The Winograd commission report accuses Olmert of following the army’s recommendations and invading Lebanon instead of seeking a political solution. What solution? A year after the war, the entire international community still fails to find a political solution to the problem of Hezbollah. Curiously, Livni – who called on Olmert to resign following the Winograd report – now accuses the government of ignoring the army’s recommendations to invade Gaza. Leftist members of the Winograd commission might not like that, but quite often war is the only option, and the army is the best expert on war, one well worth listening to.
The Winograd report criticizes Olmert for the pitiful preparedness of Israeli army. What did Olmert have to do with that? He became prime minister two months before the war. Olmert did not choose the pathetic peacenik Peretz for Defense Minister – he is the Labor party’s man; Olmert had to accept him. Even Shimon Peres, who’d lost Labor’s primaries to Peretz, didn’t want him as Defense Minister. The responsibility for Peretz the windbag leading the Israeli military effort lies with the Israelis who gave the Labor socialists their 19 seats in the Knesset.

It was Ariel Sharon who dealt severe blows to Israeli army. The supply-side deficiencies were easy to overcome; the real problem in the Lebanese war was the absence of experienced, top-level commanders. Sharon purged the army of all the respected leaders who opposed the evacuation of Gaza. Sharon deliberately let the army fall into disarray so that a strong militant spirit wouldn’t impede the disengagement. The anti-settler brainwashing was incompatible with rigorous military training.

The Winograd commission gave many dead-end recommendations like a stronger voice for the Foreign Minister in the government’s decision-making. If Israeli Foreign Ministers had been deciding military matters, the Arabs would have drowned us in the sea long ago; “our” Foreign Ministers work to please their European colleagues.

Not incidentally, the Winograd report deals with the opening days of the war only. The leftists don’t care to learn about the war’s results or tactics, but only want to blame Olmert for any political failures. An enquiry which spans the entire period through the war’s end would have had to justify Olmert’s decision to fight: Hezbollah was dealt a blow as crushing as politically possible. The Winograd commission ominously skipped the pre-war events: Labor’s demands for withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 amid the clear evidence of a mounting Hezbollah presence there, Barak’s withdrawal and security arrangements that amounted to high treason, and the very unsettling fact that every Israeli administration, left or right, ignored Hezbollah’s training camps, supply depots, and bunkers.

Instead of proclaiming the corpse of Israeli politics rotten, the Winograd commission accuses Olmert of being a bad doctor.