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Old 08-27-2006, 09:13 AM
SeC SeC is offline
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Default Who's to Blame? Israel on the Slide


Who's to Blame? Israel on the Slide

By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

In the aftermath of the Lebanon disaster you can open up the Israeli press, particularly the Hebrew language editions, and find fierce assaults on the country's elites from left, right and center.

The overall panorama is one of chickens of all ages coming home to roost. Small pustules highlight larger rot. Chief of staff Dan Halutz, a narcissistic bully like a mini-Patton, though without the latter's tactical talents, took time off the morning he ordered the terror bombing of south Beirut to tell the Bank Leumi to sell his stock portfolio before the market plunged which it soon did by nearly 10 per cent.

The capacity of the US armed forces to fight intelligently and effectively has been eroded not necessarily a bad thing of course -- by a system of graft-ridden procurement that favors expensive weapons systems validated by bogus tests. Israel's supposed military requirements have been a particularly ripe sector of that racket and the consequences are plain to see. Israel's receipt of batteries of Patriot missiles were no doubt hugely profitable for the parties involved in the transaction, but in defensive function entirely useless. The Patriot missile batteries stationed near Haifa and Safed, much trumpeted by the IDF played no significant role in the recent conflict.

Israel's generals paraded on tv in resplendent uniforms even as those in northern Israel too poor to flee, found either no shelters at all (particularly in sectors inhabited by Israeli Arabs) or, in the words of Reuven Pedatzur in Ha'aretz, "sat for more than one month in stinking shelters, some of them without food or minimal conditions."

Continue to read:
http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn08262006.html

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