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"Everything now revolves around an attempt to save Israel's face"

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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:10 PM
Original message
"Everything now revolves around an attempt to save Israel's face"
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 08:14 PM by bigtree
Friday August 11, 2006

The search for an exit

Leader
The Guardian

The truth behind the diplomatic efforts to stop the fighting in Lebanon, a truth which also lies behind Israel's threat to expand the war if it is not satisfied with the outcome, is that everything now revolves around an attempt to save Israel's face. The Olmert government has to be given a chance to climb down without looking too much like a loser and allowing Israeli forces to stay in Lebanon for a while may, at least in Israel's estimation, meet that requirement. That is why the powers are working hard at the United Nations and elsewhere to persuade the Arab countries to soften their position on a continued Israeli presence. It is not so much that the Israeli Defence Forces want to stay so they can continue hammering Hizbullah, they are being told, but that the Israeli government wants them to stay on to give the Israeli public the feeling that "we showed them". Those are the words of the liberal writer Meron Benvenisti, one of numerous commentators in the Israeli press underlining the many faceted foolishness of the Lebanon operation.

The most fundamental fact is that Hizbullah was, it is pretty generally agreed, on the road toward demilitarisation well before this adventure. The logic of Lebanese politics pointed toward a slackening of the movement's ties with Syria and Iran and the progressive reduction of its military activities. In turn, Israel's logic should have been to put up with the occasional provocation and wait for Lebanon's internal evolution to bring changes. If it did not, there would have been time enough to change policy. There is a Greek proverb which says "you don't go to hell to light a cigarette". Even if the campaign in Lebanon should lead to a situation in which the demilitarisation of Hizbullah comes a little earlier, how can all the damage that has been done in the past month be justified by such a small improvement in Israel's security?

The loss of human lives, the destruction of houses, schools, workshops, roads, bridges and power lines in a small country that was still in the process of rebuilding itself, the huge burdens thrown on the international community, and, not least, the damage to Israel's reputation, far outweigh any gains. That icon of Israeli policy, the "deterrent image"of the Israeli Defence Forces, is badly dented, for Lebanon has shown not only a dismal combination of poor political judgment and inadequate intelligence on the civilian side, but a failure on the military side to achieve the decisive results promised. It should not be forgotten that, while attention has been focused on Lebanon, Israeli military actions in Gaza have killed almost 200 people, while a good proportion of the Palestine Authority's ministers and parliamentarians remain in detention. What little there was in the way of an Israeli plan for dealing with a Hamas leadership in Palestine lies in ruins.

The growing realisation that the Lebanon operation was a mistake and that it has ended in failure is putting the government under increasing strain . . . The veteran Israeli radical Uri Avnery predicted a few days ago that "the politicians will blame each other.

Disarray in the cabinet, and the decision to sideline the commander of the northern forces, suggest he was right. In the longer term, the more rows the Israeli establishment has over Lebanon the better. Facing up to the failure, and confronting the strategic errors which led to it, will be vital if Israel is to think through its problems in a rational way. The country desperately requires a period of honest debate. Meanwhile, it is not the task of diplomacy to strip away illusions or to deprive harassed governments of the excuses they need to ensure their political survival. Indeed it is often necessary to reinforce illusions and invent excuses so that nations can escape from traps of their own making. The Israelis need a way out, and the difficult task is to give them one without also storing up trouble for the future. The alternative is the continuation of a war that even the hawks no longer want to pursue.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/leaders/story/0,,1841985,00.h...
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fuzzypolitics Donating Member (38 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. Olmert's in deep...
And I don't think he can (politically) just give in. He's going to be in this for the long term. He's between a rock and a hard place, entirely of his own doing.

See more at: http://fuzzy.blog-city.com/
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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. just like Bush, we are in Iraq STILL so he can save FACE/Buttface....
I hate these idiots.
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MoseyWalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. the "news" today
certainly keeps one from following the latest military offensive in Lebanon, doesn't it?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
3. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. easy, now
this is the third article today about a reversal of the trend of support in Israel for the Lebanon invasion and assaults. Interesting stuff.

