Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Anatomy of a Colossal Defeat

Gilad Atzmon generates some striking phrases:

Limor and Shelah do not stop just with the Army and its commanders, they skilfully convey an image of a society that has lost its way, a society that has gradually become detached from its own reality and from its surrounding environment. A society that is facing total moral collapse, led by an egotistic, self-centred leadership, both politically and militarily.... Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and an insignificant number of warriors, proved to be the first Arabs to defeat the Israeli Army on the ground. Their victory left Israel in shatters [tatters?]. The Israeli power of deterrence disappeared completely.... The book is a glimpse into Israeli society in what seems to be its final dysfunctional yet destructive state. I am convinced that those Americans who have been moronically sponsoring the Israeli death apparatus for almost four decades, those who still believe that Israel is a ‘regional super power’ better read this journal of Israeli military cowardice and general political malfunctioning.

Though the book wouldn’t say it, the message is rather clear. Israel operates as a megalomaniac violent ghetto motivated by some bizarre murderous zeal flooded with American lethal technology.

As I've said before, one should negotiate from a position of strength, and therefore Israel should negotiate immediately a comprehensive settlement with the Arabs. The terms of the settlement are known and have been known for 40 years. 1967. Minor and mutual border adjustments. A practical resolution of the refugee question. But tragically of course, this is not going to happen, because of the fanaticism and blindness of Jewish Zionism (not to mention seemingly unlimited American financial, diplomatic and military support).

Israel and the global jewish community have yet to come to terms with the intrinsic evil and racism of the concept of a 'Jewish State'. It's somewhat similar to the Australian concept of a 'White Australia.' At a certain point (round about the 60s enlightenment for Australia) an awareness develops that this is an embarrassment.

Ok, most Australians might have agreed with this concept, many might still agree with it, and it could still be a predominantly White country, both now and in the future. But we're going to have to drop the concept of 'White Australia', and never mention it again. In addition, any laws, immigration or otherwise, discriminating against people on the basis of race will have to be systematically eliminated. There is no other possibility in a civilized society.

When the IDF was asked to engage some tiny groups of lightly trained paramilitary enthusiasts, it collapsed shamefully. It collapsed in spite of its technological superiority; it was defeated in spite of its overwhelming firepower, in spite of Bush’s and Blair’s disgraceful support. The Israeli Army collapsed because it was incompetent, it was not ready to fight, it did not know how to fight and most concerning for the Israelis, it didn’t even realise what it was fighting for.

Well, who would want to die for nothing, or for lies by corrupt government and military leaders? Time for a volunteer (mercenary) army, at least. In the early days, it was unity of people and leadership that made the Israeli army strong, while the 'Arab facade' leadership model made the Arabs weak and divided. But now with Hezbollah (and perhaps Hamas) the situation is reversed, as it inevitably must.

As time went by, with military failure becoming public knowledge, the more desperately Olmert, Peretz and Halutz tried to change the course of the war just to save their future careers. Though they realised that the chances of achieving a victory were melting down by the hour, they were determined to present the public something that would look like a victory or even simply as an achievement. This is apparently what political survival in the Israeli democracy means for real, you have to present something that may look like a victory.

This is the cold, monstrous evil of state power. Most people would be compassionate and sorrowful about the death of someone they knew or even just knew of; but for a narrow political or military advantage, maybe even nothing more than a temporary blip in the opinion polls, a human being could pointlessly condemn to death dozens of his own people, and never lose a minute's sleep over it.

Bush, Blair and Howard, acting criminally, based on obvious lies, have achieved the staggering slaughter of more than one million Iraqi people, and a good few thousand of their own citizens, and the astonishing destruction of a whole country. Would they be concerned about this? In the slightest?

Are you kidding me?

In order to save the political careers of Olmert and Peretz, the IDF launched more and more pointless risky operations with very limited tactical value. These operations failed one after the other without achieving a single thing. Yet they exposed the IDF’s weaknesses. They revealed an Army and a political leadership in a state of a panic. Towards the final hours of the war, some isolated patches of Israeli special units were stranded and starved along the southern Lebanese front with no access to water and food. A few units of Hezbollah warriors had managed to encircle top Israeli commandos. Seemingly, no one in Israel dared to risk logistic convoys into the battlefield. Food and ammunition that was dropped from cargo airplanes fell into the hands of the Hezbollah. In some areas, the wounded IDF commandos were lying on the ground, waiting many hours for rescue units. The defeat was total. The humiliation was colossal. Not only was the ‘Israeli Defence Army’ unable to defend Israel anymore, it even failed in defending itself.

Limor and Shelah expose many more interesting issues:

Brigadiers who failed to fight alongside their soldiers, instead they preferred to run the battle from secluded bunkers inside Israel.

Helicopter gunships were not allowed to enter Lebanese air space just to avoid the risk of being shot down, as a result, Israeli commandos were left to fight Hezbollah on equal terms (lacking air support).

A Lieutenant Colonel who refused to lead his soldiers into Lebanon admitted being deficient in operative tactical knowledge.

Reservist soldiers were heading towards the front with hardly any of their combatant gear because of some severe shortage in the army emergency stockrooms. Some of those reservists ended up spending their own money so that they could buy the necessary gear.

Its really a ferocious article by Atzmon, and as they say, go read the whole thing.

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