Nothing has changed for thousands of years. Apparently, it is very hard to learn a lesson.
Victory and failure are psychological terms, not limited to the battlefield. No less important than victory for our soldiers in Lebanon is the battle for our consciousness. From many perspectives, this second Lebanon war was comparable to the Yom Kippur War, albeit on a smaller scale.
This time, too, the war began with a surprise attack and revealed many of our shortcomings, which began with the pullout from Lebanon and arrogant delusions of tranquility. Six years of "euphoria" of a larger Land of Israel preceded that fateful Yom Kippur; this time, six years of dangerous withdrawals encouraged the enemy to attack.
Right and left share an equal measure of arrogance, and unfortunately pain. One need look no further than Ariel Sharon, who at once symbolized military prowess and cowardly withdrawal, to prove this.
During the Yom Kippur War the IDF managed to win under the toughest of conditions, and to turn the Egyptian and Syrian invasion into a victory on the ground.
But the whining home front created a false consciousness, as if the enemy had won. At the time, tens of thousands of us combat soldiers sat west of the Suez Canal, ready to start fighting again, while the occipital media whined and moaned.
After the war, Anwar Sadat was asked how he could claim Egypt won the "October War," with the IDF 101 kilometers from Cairo. "Look what they are saying in Tel Aviv. The Israelis themselves are saying we won," he said.
The evil sheikh
Now, when they ask the evil sheikh: How can you say you won, when you've lost a lot of necessary territory, the IDF is back in south Lebanon and the area will be given over to another foreign force? When you've brought about the destruction of large sections of Beirut, Tyre and the Bekaa Valley, and much of your fighting force has been destroyed?
And he will quietly answer: The Israelis themselves say we've won.
Therefore, anyone saying Hizbullah won this war contributes to that victory. Those who respond by whining serve the enemy, just like those demonstrated on his behalf during the war itself, or who provide essential information in the media.
Even all the kvetchers –right-wingers particularly – understood their moaning was serving the enemy by speaking about our "failures", maybe they'd stop. If you can't see any gain in this war, at least have the decency to shut up.
Learn a lesson from Effie Eitam about good leadership. The war is not over; fighting could start anew at any moment, and thousands of soldiers are in and near Lebanon, yet to achieve their goals.
Therefore, Eitam has refrained from firing the opening shots in the "War of the Jews," and he is right to do so. When the time for investigation comes, it will be important to investigate six years back, and also to investigate just how the sheikh uses the Israeli media at his will.
But not now. We haven't even buried all our dead yet.
No guerilla war. World War.
True, every wounded soldier is a wound for all of us. But we must also think about proportions: During the Yom Kippur War we lost 160 soldiers a day; during the Six Day War, 180 soldiers were killed in Jerusalem in just a day-and-a-half.
Then, too, there were screw-ups, failures and wounded. The image that the IDF never suffered difficult blows before is simply incorrect. It is a myth promoted by our enemies to inflate their achievements, and our kvetchers buy the lie, inflating our "failure" and serving the propaganda needs of "al-Manar."
No less important to understand is that this war was fundamentally different that previous ones, because it is part of a world war. The war started when the World Trade Center crumbled, and the enemy is the evil mutation of radical Islam, be it Shiite/Iranian or Sunni/al-Qaeda.
The liason between these two groups is Imad Morani, the military commander of the forces of darkness in Lebanon. The terror attack on airplanes flying from Britain to America, planned just last week, reflects the entire campaign.
No 'small resistance'
Our current fight in Lebanon is not with a "small Lebanese resistance." This is also propaganda by the evil sheikh (I refuse to pronounce his name because it contains the word "Allah," the one and only God, holy to Jews and Muslims alike).
We are fighting the western flank of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. That's where the weapons come from, as well as the instruction, training, preparations and orders come from. This war cannot be compared to wars against Arab armies, not only because it is a "guerilla" war, but because it is a war with Iran, a world war of civilizations.
This world war requires the most difficult thing of all to demand from the Jewish people: Patience. Nerves of Steel. Even if we have to learn these things from our enemies.
We must stop dreaming that we can fight underground bunkers by destroying the houses above them. Air strikes can prevent heavy rocket fire, can hit rocket launchers after they've fired their missiles, and can disrupt preparations and supply lines to a large degree.
But they cannot penetrate bunkers and tunnels. They cannot tilt the balance. Goals can only be realized on the ground, in ground fighting, and on the diplomatic front with international involvement, with a goal of isolating terrorism, weakening it, and conquering it in a long, determined battle.
We must teach ourselves to have nerves of steel, and to respond to all the kvetchers: Stop! Stop your whining. Stop serving the enemy.
The god of pullouts and victory
At the end of the day, this generation of generals who we have become so accustomed, have done little good for Israel. From Moshe Dayan to Ariel Sharon, leader – general have led sparkling victories on the battlefield, only to conduct terrible pullouts and burning diplomatic failures that led to this war.
So please, don't look to the "gods." Everyday civilians with "no experience or understanding are ten times better, despite the fogginess and lack of certainty, and despite the fact they failed to knockout the enemy. We have already seen the bitter results of those sparkling victories.