< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: Israel's Leaders are Cowards

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Israel's Leaders are Cowards

That's why they have taken the easy, but ineffective, way out by trying to defuse Hezbollah rockets by bombing them. If the last half of the twentieth century taught anything, it is that you can't win a war with surgical air strikes; you can only win by sending troops (a lot more than your adversary has) to do the patient and dangerous work of clearing the enemy from every house and hole-in-the-ground in the territory you invade.

I was encouraged for Israel when I heard a few days ago that the Israeli cabinet had approved a larger ground assault--but obviously that was deceptive. They have a half a million troops but have so far committed only a few thousand, arguably not significantly more than Hezbollah has on the ground.

They are cowards. Not their soldiers, or even their air force--but their leadership. For them, the errant bombs (and when you're killing birds with bombs, then all bombs are errant) are better than Viagra--a reassurance of their potency punctuated and reinforced by the howls and screams of their victims, not women only but also children.

Israeli civilians pay the price for their leaders' cowardice, continued rocket attacks bringing death and destruction to a population that depended on its leaders to protect them.

Come to think of it the Israeli leadership is a lot like the American--old men who've lost their influence and try to regain it by cheap wars. Trouble is, it doesn't work.