Opinion  Others
How we lost our sparkle
Yoram Kaniuk
Published: 13.08.06, 20:53
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1. Asymmetrical warfare.
rickmd03 ,   Baltimore, USA   (08.13.06)
Welcome to WWIII. 1. Dont believe in "Surgical" air strikes. Warfare is bloody wet. Targets are amorphous. Air power is deadly but "boots on the ground" are indispensible. 2. Sharon dismissed all the Generals and mid level staff officers who were aggressive like he was. (Can't have those insubordinate officers around during peacetimes.) He put an airforce general in charge with no ground experience but who would carry out the disengagement. 3. Take a look at how the US forces have covered their armored vehicles with "expanded metal" cages. These help to break up the shaped charges of the Russian anti-tank missiles.
2. IDF still great; Political hacks messed up this one
Yakov ,   Ashkelon   (08.13.06)
IDF has to be able to function as a defenders of Israel, not boy-toys of political hacks such as Olmert/Peretz/Livni.
3. smart guy but incoherent
nitsan ,   sharon usa   (08.13.06)
some of your sentences are very perceptive. then after another sentence i cant understand your point. please consider us readers if you share your diary with the public.
4. Spoiled? Lost?
Stuart ,   Mississippi, USA   (08.13.06)
All wars are "come as you are" wars. Some weapons are suited better for certain conditions than others. The IDF fought well with its weapons. The Iranians have supplied Hizbullah with some weapons (e.g. Katyusha, Kornet ATGM) for which the IDF, nor any other military force, have effective tactical counters. Were it left to me, after the warnings were issued, I would have advised the Israelis to destroy ALL of Southern Lebanon. This would have negated the Katyushas and the Kornets. Everything south of the Litani would be dead.
5. Maybe politicians are no longer great. The IDF still is.
Márcia ,   Brazil   (08.13.06)
6. Btw, we want Shalit, Goldwasser and Regev BACK!
Márcia ,   Brazil   (08.13.06)
Consider this a petition.
7. This is the way forward: Learn from the mistakes
Aaron ,   OZ   (08.13.06)
I agree, the IDF I learned of as a child, had tanks as well, but the tanks were not invincible, and they acheived no more than the men who drove them. Israel learned a big lesson in 1973, the Arabs, those much maligned, supposedly lesser creatures, can think and they can learn from their mistakes and also from what worked. Neither are aircraft themselves, sufficient to guarantee victory, all branches of the IDF, including the neglected infantry branch, must cooperate in order to win. In the sort of war practised by Hizbollah, the fighting will be nasty, messy and quick, but it will also require men to fight men on the ground. Even moreso in the next round, as Hizbollah will be supplied with the latest SAM's direct from Russia, in order to test out the IDF. The tanks will have to take these out for the IAF to operate, but, as we have seen, they also have the latest ATGM's from Russia as well, so the job falls to the infantry, armed with the Mark 1 eyeball, the most effective optical tool ever, to spot these teams, in time to kill them and protect the tanks. The aim of all this modern technology, SAM's, ATGM's, Anti-Ship Missiles, is to return the parity of forces to infantry v infantry. Consequently, if Israel doesn't spend money on, and train its infantry to be better than theirs, Israel will lose... However, with good/excellent infantry, the benefit of all the missiles they can buy, will be negated in part, by the partnership between infantry and the IAF, infantry and armour, even infantry clearing the launch zones to allow the Navy to support them from offshore, and to clear the way for the artillery to move forward and to pick the targets for the rest of the IDF. In the end analysis, without a well equipped infantry force, the IDF will lose this war, the next war and probably the one after that as well. This is why infantry is necessary, even today, as they are the only branch of the army which can take control of ground, and hold it, as well as being the best means by which to protect the other branches of the IDF. Not glamorous, not overly sexy, nor even a pleasant way to fight, but the entire IDF exists to get the infantry soldier from point A to point B, and this is the lesson from this war.
