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Friday, September 15, 2006

"Half of Lebanon is destroyed; is that a loss?"

That's from Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, as reported in Haaretz. I first saw that quote at WIIIAI. I wanted a little more context, so I went Googling, finally finding that Haaretz article from September 6. As bad as it sounds, the context actually makes it sound worse (emphasis added):
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday, with reference to the impact on Syria of the recent war in Lebanon, that no country "in our vicinity would take a chance on this or that military move with a marginal tactical goal because it understands the price it would pay. Thus, the fighting in Lebanon was a deterrent act."

Olmert said the Syrians "understand our strategic capabilities in other wars, when we would remove the limitations we placed on ourselves in the fighting in South Lebanon."

MK Ran Cohen (Meretz), who called Olmert's appearance before the committee "haughty," said everyone in Israel knows the war is the forerunner for the next one. "This war ended in complete failure," Cohen added.

Banging on the table angrily in response to the criticism, Olmert said, "I'm sorry that some MKs have lost their sense of proportion. Stop exaggerating.

"No danger to Israel was revealed during the past month. You didn't know that Hezbollah had 12,000 missiles in Lebanon? You didn't know that Iran supported them?"

Olmert also told the committee that "there were failures in the war, but there were also amazing achievements. Has the U.S. collapsed after three years in Iraq? What's the panic? We all make mistakes, I first of all."

"What did you think, that there would be a war and nothing would happen to our soldiers," Olmert asked the committee. "The claim that we lost is unfounded. Half of Lebanon is destroyed; is that a loss?"

With regard to the demand for a state commission of inquiry, Olmert said that while he valued the judicial system very highly, "that does not mean that at any given time they have to be the problem-solver."

The prime minister argued that a state commission would paralyze the political and military systems for a long period of time.
To which I say, with all sincerity: Is that a loss?

And don't you just love how the US debacle in Iraq is being used by Olmert as a positive example? Pooty-Poot didn't let aWol get away with that nonsense.