Questioning Leadership…In Israel

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in The World, War

From The Moderate Voice:

Israeli army reservists, and quite some relatives of Israeli soldiers who died during the conflict with Hizbullah, are calling for a thorough investigation (instead of the one Peretz ordered) into how the war was handled and they are calling on Israel’s PM, defense minister and the army’s chief of staff, to resign.

They believe that Olmert, firstly, rushed into a war, but after rushing into it, wasn’t willing to do what was necessary (in order to win).

I wonder if these reservists are being called traitors? Hmm…

Some of the harshest criticism has come from military reservists, whose voices carry great weight in Israeli society. The veterans protesting in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening demanded that Olmert, his defense minister and the army’s chief of staff step down.

The demonstrators accused the three of rushing into full-scale armed conflict without having adequately laid the military groundwork, and then of dithering over the war’s objectives and how to realize them. That resulted in confusing and sometimes needlessly perilous orders on the ground, they said.

“The big heads should be the ones to go,” said Yossi Avigor, 29, a reserve infantryman who spent two weeks fighting in western Lebanon. “They tried, they failed, they should go home.”

Oh, and one more thing…

“Everybody here would go to war again if we were called up tomorrow. This is our only country,” Avigor said. “Most of us reserve soldiers believe there will be another war soon. But we want our officers and our politicians to be prepared.”

So apparently you can question your leaders and their competence and still be patriotic? What? Impossible!


This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006 and is filed under The World, War. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

21 Responses to “Questioning Leadership…In Israel”

  1. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Avigor went on to say:

    “Our invasion of Lebanon, a sovereign nation which was no threat to us, has created more terrorism and has made the rest of the world hate us. We must disengage completelty from Lebenon and ‘strategically redeploy’ our troops to Okinawa. Israel’s foreign policy is too one-sided in support of itself. We are the root cause of terror in the world, it is our own fault that terrorists want to destroy us. Until our leaders cease agression against the Islamic world and allow the terrorists to push us into the sea, there will never be peace.”

  2. Justin Gardner Says:

    Oh Jimmy…you’re quite a satirist.

  3. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Don’t you think there is a distinction between those like McCain and Lieberman, who criticize the administration by claiming they are not fighting hard enough in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those like Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan who claim Bush is worse than Hitler and that Zarqawi along with his ilk are “minutemen” and the “freedom fighters”? or those who claim that our marines are “cold blooded murderers,” while flat out lying about their evidence? or those who reveal government secrets to the press intended to undermine the administation’s war-effort?

    I would love it if the Bush haters took a similar position as these Israeli reservists do towards their government.

  4. conservative republican Says:

    “Carl Jung predicted our present sense of malaise as early as 1957 in his “The Undiscovered Self”, decrying “…apocalyptic images of universal destruction” brought on by WWII and an atomic age ushered in when the United States dropped weapons of mass destruction on two cities in Japan. In its wake, Jung was fearful that 40 percent of the population â€â€?called a “mentally stable stratum” â€â€?might not be able to keep the lid on mass psychosis; it might be unable to restrain the spread of “dangerous tendencies”, presumably: fascism, fanaticism, militarism, intolerance, fear and hate. Jung seems to have been less concerned with external threats. The dangerous tendencies he feared were home grown.”

    “Clearly â€â€?terrorism is a real threat but no more so than the dangerous and deliberate exploitation of it. Clearly â€â€?the subversion of Democratic ideals is a clear and present danger but no more so than home grown subversion by demagogues. What difference does it make to me if my “inalienable rights” are denied me by Alberto Gonzales or by the Taliban? Clearly â€â€?terrorist attacks upon the soil of any Democratic nation is worrisome but no more so than a home grown policy that nurtures, feeds, and inspires opposition at home and terrorism abroad. Clearly â€â€?Jung’s list of “dangerous tendencies” must include our own tilt toward fascism, an unintended result that will have accomplished Bin Laden’s goal without his ever having to leave his mythic cave in Afghanistan.” The existentialist cowboy.

