Sunday, September 03, 2006

Counter Attack

Just as commenter Carol Herman has been predicting, voices are rising against the Reserve Soldier's demonstrations for a house cleaning in the Israeli Government. Starting at the top. Y-Net News reports:

Three weeks after the end of fighting in Lebanon , while some reservists are protesting the results of the war and demanding Israeli political and military leaders step down, other reservists are aiming their criticism at their fellow men in arms.

“Childishness,” “irresponsibility,” and “shooting ourselves in the foot” – these are just some of the expressions a group of reservists used to describe their colleagues’ protest in a letter they sent out this week.
Then one of the anti-protesters spells it out:
“As we return home from serving in Lebanon, we are disappointed to discover that in the past few weeks the public discussion has sunken into a dangerous whirl of rash and unthinking criticism, which strengthens and encourages Israel’s enemies,” they wrote.

“We call for an immediate stop to this practice which spells inevitable disaster. The irresponsible declarations of defeat along with the inappropriate demands to dismiss leaders only unjustly encourages our rivals, harms our deterrent abilities and frays the social unity. A nation that hastens to declare its own defeat, when it is its enemies who have failed, is a nation losing its sense.”
I have been mostly convinced (I did go wobbly for a few days) that not all of the Israeli Army "incompetence" was real. To let the enemy in on what was done and why to placate the protesters would be a setback.

As to won/loss I have been firmly on the side of Israel won since: Why Did Hizbollah Surrender? on 16 August.

Unlike Carol I did believe the protesters likely would bring down the government. I was wrong.


Anonymous said...


Whew. It's nice to be wrong, sometimes.

It's even better if you can learn from history. Really. This is true. And, I'll give you an example.

My favorite President is Lincoln. But the Civil War dragged on from 1860 to 1865, because Lincoln was a stubborn man. He was surrounded by INCOMPETENT generals. And, Ulysses S. Grant was surrounded by a hostile press.

Grant fought in the WEST. Basically, his military planning was better than anyone else's. But out in the "rear" ... which was what the WEST at the time was considered; Grant got short shrift. For a lot of reasons.

High among them was the fact that the journalists could go anywhere. It was about the "best covered war" you could get. Nobody stopped a journalist from going to the front.

Anyway, the journalists saw LEE (on the Confederate side) as the best general. He even dressed as one! (Grant, on the other hand, thought LEE was mediocre. The real talent, was the man Grant faced, JOHNSTON.) But history tends to go with those who report on wars. And, celebrities.

Grant had a superior officer, HALLECK, who thought Grant should be put out of business, early. Because he was a competitor. ANd, ALL of Grant's strategies differed from Halleck's. Halleck, basically believed you don't fight. You WAIT for your enemy to run out of steam. ANd, Halleck had other brainstorms, too. Always putting UNION soldiers in the path of defeat.

Okey dokey. However, Halleck HAD Lincoln's ear. Grant did not. Halleck spread rumors that Grant had no talent (when he won battles it was just "by luck.") And, Grant was a drunk, besides. NOT TRUE! Just ugly rumors fanned in Washington. Where, by the way, Halleck was put in charge of the UNION troops. Until the nightmare of losses added up. And, Lincoln SHIFTED GEARS. Three years into his own mismanagement (because he was Commander in Chief, without any military experience. Lincoln wrote to Grant and apologized. "You were right. I was wrong." Shows ya.

We enter into a lot of situations not knowing outcomes. And, having to guess. Lincoln was man enough to realize his mistakes. (Alas, this Bush President lacks that skill.)

Today, Grant is studied in military colleges, because his manuevers were FAST and brilliantly conceived.

Yes. He fought wars VICIOUSLY. Repeatedly hitting his enemies. Until they UNCONDITIONALLY SURRENDERED. Then, he turned around, and let them go.

Because so much of this stuff is COUNTER-INTUITIVE. Letting Confederate soldiers go home, after defeat; sent them home to complain and whine. And, this dampened the spirits of those who were already getting tired from the fighting.

Because Grant was good to his prisoners, the other side had soldiers who could put down their weapons FAST. (Almost as fast as the French, here, if you get my drift.)

But this is what it does. Grant said the job of soldiering is to KILL people. (Patton, who studied Grant, also said the same things during WW2. We're here to kill the Germans! We do it to them. So they do not do it to us.) This means the rate of fire is rapid. To create all the psychological fears in your enemies as possible.

But you have a two-fold AIM. First, of course. To KILL your enemies. But ALSO to get them to quit. As soon as soldiers run away, you've WON.

