Thursday, March 08, 2007

Kidnappings Pre-text for War

I had always thought that the attacks on Hezbollah and Lebanon last summer were the result of an over-emotional reaction to Hezbollah's provocations following similar attacks by Hamas shortly before. I appear to have been wrong about that (via War & Piece):

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Winograd Commission that his decision to respond to the abduction of soldiers with a broad military operation was made as early as March 2006, four months before last summer's Lebanon war broke out.

In his testimony, Olmert claimed he had held more meetings on the situation in Lebanon than any of his recent predecessors. The first meeting was held on January 8, 2006, four days after Olmert was called to take the place of Ariel Sharon, who had fallen into a coma.

Further meetings were held in March, April, May and July, after Corporal Gilad Shalit was abducted to the Gaza Strip.

The day before he appeared before the commission, Major General Gadi Shamni, Olmert's military secretary, presented its members with the schedule of the meetings on Lebanon.

The scenario presented in the various assessments reflected prior incidents: the abduction of soldiers from Israeli territory accompanied by heavy cross-border shelling. Then-chief of staff Dan Halutz said such an incident would have far-reaching consequences for Israel's deterrent capability. Halutz said Israel could not show restraint in the face of a kidnapping in the north, and it had to respond. Olmert testified that he accepted this stance.
Perhaps they are now wishing for a do-over.


adam said...


Dan said...

It would have been very imprudent of them NOT to plan such an attack, after all,having S. Lebanon under Hizballah (Iran) as a next door neighbor and not planning for war would be plain dereliction of duty. What they needed (and got) was moral pretext allowing the home front to sustain casualties without dissent. Too bad the execution was so bad.