In the beginning of the Second Lebanon War, early on, Hassan Nasrallah called to our leaders and warned that their inexperience should make them reconsider jumping into a war. In essence that is the conclusion of the Winograd Report handed out yesterday.
The report painted a clear, bleak picture of the three men that lead the country to war. Although the Winograd Committee was elected by Olmert and critics were quick to dub it a rubber stamp, this initial report shows they did the work required thoroughly, professionally and with a great deal of respectability.
Ignoring this report and not having these people removed from office (Olmert and Peretz), will both be detrimental and dangerous for Israel, and a step towards becoming a Third World Nation. The good news is that if we do become a Third World Nation, we wonâ€™t last that long anyway!
I went through a few pages and translated some excerpts of this frightening report. In case you want to read the initial report (all 171 pages) its available here in Hebrew (get a tissue out before you read this…).
Ehud Olmert was found to be the irresponsible, negligent in his duties and primarily at fault. As Prime Minister he was held accountable to the failures of the Second Lebanon War personally.
â€œhis personal decisions, and the process in which decisions were made, was flawed. The Prime Minister took a position without getting a clear plan for action or asking for one â€“ he therefore was unable to analyze the details of such a plan or approve it. Furthermore, Olmert never requested any alternative courses of action and did not display enough skepticism to the military options presented to him.
The Prime Minister also failed in leading the government to adopting ill conceived decisions, that he himself contributed to directly, in that he did not provide the guidance necessary for a clear decision making process. He also is accused of setting unrealistic goals and proclaiming that the war will not end until these goals were attained.â€
As for Amir Peretz our so called Minister of Defense. The Committee clearly stated that he did not fulfill his duties as army chief. No real surprise there.
â€œHis inexperience and lack of knowledge caused him to fail in all aspects of his job. During the whole period that was inspected by the Committee, Peretz did not request or examined a single military plan, did not check the readiness and preparedness of the armed forces. He did not examine in a broad view the methods of operation and how they relate to the intended goals proposed.â€
â€œWe believe that the decision by the Minister of Defense to accept the position, like the decision of the Prime Minister to appoint him the position, were political decisions that need to be examined on the political and public level only. One has to assume, for the benefit of the Minister, that if he had enough time he would have acquired the required competency. However, although lack of knowledge and proficiency in matters of his office should not prevent a man from taking a job, they are not to be celebrated or a reason for any pride. We found failures and deficiencies in every aspect of the Ministerâ€™s actionsâ€¦he did not take necessary steps that would augment his lack of skill and experience, like for example, using a professional consulting system external to the security forces.â€
Finally, Dan Halutz, the Chief of Staff. The committee laid at his feet an unprecedented amount of blame, never assigned before to a Chief of Staff. Halutz is now studying at Harvard Business School (MBA) and had Israeli reporters removed when they approached him for comments. The army is paying of course..
â€œThe committee found Dan Halutz personally and professionally responsible for the fact that on the day of the attack he did not have any realistic plans for the possibility of escalation on the Lebanese front. He did not present to government, knowing their inexperience, the complexities of the arena, the armyâ€™s perceptions and the physical limitations in readiness. When Halutz received the Green Light, he avoided reserve army recruitment. He was a major contributing factor to the deficiencies and failures associated with the decisions of going to war. The army as a whole was uncreative in its approach.â€
The committee clearly brings to light the festering infection at the core of Israelâ€™s leadership. The lack of professional, educated, inspiring leaders has never been so apparent. In a final statement about the governmentâ€™s role in the war the committee stated that the government as a whole should be held accountable. Ministers voted without knowing what were the exact plans going forward â€“ that as a result of over relying on army reports.
â€œThe government as a whole and each of its members is responsible. It acted in haste and without receiving any assessments that detailed the consequences of their decision on an overly aggressive military action. This decision was made without examining the possible results and demanding an orderly debate on the options. The government of Israel and each of its members, did not act using their better judgment, care and responsibility as required.â€
That pretty much describes the problem with our people in government. The sad thing is that unfortunately I donâ€™t think they have the tools to be good leaders, they are just not quality people. Each of them will sell their mother for money and the only benefit they see associated with being a member of government is their own personal wealth and power. Just look at the conviction rate and investigations of political figures and you’ll see the ideological bankruptcy we face.
This war is proof of how bad things can get when a used car salesman runs the show. When the Minister of Defense, a bumbling idiot, a wanabe socialist, bargains his way into the most sensitive position in the country and then war actually breaks out. The welfare of the country was sold for a political bargain price and the Hezbollah was there to call the bluff and serve us the bill – a body count of 139 people.
We need to start over. Get back to basics. Find the people that donâ€™t want the job, that gave up and bring them back. The people that have been made sick by the low moral fiber that passes for leadership in Israel today.