Monday, August 14, 2006

A Good Day for C.Y.A.

Israel Chief of Staff Dan Halutz disgraces IDF's tradition of strategic nimbleness. However he wasted no time today in moving to cover his ass, while Israel government leaders were busy declaring victory. He ordered all officers to refrain from talking to journalists without prior authorization by the IDF spokesperson. He claimed this step was needed to keep the enemy from getting sensitive information by monitoring interviews. His real reason is more likely a desperation to muffle insiders' criticisms of his and the General Staff's conduct of the war.

Update (Tuesday night): After this order was published, disgraced but still serving General Udi Adam of Northern Command gave an interview to Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahranot. Adam blamed the Israel government for the confusion and shortcomings of IDF ground operations in Lebanon. He said its hesitations barred an early mobilization of reserves and their timely introduction into the war. Although he also expressed dismay at Halutz's temporarily demoting him in the chain of command, he presumably cleared doing the interview with the spokesperson. In other words, he was trusted to deliver the message that Halutz wanted.

Update: Turns out Halutz also quickly covered his ass before the war began. After receiving notification of Hezbollah's killing and capture of soldiers on July 12, but before Israel responded, Halutz sold a portfolio of Israeli stocks worth about $30,000. This action does not constitute insider trading, because it was based on information about the impending general economic situation rather than a particular company. Nevertheless, some Knesset members have questioned his priorities and demanded his resignation.

Meanwhile, aides of beleagured Defense Minister Amir Peretz are trying to pin some blame for the army's lack of readiness on his predecessor Shaul Mafouz, a cabinet member from Olmert's Kadima party. They also complain about Olmert's efforts to distance himself from Peretz and place some blame on his predecessor Sharon's government. They point out that Olmert was a high ranking official in that government and so in any case share some responsibility.


Anonymous Montag said...

Reminds me of the old Soviet joke about a disgraced Premier on his way to Siberia who gives his successor two envelopes--one containing the solution to economic problems and the other for political problems.

When economic problems arise later, the new Premier opens the first envelope: "Blame everything on me." And it works!

Sometime later he encounters severe political problems, with everyone sharpening knives for his one-way journey to Siberia. He hopefully opens the second envelope and reads: "Prepare two envelopes...."

2:53 PM  
Blogger Atik Yomin said...

Yep. I heard it with 3 envelopes: blame it on your predecessor, underlings and prepare 3 notes. alas, as the post-war proceeds in israel, it will remind us of a few more jokes.

4:32 AM  

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