Sunday, April 29, 2007
And as far as I'm concerned, it couldn't happen to a more deserving pair.
Along with all the revelations and ongoing criminal investigations against Israeli PM Olmert , the other shoe is about to drop when the Winograd Commission releases its report tomorrow on the mishandling of the Lebanon War.
Several Israeli media outlets have already given the public over there previews, and it isn't pretty.
The report criticizes Olmert and defense minister Amir Peretz for failing to put contingency planning into action that had been drawn up long before the war.
It describes how Olmert refused to allow the IDF to make a ground incursion in force into Lebanon but essentially had no plan to propose instead... so , according to the committee the war was grossly mismanaged and decisions were hastily made on the fly while Hezbollah created chaos in Northern Israel.
As for our friend Amir Peretz, the report cites him for his lack of military command experience and for essentially bypassing the Israeli ministry of defense so that in the end he was running the war personally with Olmert without the necessary knowledge to do so!
The report even said that Peretz's decision to run the war this way was motivated by irrelevant personal considerations ( his ego, perhaps?) and that perhaps he was negligent in even accepting the post of defense minister in the first place.
As for ex-IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, the commission criticizes him for arrogance, underestimating the Katyusha rocket threat Israel faced and quashing criticism within military ranks. Even though Halutz has already resigned, the report may implicate senior officers who colluded with him in this, and thus may implicate senior officers who are still in the IDF.
So why are these buffoons still in office? Carl in Jerusalem at Israel Matzav has a good explanation on what it would take to remove Olmert as Prime Minister. Like impeaching a president, it takes a lot of time and a concensus from the Knesset.
But things may be looking up.
Unlike Halutz, Olmert and Peretz refused to do the decent thing and resign, but they may not be able to put that off for too much longer.
Oddly enough, it appears that both the Israeli Left and the Israeli Right may be uniting to force Olmert's hand, as none other than Yossi Beilen and Bibi Netanyahu met secretly on Friday to discuss the report and the possibility of elections.
"Olmert's fate will be similar to that of Golda Meir's after the Yom Kippur war," said Beilin.
And my favorite Israeli politician, the courageous Effie Eitam (National Union-NRP) called for new elections. He said that "the commission's conclusions on Olmert, Peretz and Halutz's failures verify the public's feeling that the government had failed and that it should resign."
I also expect the Israeli public to come out in force calling for Olmert's ouster. Israel is a small and fairly vibrant democracy, where people don't hesitate to button hole politicians and read them the riot act.
Both Olmert and his Kadima party are highly unpopular, and this could very possibly be what pushes them over the cliff.
Good riddance. And hopefully, just in time.
Posted by Freedom Fighter at 5:48 PM