    In our country, with the neoconservatives in power, these “dangerous tendencies” have had a free run in the past six years. They match perfectly with the moral order that to a lesser or greater degree distinguishes neocons from other more moderate conservatives and that makes at least those in power in America so prone to racism, bigotry, prejudice, and intolerance. In their moral order many neocons believe that God ranks above people, men rank above women, some cultures rank above others, some countries rank above others, some lifestyles rank above others, and some social classes rank above others. With those in power having these beliefs and our “mentally stable stratum” assailed as leftists and traitors by their propaganda, including the republican noise machine and the so called MSM, in full force no wonder America is past a malaise but in a state of acute illness.

    Unfortunately, these “dangerous tendencies” breed also corruption, incompetence, tyranny, and lower living standards that in the end not only affect the “mentally stable stratum”, but also those driven into psychosis an acceptance by the constant propaganda of the so called War on Terrorism. These are the hallmarks of a dictatorship.

    Apparently in Israel, that “mentally stable stratum” is still able to criticize the government and ask for its dismissal without being branded as traitors. That they can effect a change is another question. The neocons in Israel, reponsible for this ill prepared war, probably have their propaganda machine going full steam by now. The Israelis should take heed and not let themselves get hoodwinked by the neocon propaganda of the right wing. Their incompetent government, which proved servile to Bush’s aims and not to the Israeli common good and national security, should be kicked out of office.

  5. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Clearly -Carl Jung would have had you committed.

  6. Justin Gardner Says:

    I would love it if the Bush haters took a similar position as these Israeli reservists do towards their government.

    The problem is you focus on the Bush haters and not the normal Dems who make up the majority of their party. The loud voices will always get the most play because they make for good soundbytes.

    And again, you miss the point of the story. These are soldiers, not pundits. If soldiers here were to say these types of things en masse, they would be most likely be branded traitors, and most likely from the administration and its stable of pundits. If they have no problem going after a guy like Max Cleland, they won’t have any problem going after Grunt #245,398.

    That’s what’s sad about our current political climate.

  7. Lonely Federalist Says:

    Did I miss it when Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Carl Levin or Ike Skelton called for a stepped-up presence in Iraq to better address the situation with the force and committment it requires?

    That’s a serious question, not snark. Those are the Donk’s elected leaders, in positions of authority, even if in the minority, to call serious attention to the issue. When have they called for a stepped-up presence?

  8. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    If soldiers here were to say these types of things en masse, they would be most likely be branded traitors

    B.S. If a soldier said, “We need to kick more ass in Iraq than Bush has allowed us to do”, I don’t think Sean Hannity or Anne Coulter would call him a traitor. Max Cleland is a “Bush lied, people died” type of guy who has not served in the current conflict anyway.

    Lonely Federalist is right. I don’t hear Cleland, Murtha, Kerry or any other Vietnam vet-politician who hides behind his medals proclaim that we should take the gloves off against the insurgents, rather, all I hear from them is ‘strategic withdrawal’ (kinda souds like ‘peace with honor’ don’t you think?)

  9. conservative republican Says:

    I disagree, Jimmy, for a Bush supporter you are true to form. Plenty of tired Republican neocon talking points.

    I do not believe that Hannity, Coulter, yourself, or many of the Bush apologists have spent one day fighting a war as conscripted soldiers, but plenty as talking heads and keyboarders. Their approval or disapproval means nothing. Correct me if I am wrong.

    Max Cleland has paid his dues to our country, and he more than any other can criticize the incompetent fashion in which the Iraq war has been conducted.

    On your previous response to my posting :

    C Jung believed that unthinking individuals unwilling or unable to know themselves, their weaknesses and strengths, easily become part of an uncritical herd and blindly fall prey to manipulation by those in power.

