security problems facing the Soviet Union. Involved with this was a kind of love affair with the West — and in particular the United States — which affected substantial sections of the Soviet elite as well substantial sections of the population. If Russia liquidated a security posture which they had come to understand produced genuine and understandable apprehension in the West, it was widely believed, Russia’s own security concerns would be taken more seriously.

    In the wake of ‘shock therapy’ and NATO expansion, this pro-Western current has largely vanished. The nails in the coffin have been hammered in by projects for the expansion of NATO to the Ukraine — Kiev is the birthplace of Russian culture — and for the installation of missile defences in Poland and the Czech Republic. As a matter of simple fact, Gorbachev and the ‘new thinkers’ turned out to be naïve fools. Unsurprisingly, hostility to the West is widespread in the new Russian elite — also among the Russian people, as it never was in Soviet times.

    Accordingly, Russian military planners are back with the problem of how to counter American power from a weak industrial base, in a far more severe form than that they experienced earlier. But those in power are not going to make the mistake of spending the country into extinction.

    The obvious escape from the dilemma involves three elements. One is the adoption of versions of Western strategies of ‘deterrence’. In essence, this means resting your security on the attempt to make ‘credible’ threats which it would be suicidal to implement. Another is capitalising on the increasing sophistication and cheapness of guidance systems to build low cost precision-guided weapons. A third, obviously, is defraying the costs by exports. The most natural export markets, obviously, are those who share their concerns about countering American power.

    The possibility that weapons that are sold to Syria or Iran may get into the hands of Hizbullah may very well not act as a disincentive to making profitable export deals. It is not actually very clear why it should.

    I suspect such weapons are increasingly likely to pose a mortal threat to Israel. As with Iranian nuclear weapons the actual threat is not, in my view, a directly military one. In his article The Next Act in late 2006, Seymour Hersh quoted revealing remarks from the Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Efraim Sneh:

    ‘The danger isn’t as much Ahmadinejad’s deciding to launch an attack but Israel’s living under a dark cloud of fear from a leader committed to its destruction. . . . Most Israelis would prefer not to live here; most Jews would prefer not to come here with families, and Israelis who can live abroad will . . . I am afraid Ahmadinejad will be able to kill the Zionist dream without pushing a button. That’s why we must prevent this regime from obtaining nuclear capability at all costs.’

    (See http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/11/27/061127fa_fact)

    Whether he is right about the affects an Iranian nuclear capability would have I do not know. But in any case, the same effect is highly likely to occur if increasingly accurate and long range missiles can be fired at Israel, from Gaza or from Lebanon. Given the small disasters, these missiles are going to be able to threaten Israel from the new line of fortifications Hizbullah has been constructing north of the Litani.

    A similar anxiety haunts Olmert, if what Amos Elon has to say in the current New York Review of Books is accurate:

    ‘According to Haaretz, he told an American delegation recently that in “Israel there are perhaps 400,000 people who maintain the state, leaders in the economy, in science and in culture. I want to make sure they have hope, that they’ll stay here.” His own two sons, it is well known, live in New York.’

    (See http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21015)

    In the light of this vulnerability, it is not surprising that there has been so much enthusiasm among American Zionists for dealing decisively with Hizbullah, Iran, and Syria. But the strategy has quite patently failed. Moreover, attempting to support this agenda by arguing that Israel’s security interests are identical with those of the United States clearly involves dangers for American Jews — as the claim is patently false, and is inherently liable to make ‘dual loyalty’ an issue. Still more self-defeating is the attempt to silence criticism of the strategy by accusing critics of anti-Semitism. The inevitable effect of the attempt to employ the taboo on anti-Semitism in this ultimately cynical way is inevitably to weaken the taboo. Quite patently, this is already happening.

