Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Uri Avnery dumps on Dan Halutz - wicked stuff

Israel's Exercise in Escapism - by Uri Avnery:
Dan Halutz has already drawn the conclusion and resigned. True, in the Book of Proverbs (24:17) the Bible commands us: "Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth," but, frankly, I permitted myself to rejoice and verily mine heart was gladdened.

The story started when Halutz was commander of the Air Force. In order to kill the Hamas leader Salah Shehadeh, he ordered the dropping of a one-ton bomb on his house, which also killed 15 civilians, including nine children.

We sent him and his colleagues letters, warning them that we may sue them for war crimes. When Halutz was asked how he feels when releasing such a bomb, he answered that he feels a slight bump on his wing. He added that we were traitors, and that we should be brought to trial. (Treason is the only crime still punishable by death under Israeli law.)

When Halutz was appointed chief of staff, we protested in front of the General Staff building. The protest was not only motivated by moral considerations, profound as they were. We also warned against giving the command of the army to a person whose boastful style testified to his being reckless, irresponsible, and devoid of judgment.

Now comes the Winograd commission and repeats almost the same words. But in the meantime 119 Israeli soldiers, 40 Israeli civilians, and about a thousand Lebanese have been killed – because the pitiful political leadership was mesmerized by this winged nincompoop.

Of course, all this only reminds us of the unutterably terrible deathbed statement of the Swedish statesman Oxenstierna as quoted by Barbara Tuchman, "Know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed."

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