The Winograd Commission appointed by the government to examine shortcomings during the prosecution of the recent war in Lebanon, issued a report this week thoroughly condemning the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister and the former Chief of Staff for “serious failure” and “rash decision making.” The Commission blasted everyone concerned in the July adventure for impulsiveness, inefficiency, incompetence, etc.
How strange! The political establishment and the jingoistic media had worked day and night for years to convince the public that there is an easy way to solve Israel’s security problem “if only the Israeli army would be allowed to win.” So, the government decided to “let the army win.”
But the army did not win. The whole purpose of this commission is to try and renew the confidence of the public that the next time everything will work smoothly when the government decides “to let the army win.”
It is absolutely clear that it is impossible to say anything intelligent about a complex subject like the recent war in Lebanon without seriously examining the ideological and political conceptions on which government policy is based. But this question is not in the commission’s terms of reference.
It is impossible to understand the shameful performance of all the leaders, the government ministers, the generals and the butt-kissing commentators without declaring clearly that they were guided by the illegitimate motives of service to imperialism and foreign interests. But this question is not in the commission’s terms of reference.
A serious commission of inquiry would have to question how an (almost) entire nation was hoodwinked into supporting an adventure that pushed Israel even deeper in the swamp of unending war. A serious commission of inquiry would have noted that there were parties and groups which said “no” to the war and demonstrated against it from day one onward. A serious commission of inquiry would have noted that the main elements of the crisis in the leadership are not technical but political.
This commission can only increase illusions regarding procedures, coordination, consultation and point a finger at Olmert and Co.
But it is not a question of apparatus failure!
It is a question of wisdom and understanding!
It is not a question of efficiency.
It is a question of knowledge and insight.
There is simply no substitute for a policy of peace and serious discourse.