8. Rambling, incoherent--like Olmert!
Lee ,   New York   (08.13.06)
The author at times is rambling, incoherent, and tangential (what does the Jewish version of the Messiah have to do with the prior or subsequent paragraphs?)...which makes me think that perhaps this essay was really written by none other than Olmert! For the sake of the IDF and Israel, Olmert must resign, and take his backwards Kadima kooks with him.
9. What?
DD ,   Kiryat Shmona   (08.13.06)
So what is your point wit hall that crap you spouted? DD
10. Roots
hamal   (08.13.06)
1. Roots of current situation in Lebanon lies in Syrian occupation. Syrians destroyed all other militia and guerrila groups after they took Lebanon. This is important and overlooked factor. If there are christian and druze militia in Lebanon, Hesbullah would be much weaker. 2. The only way to win assymetric warfare is to make it symetric. Fight guerrila using Israeli guerrila.
11. Stop to serve american`s interests
Ben ,   NY   (08.13.06)
It`s time to make decision, to not serve american interests again. It`s enough.
12. This article is incoherent
Ari   (08.13.06)
13. get out of all palistine
palistine   (08.13.06)
jews get out of all palistine there will be time we will get you out belive me there will be new wepons years later you cant defend your self nasrullah is talking the truth belive him this is not your land
14. You know who is responcible: Rabin
Itzik ,   Haifa   (08.13.06)
Rabin was responsible for bringing Arafat, for death of many, many Jews, for government corruption. He initiated this. I know he is dead but some dead man are still ... .
15. IDF Is Fine, Government Is the Problem
Jerry ,   NYC, USA   (08.13.06)
The IDF could have crushed Hezb already if the political whores of this shameful Kadima/Labor government had allowed them to. IDF does need to upgrade equipment in certain areas, but so too does virtually every military. Until this defeatist cowardly government goes, Israel cannot defend itself properly.
16. huh???
ari ,   NY, USA   (08.13.06)
is this guy a french poet?
17. What?
Jeff ,   Arlington, TX   (08.13.06)
What is this person rambling about?
18. #4 strategy
peter ,   amsterdam, NL   (08.13.06)
The sentiment you voice has been suggested before on talkback: carpet bomb the area to the Litani from the air-"job finished". Besides that it didn't work in Vietnam it is an insult to the ground forces-they're doing a fabulous job with considerable loss and with surgical precision-supported by targeted airstrikes. But those anti-tank weapons(Sagger, TOW) that penetrate the armor of Merkavas are worrying, would an US Abrahams tank be vulnerable to these weapons?
19. Is the IDF a great army? Yes, the soldiers are!
Mike ,   Israel   (08.13.06)
But the generals are not! Let's start with Dan Halutz - a golden-spoon-in-the-mouth fellow if ever I saw one. He grew up with the elitism of the Israeli Air Force, so naturally he thought that fighter jets could solve most problems. The land army evidently came a distant second. Dan Halutz has distinguished himself by giving a lot of TV interviews, many more than his precessors. He has to take care of his media image, after all! The other generals have also concentrated on fighting the last war all over again, rather than display any originality. For that, you have to look to your enemy, the Party of Satan (oops, I meant to say Part of God)
20. Israel lost because it worried about being "proportionate"
You can't worry too much about what everyone else thinks because a lot of those people want Israel destroyed anyway. The way you win wars is to unleash the full might of the military, no matter what the cost to the enemy, ensure as many of the inhabitants are forced to leave as possible, and then annex the newly liberated territory and move your own citizens in. This was what happened before some do-gooder invented "humanitarian law".
21. Huh?
Israel Israeli ,   Haifa Israel   (08.13.06)
This guy is an author? What a piece of incoherence and over intellectualization. What's so hard to understand? The middle east is a tough place to live. At least if they don't like us they should be afraid of us. Spare me your morals on a day when there were 10 warning sirens where I live.