  10. Y,. Ben-David says:

    Interesting idea. However Olmert said very clearly during the war what his motive was….it was to give him the political “gravitas” to carry out his plan (at the time) for a unilateral withdrawal from Judea/Samaria. For some reason, many Israelis are enamoured of having Generals in charge….Rabin, Sharon and Barak were all Prime Ministers (and bad ones, at that). Although it is clear that there is no connection between moving troops around on a battlefield and being a statesman, many Israelis still believe this. On the other hand, how many Americans would have wanted MacArthur or Patton to be President (Eisenhower was something of an exception, but he already was a polished politician by being Supreme Commander in Europe).
    Olmert, who was a journalist during his army service, decided he needed some gratuitis violence in order to burnish his credentials among these Israelis. At first, he decided, shortly before the election in 2006 to tell the police and army to beat up demonstrators who were protesting the destruction of 9 homes at Amona which were claimed to be “illegal” ( a matter of controversy). This led to hundreds of injured civilians. This boomeranged and Olmert dropped in the polls. Then when the kidnappings occurred near Gaza (Shalit) and the Lebanese border (Regev and Goldwasser), he say another opportunity to show how “tough” he was. Of course, since Bush supported the policy of unilateral withdrawal, he gave his support to Olmert, again showing the “wisdom” he showed in Iraq.
    I repeat, Olmert said this was the reason for the war, to get support for a unilateral withdrawal. Just like Amona , it blew up in his face. Who says political leaders are smart?

  11. john says:

    I think that the answer is simple. The IDF is accustomed to killing Palestinian women and children in the enclosed Gaza strip, wher there is little room for maneuver. When it came to facing real warriors like the those of Hezbollah, the IDF proved not to be the force it is believed to be by The Americans or by their own propaganda.

    Fighting a war against women and childre with the most advanced weaponry is easy; it is also cowardly and self deceiving. The Israelis’s better be careful of what they wish for when the war with Iran breaks out.

  12. swio says:

    This is the only plausible theory explaining why Israel waged this war that I have found. Very good piece. Wish I had read your writing at the time. It would have made the whole conflict much easier to understand. I won’t make that mistake again for the next Israel/??? war.

  13. Murphy says:


    That the IOF (and Israeli intelligence) have long been massively overrated is not, I think, anymore in doubt. It is, I suppose, possibler that the Americans believed the Israeli propaganda myths they had indulged for years if not decades, and assumed that it would not be difficult for the IOF to ‘take out’ Hizballah. Reality of course, proved to be very different.

    However, I still believe that as far as their own interests are concerned, the US had no dog in this fight, just as it has none in Israel’s war with the Palestinians. For that reason, I find it hard to accept Tony’s theory that the US pushed Israel into extending this war. While their military caluclations displayed characteristic arrogance and hubris, the Israelis had more than enough motivation to ‘go after’ Hizballah without any prompting from the US.

  14. John Lewis-Dickerson says:

    The Republican Party has morphed into the RepubLikud Party. That makes me (a lifelong, moderate republican) a progressive member of the Democratic Party!

  15. Arch Stanton says:

    “While Israel’s Winograd Commission has certainly pulled no punches in excoriating the Israeli military and political leadership for their botched war in Lebanon last summer …”

    Jesus H. Christ on a rubber crutch, Tony! Israel “botched” the “war in Lebanon” last summer? I guess Israel would have had a better time of it if they had launched a few dozen of their US-supplied state-of-the-art nukes and turned Lebanon into a giant glassy spot in the earth. I mean, with a record like Israel’s, what difference are a few more crimes against humanity gonna make?

    “… the very clear sense, throughout the Lebanon misadventure, that Israel was coordinating its actions with Washington to an extent that the Bush Administration’s own decisions had a decisive impact on how Israel waged its campaign.”

    Misadventure? That’s what the nazi press said about Rotterdam back in the day. And why would a country dependent upon another for its very existence bite the hand that feeds them, or even refuse to follow orders?
    I know, that one’s a real brain buster.

    “Israel clearly went to war in haste without a considered plan, without weighing alternatives, without establishing clear objectives and without an exit strategy.”

    A few thousand cluster bombs sounds like they had an exit strategy to me. Just ask the armless and legless Lebanese children. I think they would confirm just how clearly Israel’s “strategy” worked out.

    So in summary, Tony, it appears that you need a vacation.

  16. Donald says:

    Calm down, there, Arch. You must have missed the second sentence in Tony’s piece– “(I’m not even going to get into the question of cluster bombs and other military actions by Israel in that conflict that contravene international law.)”

    He knows about the war crimes, obviously. He’s just wondering about the motivations behind them and who called the shots. Obviously the war didn’t go the way the Israeli government wanted it to go (not because they care about the civilians they killed, but because they didn’t defeat Hezbollah). So the question is whether it was the war criminals in Tel Aviv or the ones in Washington who thought this was a good idea.