    He also believed that the root of human conflict is the human insistence of projecting our own weakness onto others. It is easier for those in power to project their own weaknesses onto those they consider inferior, when they enjoy the support of an uncritical herd that will gladly follow. He believed that this was the seed by which all wars and tragedies affecting humanity start.

    To attempt and avoid this situation, every person should undertake a journey of self knowledge that in the end will protect an individual from the trap of mass-mentality and manipulation by others. Culture and maybe even the survival of humanity, with dignity and with freedoms protected by reasonable governments, can only be preserved by a “mentally stable stratum” of discriminating individuals who can resist mass-mentality when it is strongest. For C Jung the personal was in the end the political.

    You should have enough material to rebut me on how the neocons have been the best thing to happen to our country.

  10. Brian in MA Says:

    conservative republican:

    Benedict Arnold was a GENERAL in the revolutionary army, and highly respected by Washington himself. He is no less a traitor for having served in the military, and in fact is the posterboy for traitors the world over.

    No offense, but serving in the military does not preclude you from turning your back to your country through your words and actions. Bless Max Cleland and John Murtha’s souls for serving our country, but please, don’t pretend that “redeployment” is a strategy, it is merely a useful cop out untill December, 2008. It is a way to run and hide untill you can attempt to re-win the Presidency. I predict if the Republicans win another Presidency, the Democrats will then postpone their plan to oh, say, 2012.

  11. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    C Jung believed that unthinking individuals unwilling or unable to know themselves, their weaknesses and strengths, easily become part of an uncritical herd and blindly fall prey to manipulation by those in power.

    You mean like the masses of Islamic fascists dressed in suicide vests who goose-step while chanting “Death to America”? The very same who are responsible for the deliberate massacre of countless innocent civilians worldwide for half a century? The ones who attacked Israel this past month in order to push the Jews into the sea? The ones who volunteer of their own free will to flood into Iraq to fight an Army who deposed their supposed arch enemy and planned on leaving 30 days later? Would Carl Jung believe that these “herds” will simply go away if we leave them alone, or that they pose no danger to freedom loving individuals such as yourself?

    Or are poor, exotic brown-skinned “noble savages” immune to such Jungian criticism, because afterall, they are only “unthinking herds” because of what we – the rich white people and Jews – have done to them in our ancient colonial past?

    It is easier for those in power to project their own weaknesses onto those they consider inferior

    Is this what you are doing when you call me a neocon? I never said anything about neocons. I certainly never said neocons were the best thing to happen to this country.

    Culture and maybe even the survival of humanity, with dignity and with freedoms protected by reasonable governments, can only be preserved by a “mentally stable stratum� of discriminating individuals who can resist mass-mentality when it is strongest.

    Do you interpret this as a reference to a sort of Rousseuian “general will,” whereby the uneducated masses of sheep must be guided by an intellectually elite political class who knows whats best for the people, even though the people don’t know it for themselves? Move to china if you don’t like our system. Individuals get to vote for how they want to be governed. Period.

    You think libertarians who hate Islamic fascism are part of a herd? I put it to you: review your political ideologies regarding all facets of government. Do you actually think you are less socialist than me? Carl Jungs statement doesnt apply here.

    I hope you get an A on your freshman term-paper for Psych 101. Was Jung the first book over 300 pages that you ever read?

  12. bernie Says:

    Right or wrong, one important difference is that the Israeli people kept quiet and unified until after the fighting stoped.

  13. Justin Gardner Says:

    First, again…Brian in MA, please leave. If you want more explanation, see the post about liberals breeding.

    Okay, Jimmy…

    B.S. If a soldier said, “We need to kick more ass in Iraq than Bush has allowed us to do�, I don’t think Sean Hannity or Anne Coulter would call him a traitor. Max Cleland is a “Bush lied, people died� type of guy who has not served in the current conflict anyway.