22. IDF still great - Politicians messed up big
Lisa   (08.13.06)
23. To 4
Jerusalemite ,   Palesitne   (08.13.06)
if u see the pictures emerging from the south of Lebanon, indeed your "brave" IDF and IAF had destroyed everything, even this has not helped. It is easy to say what you said while sitting in Mississippi, go and fight with the so-called brave boys of in the legencry Merkava.!!!
24. What?
Lauren ,   Israel   (08.13.06)
Yoram, have you been getting into your parent's liquor cabinet again? What kind of nonsense is this? Y Net had some extra space to fill up? And I quote, "Ideology is the most deadly explosive material known to man", . So you returned to the Torah....wisdom of David Ben Gurion? Hey, correct me if I am wrong, wasn't he sort of big on ideology? Maybe YOU got spoiled. Or forgot how to form sentences that make sense. Could it be the translation perhaps? Please enlighten me: What is your point here? Is the IDF a bunch of losers because they "fell into a trap"? Are we too cocky and sure of ourselves, ya' think? Maybe coming back from the dead (just guessing, a metaphor you used for someone who was brainwashed?) was too much for you. I really do think that your entire essay here is just plain boring and pointless, and all you manage to do is sound old and bitter.
25. You cant ask pacifists to fight wars!
naro ,   nyc   (08.13.06)
Israel shouldhave realized taht it must not allow its norther half be paralyzed and invaded. It should have mobilized 100,000 men for a massive attack on Lebanon destroying evrey village south of the Litani river. It should have reoved every living soul from South Lebanon, mined every road and withdrawn at leisure. The problem was and is that the leaders of Israels are pacifists in heart, and hate to wage even necessary wars! This is the best recipe for defeat. It has lost respect of the world including the USA! Israel is in deep shit now because of its indecission!
26. There is no doubt IDF still is Great it was politcal game
And the first step of this game have started with estalishment of new extreme fanaticsm regime in Iran. They gave birth and invested billions of $ to Hezbollah,and it was Israel and USA inttantionally have lets that the Hezbollah have got the power in Lebanon(the moment Hezbollah terrorists groups have used suiside truck and killed 240 american navy in Lebanon,America had the right to fight back and finish the Hezbollah,but instead they moveed out from Lebanon,it was a great encaurengment for Hezbollah). Israel did the same thing in south of Lebanon which they never let the IDF hits them back and instead they dismetaled the south Lebanon army and in 2000 IDF have moved out of Lebanon,another victory and encaurengment for Hezbollah, And now the war with Hezbollah one more time the Israeli politicians did not lets theIDF will do theirs job and another great victory for Hezbollah and Iran and the whole muslims nations,indeed Israel have encauraged them for more war in future.
27. read dis folks
gge ,   kcuf, uoy   (08.13.06)
28. who won ?
Eli Golan ,   USA   (08.13.06)
There are no winners in assymetric warfare. How can you win against fighters shooting a rocket and then run to their uncle's house to have lunch ? The fact remains that Israel is now in control of south Lebanon and the plan to eradicate Hizbllah from Lebanon is well under way. This, once accomplished will give Iranian and Syrians a bloody nose.
29. Politicians tied IDF's hands AGAIN
Jew ,   Eretz Israel   (08.13.06)
Don't blame the IDF. Blame Olmert & Peretz.
30. what drivel
NL ,   Israel   (08.13.06)
What is the point of this piece? People make mistakes? Wow! I didn't need a superfluously long, disconnected, stream-of-conciousness rant to tell me that. What is Yoram Kanuik's political message here? It doesn't seem like he even has one. I hope that he doesn't think that this unfocused, badly written verbal diarrhea constitutes some sort of legitimate political or social commentary. For that he would actually need substantiated facts and a thesis statement. Too bad this piece has neither and is also lacking any other stylistic or literary virtues. Boo, Mr. Kaniuk. A complete waste of virtual space and of everybody's time.
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