More on Olmert's War DitherUPDATE: Michael Widlanski at Front Page Magazine has more on the schism between government and army over the conduct of the Lebanon campaign.
As Israel nears the end of four weeks of fighting along the Lebanese border and seven weeks of fighting in Gaza, Israeli decision-makers appear guided by three main principles:
*--avoidance of diplomatic sanctions;
*--avoidance of military casualties;
*-- and avoidance of domestic political blame for the countless and obvious mistakes in judgment being made at the upper levels of government and the army.
Prime Minister Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and Israeli Army (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz have reiterated the slogan "there is no military solution to terror." They have studiously avoided setting some clear and measurable war goals that look obvious to former Israeli officials and IDF officers, including:
*--Destroying the military machine of the Iranian-financed and controlled Hizballah terror organization that has continued to strike Israel even after Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000;
*-- And Stopping the daily rocket fire on Israel from Lebanon and Gaza.
None of these goals has been met, and many Israeli analysts can scarcely hide their disgust with the government's performance.
If Olmert manages to achieve precisely nothing in this war except strengthening support for Hizbollah - I think all of the civilian upheaval on the part of the Lebanese - and the Israelis - borders on fiasco.