    Jeezus. First of all, the Israeli soldiers aren’t asking to “kick more ass.” They’re asking for a clear strategy. And Max Cleland isn’t a “Bush lied, people died” guy. He’s a critic, yes, but he’s nowhere close to being near the fringe. Also, just because he hasn’t fought in the current conflict, doesn’t mean he’s excluded from critcizing it.

    Bernie, you said this…

    Right or wrong, one important difference is that the Israeli people kept quiet and unified until after the fighting stoped.

    Not true. In every army in every free country in the world you have dissent. The only difference is that in Israel it feels like dissent is actually patriotic.

    And by the way, in so much as Israel’s latest conflict is part of a broader “war” against miltant Islam, then this dissent is exactly the same as dissent in our War on Terror.

  14. Lewis Says:

    I don’t think the comparison between the US and Israel is valid nor your obvious draw to justify the 60′s style criticism of the anti-war left in the US. Israel society and the threat to their survival is way different than ours.

    Israel is a tight country, more like a focused team. That’s totally different than us. All men must serve in the army and stay on active reserve for many years and subject to active duty on a moments notice. That creates a sense of duty and patriotism that we haven’t seen here in a long time. Unlike the majority of us here, they all contribute to their national defense. Plus they have the memory of WW2 to keep them motivated. Not to mention the recent calls for their total destruction by their friendly neighbors.

    The majority of us here do little to nothing to support the defense of our country (thank God for those Walmart types who become soldiers). But we sure as hell scream loudly about anything defense related that doesn’t fit into our naive illusions of how we think the world should be and how people ought to act. We can afford those illusions as we’re protected (somewhat) by geography. The Israelis can’t. We have no right to compare ourselves to them. We’re just a bunch of weak, loud mouth cream puffs.

  15. bernie Says:

    Justin,
    I may be wrong, but I did not see or hear any criticism of the Israeli government until after the cease-fire.

  16. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    First of all, the Israeli soldiers aren’t asking to “kick more ass.”

    They believe that Olmert, firstly, rushed into a war, but after rushing into it, wasn’t willing to do what was necessary (in order to win).

    Sounds to me like that is what they are saying. A clear strategy is warranted but its no good unless it contains more ass kicking than what was allowed to happen. I harldy think right-wing pundits, even the douchebags I mentioned above, would call that treasonous.

    Democrats like Cleland, on the other hand, are saying that a clear strategy for retreat is needed, and that they won’t allow anymore ass-kicking if they are in charge. I hear no calls on behalf of the Dems to clearly kick more ass in Iraq.

    These are soldiers, not pundits.

    Right, which is why it is an improper comparison you make between active duty soldiers engaged in a current conflict, and Max Cleland who is retired and like all politicians is now more of pundit.

    Also, just because he hasn’t fought in the current conflict, doesn’t mean he’s excluded from critcizing it.

    Like Kerry or Murtha, he can call for a pullout all he wants, I just think he is wrong. And just because I haven’t fought in the current conflict either doesnt mean that a Viet-Nam vet’s opinion automatically supercedes mine.

  17. conservative republican Says:

    Jimmy: response to your post of 8/23/6

    |||”You mean like the masses of Islamic fascists dressed in suicide vests who goose-step while chanting “Death to Americaâ€Â?? The very same who are responsible for the deliberate massacre of countless innocent civilians worldwide for half a century? The ones who attacked Israel this past month in order to push the Jews into the sea?…”|||

    Those are exactly the ones I am talking about. If we realize that all terrorist acts have been carried out at the behest of tyrants who want to destroy us. But like all tyrants, they stay behind in hiding. Instead; to do their actual killing they recruit thousands of people unable to discriminate good from evil who are easily bamboozled with the tale of reaching paradise by carrying out a terrorist act. It is simplistic but essentially true. I am sure that since early childhood Islamic masses have been brought on a steady diet of hate and destruction of the great satan-America and Israel.

