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Currnet Issues Foreign Policy Oslo/Peace Process

Urgently Needed: A Patton or a Sherman

It’s no accident that the United States named two tanks after its greatest generals, George Patton and William Tecumseh Sherman. Does the Israel Defense Forces have the equivalent of one of these warriors? If so, can he now be placed at the head of the IDF, which of course would require Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz to resign?

But does Prime Minister Ehud Olmert have the guts to place such man at the head of Israel’s army—to snatch victory in the jaws of defeat in Lebanon—and never mind the clamors of the nations and the media?

The war is not over. It will continue until an international force is deployed in southern Lebanon, which could take weeks. This is enough time for a “Patton” or “Sherman” led army, supported by air power, to eradicate Hezbollah.

Before continuing, the following facts should be borne in mind: (1) Lebanon’s 128-member parliament has 23 Hezbollah representatives. (2) Lebanon’s government has two Hezbollah ministers. (3) Various Lebanese parties have militias fighting against Israel. Lebanon must therefore be deemed a belligerent in this conflict.

Upon the failure to return two Israeli captives, Israel should have declared war on Lebanon. This would have startled the world, but it would have given Israel the initiative as well as the incentive and legal grounds for launching a massive land invasion of a country that has become—and should be called—an Iranian proxy.

Unfortunately, Israel’s present government lacks the boldness and stamina required for this war. Military scientists and masters of warfare like Patton and Sherman call for a concentration of forces and uninterrupted attack. No cease fires, which only allow the enemy to regroup and rearm. A massive ground invasion using thousands of tanks and artillery supported by air power would overcome any resistance in Lebanon.

It’s absolutely outrageous that more than a million Israelis have been driven from their homes or have to live in bomb shelters—and the property destroyed and damaged by more than 2,000 Ketusha rockets has been horrendous. This would never have happened if we had a government of men instead of puerile politicians.

This war did not begin on July 12, 2006. This war began on May 15, 1948 (if not earlier), and it has never ceased from that day forward.

To enjoy peace one must be prepared for war. But instead of being prepared for war, which would require Israel’s educational system to teach youth about the genocidal goals of our enemies on the one hand, and basic principles of warfare on the other, one Israeli government after another has pursued a cowardly and mendacious peace process, which has disarmed our people and armed our enemies.

It all began with morally obtuse politicians ignorant of history who sought to establish diplomatic relations with Arab dictatorships.

Consider the Israel-Egyptian peace treaty of March 26, 1979. In a New York Times interview dated October 19, 1980 Anwar Sadat boasted: “Poor Menachem [Begin], he has his problems … After all, I got back … the Sinai and the Alma oil fields, and what has Menachem got? A piece of paper.”

A year after signing the March 1979 treaty, Sadat ominously declared: “Despite the present differences with the Arab ‘rejectionist’ rulers over the Egyptian peace initiative, the fact remains that these differences are only tactical not strategic, temporary not permanent.” Has not Egypt been the major military supplier of the PLO in Gaza?

Now ponder this: Negotiation with Arab despots fosters the moral equivalence manifested in the United Nations and the American State Department. Hobnobbing with Arab despots dignifies them, perpetuates their despotic rule, and advances their hostile designs. Israel’s ruling elites, especially during the past four decades, have thus been an unmitigated disaster; and that Israel has nonetheless prospered is despite the baleful influence of these elites.

Returning to the urgent need of a Patton or a Sherman: The suffering of our people can only be justified by a long-lasting victory. Nothing less should be demanded of the Olmert government. Let it therefore be forewarned of dire consequences should it fail to fulfill its duty.

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