Dan Halutz admits to failure
JERUSALEM - In a letter to the troops, Israel's military chief acknowledged publicly for the first time Thursday that there were shortcomings in the military's performance during the recent fighting with Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.Yes, someone must. That goes for Ehud Olmert as well.
Israel went into the monthlong war as a united front against Hezbollah, but since the fighting ended last week, the country has splintered into a cacophony of reproachful voices.
Criticism of the military's preparedness and tactics swelled after the battles ended without a clear-cut victory for Israel. Questions about the wisdom of 11th-hour battles and reports of food and water shortages have fueled demands for a state inquiry into the war's conduct and the resignation of Israel's wartime leaders.
In a letter to Israeli fighters, military chief Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz wrote: "Alongside the achievements, the fighting uncovered shortcomings in various areas — logistical, operational and command. We are committed to a thorough, honest, rapid and complete investigation of all the shortcomings and successes."
"Questions will be answered professionally, and everyone will be investigated — from me down to the last soldier," according to the letter, released by the military Thursday.
War broke out July 12, hours after Hezbollah fighters killed three Israeli soldiers and captured two in a bold cross-border raid. About 160 Israelis — one-quarter of them civilians — died in the fighting, and northern Israel was all but paralyzed by nearly 4,000 rockets fired from across the border in Lebanon.
While Halutz was owning up to military missteps, the head of the Shin Bet security service was calling the war "a fiasco" in his first public statement on the fighting.
"The north was abandoned, the government systems collapsed there completely," Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin told a closed security forum, according to meeting participants. "There were many failures, and the public sees and understands this. This is not the time to whitewash. The truth must be told. ... Someone has to provide explanations and take responsibility."
Update: and while we're on the subject, it seems that the PLO/Hamas fired another rocket at Sderot:
(IsraelNN.com) Arab attackers from the Gaza Strip fired a Kassam rocket a short time ago at the Negev city of Sderot. An explosion was heard in the area, but the location of the impact site has not yet been determined.I hope not. But there too, I might add, have been failures, including the fact that Gilad Shalit has not been found or rescued yet. No sign of life, pictures or films have been released either.
There are no injuries reported at this time.