  17. John says:

    Little bit off topic. This week israeli Knesset and prime minister celebrated terrorist Avraham Stern.



    I wonder why nobody appear to be interested. No condemnation, no comment from israeli left. No articles in jewish press. Strange.

  18. josh e says:

    The elephant in the room would appear to be how indistinguishable Israeli military and intelligence interests are from the policies of this Neocon administration in Washington – they are virtually seamless and in mutually reinforcing coordination. To suggest otherwise is wholly disingenuous

    For a clear example take the current status of the Israeli and Neocon coordination on their attempts to rebuke the 2007 NIE on Iran – Israel has conducted a nonstop harangue, delegation, and pressuring of the Bush administration to ignore the better judgments of it’s own intelligence and attempt to launch their carefully coordinated catastrophic preemptive assaults on Iran – reality be damned.

    You might have to be an American to sense the shame of watching your own president disavow her own intelligence services and apologize to an Israeli prime minister that they are not going to be able to pull off America’s next war for Israel. Comments?

  19. Tony says:

    It’s absolutely correct to point out that the Administration policy on the war was being driven by neocons who are ferocious right-wing Zionists. But I think the mistake that many people make are to make that element indistingiushable from an undifferentiated “Israel,” without recognizing that the neocons are, in fact, a political faction — not only in Washington, but also in Israel. They don’t TAKE their cues from Israel, they do whatever is in their power to SET ISRAEL’S DIRECTION. They are not aligned, or even much impressed with Olmert, their point man in Israel is Netanyahu.

    This dynamic was really clear during the war when you had high-profile neocons in the US apoplectically castigating Olmert for his failure to more aggressively prosecute the (neocon-set) war plan.

    This really is the main point I’m trying to make — the neocons are not FOLLOWING Israel’s lead, as much as doing whatever they can to set Israel’s lead, in concert with their Israeli counterparts in the Likud — the dynamic was also clear in the fact that the much publicized “clean break” document setting Netanyahu’s agenda in 1996 was actually authored by the likes of Richard Perle and Douglas Feith…

    When Sharon was in charge, the elder statesman of the Likud, it was obviously different. He wasn’t going to be taking his cues from anyone, but the neocon Likudniks were more than happy to follow and support him because he was such an effective steward of their program. They clearly had a lot less confidence in Olmert, and it’s not hard to see why: Unlike Sharon, the hardcore selfless nationalist warrior, Olmert was a corrupt and sleazy corporate lawyer, married to a leftie (at least on the Israeli spectrum) whose two sons live in the U.S. Not exactly a pillar of political reliability from a neocon/Likudnik point of view…

    And I think these fissures in the Zionist camp came out into the open during the Lebanon war.

  20. Dave says:

    I was somewhat surprised to ready Tony’s analysis of the situation. I had assumed that when the US blocked international efforts to implement a cease fire, it was at Israel’s behest. Israel commenced the war to eliminate Hizbollah. Along with direct attacks on any actual fighters, part and parcel of Israel’s plan was to randomly kill Lebanese civilians, to turn the population against Hizbollah, that is, show the Lebanese how their lives are endangered by allowing Hizbollah to operate. While they mostly avoided making such public statements this time, they were somewhat more candid in acknowledging this brutal strategy in both 1993 and 1995. It’s also behind the collective punishment in Gaza. Of course, the plan was as idiotic as it was murderous, as lo and behold, the Lebanese, even the Christians, united with Hizbollah against the people who were actually bombing their country rather than the party that supposedly provoked the onslaught.

    Shortly after the war, I had dinner with a young cousin who had just finished his tour of duty with the IDF. He said that there were rumors going round in the spring of a huge operation in Lebanon, but then nothing happened until the border incident in July. While this anecdotal info is of limited value, it did serve to corroborate my view that Israel was looking for a reason to begin a long-planned invasion. Of course, the granddaddy of these operations was 1982, when Israel waited impatiently for months as the PLO refused to break the cease-fire from Lebanon, then seized upon the assassination attempt of their ambassador in London to launch all-out war. Tony’s analogy to the guy who hopes his big brother will restrain him is colorful, but it does not strike me as true.

