Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Israeli generals are almost human. In the generals' war that has been conducted during and after the last Lebanon war ( although it already started years ago ) enormous egos, personal accounts and old sores play as much a role as professional insights and genuine concern for the army and for the state that that army protects. Moshe Ya'alon, the predecessor of the current Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, still has not forgiven Halutz, Ariel Sharon and his own predecessor, then Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, for the fact that he basically was replaced ( his appointment was not automatically extended, which is highly unusual ) during the build-up to the disengagement from Gaza. Even while in uniform he used every opportunity to tell the world how wrong the disengagement was, using the word 'spin' at several opportunities. The same word reoccurs in his attacks on Halutz, current Defense Minister Amir Peretz and PM Olmert. If I am not mistaken he is considering to join Likud, hoping to become Bibi's candidate for the Defense Ministry. One should not forget, as the former head of Military Intelligence Uri Saguy said, that Ya'alon also bears responsibility for some of the flaws that already have been 'uncovered' in the army's tactics, preparations etc. After all, those flaws often originate from decisions that were made or already being implemented when Ya'alon was Chief of Staff or Deputy-Chief of Staff. The criticism of generals who left the army service years ago often is less driven by personal motives and therefore should be taken even more seriously. The Israeli public should know about the failures made by generals and politicians during this war, but the main aim should not be waging private wars and settling political and personal scores but making sure that mistakes are corrected and not repeated, so that in the next confrontations with our enemies we will be better prepared and motivated.

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