Cracks appearing in Israeli support for war
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Israeli war fervor slips
http://www.newspress.com/Top/Article/article.jsp?Sectio...
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burythehatchet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
4. Olmert's brief record should pave the way nicely for
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 08:23 PM by burythehatchet
uber-asshole Netanyahoo to take over.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. The Magistrate says they're discredited* in Israel
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 08:40 PM by bigtree
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burythehatchet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Who? Likud?
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. that's what he said.
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 08:33 PM by bigtree
I thought Likud would benefit from Olmerts failure, but he argued that Likud was formed to accomodate what some thought Sharon wanted, but apparently had no use for because of his settlement deal.

here it is:

The Likud, Sir, At Least For The Present

Is routed and discredited in Israel. The decision of its political inner circle to defy Sharon over the Gaza withdrawl was suicidal: they seem to have imaged they had a party Sharon needed, when the fact was Sharon was the only reason they had any mass popularity. Neither their war and settlement policies nor their domestic policies are very popular amonmg the Israeli people, and without the prestige of the "old lion" they have nothing.

Kadima, which Mr. Olmert inherited with the incapicitation of Sharon, was formed specifically to execute a policy of phased withdrawl from the lands over-run in '67, or at least most of them, and to do so unilaterally. There are many flaws, from a number of angles, in their vision, and it will fall far short of the ideal, and be unsatifactory to many. It does incorporate a further de facto annexation, namely the security barrier's course, and contemplates maintaining a signifigant portion of the settlements. Against all this, it does have the sovereign virtue of being practicable, as it is something it is in Israel's power to do without bogging down in negotations and hagglings. There is at least a possibility it is a course that will reduce the level of violence, and prove something most among the people of Arab Palestine can live with. My own view is that anything that cuts a zero or two off the right hand side of the casualty figures is to the good, and worth having, even if it is not the best conceivable outcome. There is no particular reason to believe Kadima will abandon the policy that is its forming purpose, and that is the most popular course among the people of Israel.
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sutz12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
8. Sounds a lot like our situation
No support to stay. Can't get out. No way for it to look good in the long run. Just stay there and bleed.

Just change Israel to USA, Olmert to Bush, Lebanon to Iraq.

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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
10. I was really sick of the political Zionist YESTERDAY ...
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
12. "ass"?
face my. ass.

War is more expensive than these asswipe civilian kadima jokers realized.

Now they need a way to save their asses, as they started a war for political
expediency and are guilty of war crimes for that, no matter who else is also...

sad... and they need to hide their asses... look for some criminal to cover.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. ass
face. whatever.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
13. well tsk tsk
Too bad Israel. You got yourself all pumped up figuring * would bail you out and it has not happened and it will not happen.

Now you must face yourself. Tough sh*t.

:kick:
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
15. Olmerts popularity plunges in Israel: poll
Olmerts popularity plunges in Israel: poll
(Reuters)

11 August 2006


JERUSALEM - Rising Israeli casualties and constant Hezbollah rocket attacks have sharply eroded public support in Israel for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his defence minister, an opinion poll showed on Friday.

The survey in the Haaretz newspaper found only 48 percent of Israelis were satisfied with Olmerts performance compared with popularity ratings of more than 75 percent in polls taken in the early stages of fighting against the Lebanese group.

Public support for Defence Minister Amir Peretz fell from 65 percent to 37 percent, the survey showed.

Commentary accompanying the survey said the continuing hostilities, which began on July 12 after Hezbollah seized two soldiers in a cross-border raid, mounting Israeli casualties and daily rocket attacks were to blame for the drops in popularity.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile...
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RagAss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:42 PM
Response to Original message
16. There is also a tactical concern as well.....
Up until now there has been light infantry resistance on the part of Hizbullah...clearly outgunned by Israel
but even according to the Israelis, putting up a decent fight....if the ground invasion is widened, most military folks feel Hizbullah will switch to guerrilla tactics.....3 man cells, hit and run engagements...the stuff 10 year wars are made of.....not what they need to put their military through just to "save face"...
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