[Marxism] Charles Krauthammer on Israel's Lost Moment

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Fri Aug 4 08:40:47 MDT 2006

(Israel has had a very long run, getting away with murder for 
decades. But if they cannot deliver, they won't be given much
slack or gratitude by Washington. They will receive as much
gratitude from Washington as the South Lebanese Army got from
their Israeli patrons. Cuban exile militant, should take note.)

Israel's Lost Moment

By Charles Krauthammer 
Friday, August 4, 2006; Page A17

Israel's war with Hezbollah is a war to secure its northern border,
to defeat a terrorist militia bent on Israel's destruction, to
restore Israeli deterrence in the age of the missile. But even more
is at stake. Israel's leaders do not seem to understand how ruinous a
military failure in Lebanon would be to its relationship with
America, Israel's most vital lifeline.


Hence Israel's rare opportunity to demonstrate what it can do for its
great American patron. The defeat of Hezbollah would be a huge loss
for Iran, both psychologically and strategically. Iran would lose its
foothold in Lebanon. It would lose its major means to destabilize and
inject itself into the heart of the Middle East. It would be shown to
have vastly overreached in trying to establish itself as the regional

The United States has gone far out on a limb to allow Israel to win
and for all this to happen. It has counted on Israel's ability to do
the job. It has been disappointed. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has
provided unsteady and uncertain leadership. Foolishly relying on air
power alone, he denied his generals the ground offensive they wanted,
only to reverse himself later. He has allowed his war cabinet
meetings to become fully public through the kind of leaks no serious
wartime leadership would ever countenance. Divisive cabinet debates
are broadcast to the world, as was Olmert's own complaint that "I'm
tired. I didn't sleep at all last night" (Haaretz, July 28). Hardly
the stuff to instill Churchillian confidence.

His search for victory on the cheap has jeopardized not just the
Lebanon operation but America's confidence in Israel as well. That
confidence -- and the relationship it reinforces -- is as important
to Israel's survival as its own army. The tremulous Olmert seems not
to have a clue.

letters at charleskrauthammer.com


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