In Liddell-Hart's updated release of his text book STRATEGY, he points out that the A-BOMB is useless. (It kills civilians. It puts you at a disadvantage when you win; because you have no friendlies among the civilians who would support you.) You always want to MAKE FRIENDLIES. It's a WHOLESALE IDEA that brings in the customers, retail.

I think, in time, both Olmert and Amir Peretz will be PRAISED. They did the necessary political stuff to see that the enemies of Israel remained off balance. (Including, Mr. Snap His Fingers, himself; Bush. With his Saudi pals dictating that Israel could go to syria. Where, when it was over; the UN would demand that Israel "give back the Golan." Tit-for-tat.

Believe me, Olmert's a smart man. And, he did it without spitting on Condi. HE LET KOFI SPIT ON CONDI. And, he let Chirac blow up her skirt. She's got no career left, now. Because Americans aren't buying #1701 crap. (Kerry would sell crap like this to the Europeans. It is so "nuanced." Kerry lost, though. And, didn't become president.) You could learn lots of lessons from this.

Bibi wants to be PM. he wanted it so bad he took on Arik Sharon; who split from the Likud. Now, he thought, hmm. Bibi could do better taking on Olmert. (Even though on March 28th, the Israeli's handed Bibi his hat. He sits there with 12 seats. More than a minyan. Less than a baker's dozen. He ought'a wear a helmet when he goes out to play hardball with other politicians.)

Amir Peretz? Keep in mind that Ronald Reagan, too, spent YEARS as the President of the Screen Actors Guild. A UNION. (I know. Peretz doesn't speak English. So how would I know he could sit in his chair, like Reagan did, and hold meetings?) Hint. Hint. Hint. See the similarities growing? One guy says "A, B, C," and the other says "aleph, bet, gimmel." One was tall. The other is short. But don't underestimate Peretz. And, the fact that the VOTERS like him. His buddy politicians don't? Wait till they face another election.

Sure. Politics, like wars, is not for the faint-hearted.

And, Journalists, with so many losses now, under their belt. Are dying for victory. So they're gonna take "Plame" aim at Olmert. I'll bet ya here, they do not pass GO! But it can take 3 years. Ditto, for Mazuz' mishigas.

Anonymous said...


Just to continue the lesson: The Civil War was the time the PRESS grew hostile to government.

And, as I said, because of the rail system, and NO government controls, just about anybody could walk up and onto a battlefield. Common sense, of course, had lots of people running in the opposite direction.

While GRANT suffered from bad press. Halleck, a terrible "do nothing" pompous general, actually had Lincoln's ear. And, Lincoln had NO MILITARY TRAINING WHAT.SO.EVER! This disadvantage didn't stop him, though, when he went thru a few generals, to dictate that he was Commander In Chief. And, Halleck used the press to berate Grant. And, to extoll his own virtures. Which were really NON-EXISTENT. Today? We know this! Because there's a record that's been examined. The BRIT's doing a better job at "battle analysis" than the Americans.

(Which does explain why Arik Sharon, after 1967's war, was thrilled to go to England, to study at a prestigious military college (whose name escapes, me, now.)

In Warrior, just to keep this aside going; Arik Sharon met Montgomery. When Mongomery snickered that "arabs were five minute fighters.)

Arik Sharon took exception to this. Because he understood the anti-Semitic hositily behind Montgomery's remark. SO SHARON STOOD UP AND SAID THE ARABS WERE HEROIC FIGHTERS. (The un-heroic ones flee the battlefield. Just as they do in every war, and with every general.) Wellington? He says the "straggler's" come back.

Back on point: GRANT had fielded so many soldiers, that where there were battles, there were soldiers running away; or staying far out of harm's way, by straggling behind.

If you remember Patton's remark, that "it's the coward who gets killed on the battlefield. NOT the man who runs into fire, shooting more rapidly than his enemy can return this, lives another day.)

If you've heard this. Good. If not, who cares?

Grant was NOT in the back with the reporters! Instead, these guys talked to the few. Who were always bedraggled. And, scared. As well as disgruntled. So, they complained. A LOT. And, this is what was telegraphed to New York City. The press' capital.

And, the rumor of Grant being drunk? That was Halleck. Giving off the cuff, and off the record remarks to disparage America's GREATEST GENERAL.

True. Lincon was in the dark. As I've already mentioned, he fired FREMONT in 1861, when as the top general in the West, WHO COULD WIN BATTLES, he let the slaves go free. Was it Kentucky? I don't remember! But Lincoln wasn't about to swallow letting slaves go free!

Think about it.

Becuase over time Lincoln EVOLVED.

Where, here,today, I don't see Bush going any further than what he was like when he first took office. A rich kid, full of entitlements. And, Saudi friends. Who talks a good game about fighting terror. And, then is so wishy-washy when it came, this summer, to really standing behind Israel.

So you got a lot of bad press reports about Olmert. Happens.

Olmert's got tough skin. And, most Israelis' who voted Olmert into office, are not unhappy with what they see. The likelihood that this game of political musical chairs will amount to much? Ya know, I can't predict the future. But I'd still be amazed if Bibi ever becomes prime minister. Or even gets into Olmert's government.

Ehud Barak? Brighter than Bibi. But just the same. A man who is full of himself. And, like Hallack, above, if the press listens to him, he'll belittle others at the drop of a hat.

Mazuz? Chasing Haim Ramon? And, Katzav? Reminds me of what's happened to Libby. Where, again, to Bush, Libby is expendible because he's a Jew.

Let history decide. The TRUTH usually comes out on top, ya know?

And, this President? We've only got two years more to go. If he hugs his right? He'll lose mainstream voters. Even if people vote the GOP, they're not gonna climb on board and identify themselves as "party members."

While in Israel, too. Parties come. And, parties go. But Olmert's a far better prime minister than you think! (Don't forget, Arik Sharon chose him for the very chair he sits in now.) And, lots of times the TRUTH is counter-intuitive.

Wasn't it Richard Feynman who said if you understand Quantum Physics you don't know what you're doing? Smae here.

That's why history books are so good! Thanks for letting me take up so much space. I hope, M. Simon, you find this stuff good. I find your blog EXCELLENT! And, I appreciate how you can see things clearly (like Lincoln did), instead of just letting mistakes pile up.

linearthinker said...

Carol: " study at a prestigious military college (whose name escapes, me, now.)"

Was it Sandhurst?

Morning coffee wouldn't be as good without a Carol comment to read.

Anonymous said...



"I stayed on as paratroop commander until the autumn of 1957, when Dayan asked me to attend staff college in England. [He's 29 years old, here.]

"What is important is for you to meet the people, learn the language, understand how they think, see what their culture is like and the way they live.

Dayan's rule was that during the week Israeli offiers had to live at the college in Surry with their British Peers ....

Wives and family would stay in London. [Meeting on the weekends, there.] [Note he was still married to his first wife, who died in a car accident, later on back in Israel. Their baby son, Gur, was 10 months old. He too, would be dead by a gun accident, later on.]

"Life in the British Army was a remarkable experience ...

... "Thus I met Queen Elizabeth briefly. 1958 was the hundredth anniversary of the staff college ...

"When she asked me, "How do you do?" I foargot that the propert response was simply, "thank you, ma'am," and added, "How do you do, ma'am? [mementarily startling the queen.]

But there was also substance to their traditions, not just form. I spent time in the Imperial War Museum looking at the weapons the British had prepared when they were expecting a German invasion in 1940. Behind those shotuns, spears, and clubs you could see courage and an iron determination that seemed almost hereditary.

"For the required analytical paper I chose the topic: Command Interference in Tactical Battfield Decisions: British and German Approaches."

The basic German model was the the commandofficers should be in the very front. Rommel, for example, wanted to be where he could respond instantly to emergencies or exploit the unexpectedopening -- where he could intervene personally in tactical decisions. In the Western Desert he was right there with his forward tanks. At the same time his British counterpart Mongomery had painstakingly planned his battles, THEN GONE TO SLEEP, believing that in essence his job was over.

"The subject was just down my alley, and while I was doing the research it occurred to m e to ASK Sir Basil Liddell Hart ...

[Sharon wrote to Liddell-Hart, at his home near Marlow. This brought back the invitation for the two men to meet.]

[It comes out here, in an entertaining way, that other officers accused Sharon of getting this invitation, "because Liddell-Hart WAS A JEW!." When I first read this the whole thing flew over my head. Thanks to M.Simon, NO MORE IN IGNORANCE, HERE, AM I. Kisses on your head. Back to the book]

The only racial insult I heard thatyear was not even directed at Jews but at Arabs. On one occasion Field Marshal Montgomery came to lecture us and delivered his opinion that THE ARABS WERE "TEN-MUNUTE FIGHTERS." I stood up and objected, telling him, "I don't think that's the situation." I knew better than he. And, besides, if Montgomery thught they were ten-minute fighters, then maybe he considered us twleve-minute fighters."

That's all, folks. Now don't go and spill your coffee. [Hope you liked these excerpts as much as I did in retrieving them. WARRIOR. By the man, himself. PERFECT.]