    |||”Do you interpret this as a reference to a sort of Rousseuian “general will,â€Â? whereby the uneducated masses of sheep must be guided by an intellectually elite political class who knows whats best for the people, even though the people don’t know it for themselves? Move to china if you don’t like our system. Individuals get to vote for how they want to be governed. Period. ” |||

    On the contrary, when you read Rousseau, it becomes evident that a general will requires of all citizens, which are a part of the social contract, to know what are their rights, duties and responsibilities in order to assess whether the social contract-a community, a country, etc., continues to perform as intended. Therefore, the general will requires that people be educated, can reason, and can decide between choices what is best for them and their community. The founding fathers apparently believed these ideas were so important that many form an integral part of the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the new republic.

    Terrorism is a real threat, but in the end it is also as dangerous to deliberately exploit this present danger by our home grown variety of demagogues. It makes no difference to Americans if our inalienable rights are denied us by the Taliban, Osama Bin Laden or Alberto Gonzales.

    Most people, if given a chance, will always desire what is good, but they do not always see what is good. People are not easily corrupted, but can often be fooled. That is the only time that the people appear to work and act against their own present and future best interest. Since the creation of our republic, millions of Americans have given their life and fortune to preserve the essence of our country as visualized by the founding fathers. Our country still means the “American Dream” to millions around the world. If we were to ask hundreds, millions of people around the globe, most of them would like to live here.

    Few if any countries throughout history have provided their citizens a democratic government as the United States. In the last six years our form of government has come perilously in danger of changing permanently for the worse. A band of demagogues are in the process of implementing their own view of a governemt that would closely resemble a communist or fascist totalitarian state if they are successful.

    I would not change living in this country for anything, but those who have been and continue to be fooled and refuse to see the truth, which is before their own eyes, and who claim that people vote for the type of government they want, and get away with it, will be disastrously surprised, when they see that the Cuba, or North Korea, or Iran of today will look very similar to the America that they helped destroy.

    For those who see the truth, criticizing this government, resisting it and trying to change it at the ballot box is one of their responsibilities and it is also Patriotic.

  18. Israel/Lebanon Conflict / Questioning Leadership…In Israel Says:

    [...] Read the rest of this post [...]

  19. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    It makes no difference to Americans if our inalienable rights are denied us by the Taliban, Osama Bin Laden or Alberto Gonzales.
    Sure it does. Alberto Gonzales denies our inalienable right to make an international phonecall to a terrorist without being monitored sans warrant.

    The Taliban denies our inalienable right to not have your head cut off for praying to Jesus, or to be protected from public beatings after hiking up your mandatory blue bee-keeper outfit, or to drink beer, or to be a Jew.

    C’mon man how can you make such moral equivalence? I suppose your going to start ranting about Christianists or some crap.

  20. hiraethin Says:

    And apparently you can be anti-war, in the sense of being anti- the current war or anti- the current war strategy, and still be willing to go to war when your country goes to war.

  21. keeper of jimmie the dhimmi Says:

    Right in the first comment in this blong, Jimmie the Dhimmi says, what he and Justin feels is a “satire”

    “Israel’s foreign policy is too one-sided in support of itself. We are the root cause of terror in the world, it is our own fault that terrorists want to destroy us. Until our leaders cease agression against the Islamic world and allow the terrorists to push us into the sea, there will never be peace.”

    Is it really a satire or a Goebbelsian trick?

    How about converting Israel into a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-racial society just like what the US is? Then there would be peace. Thats what the Meretz party and many other leftist parties, the Israeli-Arab parties support that may total as much as 25% of the Knesset.

    Israel is supposedly a bastion of freedom. Then it must restore the property rights of the Palestinians refuges whose land has been confiscated. Official US state dpartment policy has been equivocal and consistent in that regard — those Palestinian refugee have an inalienable right to return to their homes and properties. Some would probably not want to return, but even then their property rights must be restored!

    How about conerting Israel into a country where religion and state are separate like in USA?

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