  21. Murphy says:

    “Tony’s analogy to the guy who hopes his big brother will restrain him is colorful, but it does not strike me as true.”

    I agree. Point taken about how neither the US nor Israel is a monolith, but I’m still not convinced about the argument that Israel uncharacteristically allowed itself to be a US tool in this war. True, the Israelis had never expected to fight a land war, but IMHO the fact that they did indeed end up fighting (and losing) one was more the result of their own fatal miscalculations than any US pressure.

    According to Mearsheimer and Walt, whose book I have just finished reading, although the US knew that Israel did have contingency plans to strike HB, and were waiting for an opportune moment to do so, Israel did NOT consult with the US when it did launch its attack on Lebanon. And while most US figures did not try to restrain Israel, nor did they try to egg them on. They didn’t need to.

  22. Frebnedzo says:

    I thought it was obvious at the time that this was a proxy war between the US and Iran. At the time, the US still was hoping that they, rather than Iran and friends, would be winners of the Iraq fiasco. Urging Israel to march to Damascus (also an Iranian satellite in the neocon view) was part of the same proxy fight. The Ledeen-nicks were hoping that Israel would stomp ass and that the ensuing conflagration would have pulled Iran in which could have justified action against Iran (since it would have spilled over into Iraq and “threaten S interests” directly rather than just Israel. As miserable as the wars we have and have had are, its a good thing things did not go the way the US radicals wished.

  23. Terry Regier says:

    Hassan Nasrallah claims to subscribe to the view Tony is promoting here. From HN’s July 21 2006 interview with al-Jazeera: “Israel did not get a green light from America … Israel received an American decision: go and finish that business in Lebanon. … And I’m telling you, if Olmert reaches a point at which he says ‘I can’t continue anymore’, Bush will tell him ‘You’re going to continue – and if you run into a problem I’ll solve it for you.’

    Now it’s arguably in HN’s interest to portray himself as having the guts to take on the US, not just Israel. So take it with a pinch of salt. But there it is.

  24. Tony says:

    Actually, I think Nasrallah was reflecting on the fact that Israel behaved in a way that was quite different from the “established” rules of conflict between the two that have been in place since Grapes of Wrath in 1996. So Hezbollah was trying to understand why Israel didn’t simply drop bombs for a couple of days and then begin negotiating a prisoner exchange, as had been the pattern in the past. And I don’t think the answer is because Olmert is a visionary game-changing military mind….

    Uri Avnery also seems to concur with the point about the U.S. I’m goijng to quote at length from his latest:

    “As I said right at the beginning, this incident was a pretext for the war, not the reason for it. If so, what was the real reason? The desire of the civilian Olmert for military glory? The dream of the Chief of Staff, Dan Halutz, to prove that the Air Force could win a war alone, by a massive bombardment of the civilian population? The illusion that Hizbullah could be eliminated by one big strike?

    “When Judge Winograd tried to explain why a part of the report must be kept secret, the words he used attracted no attention: ‘The security of the state and its foreign relations’. Foreign relations? What foreign relations? Relations with whom? There is only one reasonable answer: relations with the United States.

    “That could be the crux of the matter: Olmert fulfilled an American wish. President Bush wanted to install his protégé, Fouad Siniora, as ruler in Beirut. For that end, Hizbullah, the main Lebanese opposition force, had to be eliminated. Also, Bush wanted to effect a regime change in Syria, one of the main obstacles to American ambitions in the region.

    “I believe that this is the missing link in Winograd’s chain. “

  25. WE all know it is the begining of the end for america and israel in thr middle east. this murder and destruction cannot continue.

  26. Pingback: A Sinister Foreign Influence § Unqualified Offerings

  27. Pingback: America is a Jewish Colony: Olmert reveals all « Therearenosunglasses’s Weblog

  28. Omar Figura says:

    I’m working on looking and searching for the problems or errors of different blogengine to prevent problems or errors in my blog site and also to know the solution to fix different problems or errors about this matter.

  29. I do not normally submit but I appreciated your weblog a lot.

  30. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

  31. hey says:

    What i don’t understood is in fact how you are not really a lot more neatly-liked than you may be right now. You are so intelligent. You understand thus significantly in the case of this topic, produced me for my part believe it from a lot of numerous angles. Its like women and men aren’t interested unless it is something to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs nice. All the time take care of it up!|

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *