Friday, September 15, 2006

Pressure Grows on Israeli Government

As well it should. Not only to Israel engage in a war that was morally bankrupt, it was also a tactical disaster. There is no doubt who the real winner in the conflict was. Iran has grown stronger and stronger in recent years. The removal of Saddam, thanks to the naive American government, played right into their hands. For years Saddam had been a mortal enemy of Iran, as the US government is only too aware. Now, however, the picture is very much different. Iran's enemy is riven with conflict and could turn to civil war at any moment, leaving Iran in a very powerful position in the region.

This position was exacerbated by the invasion of Lebanon by Israeli forces. It is well documented that Iran has ties with Hizbollah, and any attack on Hizbollah is clearly an attack upon Iran. The fact that Israel failed to defeat Hizbollah has now emboldened the Iranian regime and they are now in an enviable position in the region. The people of Lebanon support Hizbollah now more than ever and by extension, Iran. Furthermore, Iran is gaining unprecedented support throughout the region. Tactically, it could not be worse for Israel. The country that it believes to be intent on its destruction now holds all the cards in the region. It is, to all intents and purposes, a disaster for the Israeli government. Furthermore, things seem to be taking a turn for the worse.

Ehud Olmert is coming under increasing pressure from his military for the attack on Lebanon. Israel's former chief of staff, Moshe Ya'alon, attacked the government's ground offensive. According to Ya'alon, the ground invasion 'had no substantive security-political goal, only a spin goal.' He went on to add that he believed the decision to launch the ground offensive 'corrupt'. Coming from a former military chief, this is probably the strongest criticism Olmert has had to face so far. Furthermore, a general in the reserves has called on the chief of the IDF to quit for his role in the offensive in Lebanon.

There can be no doubt, despite the bleating of many on the far-right, that this was a huge error of judgement by Olmert. Not only has he conducted a war that was entirely immoral, killing many hundreds of innocent civilians and unarmed international observers, he has also strengthened the very people he sought to destroy. There can be no doubt that Olmert's days are numbered for his gross folly.