Nahum Barnea

High ranks, no brains

Op-ed: Just like any large organization, IDF includes quite a few high-ranking idiots

One day, God decided to hand out brains to the world. He kept on handing it out, until he ran out of brains to give, yet the line was still long. So what did God do? Instead of handing out brains, he gave them military ranks.


Hence, there is no point in asking what the officer who sent raw rookies to collect the personal belonging of the Gaza-bound Turkish ship was thinking. The result was an orgy of looting. Now, a month later, a few of the looters were detained. Big deal. And what did the army do to the officer who sent them there? Only the IDF knows.


Similarly, there is also no point in asking what the reserve officers who cooked up the mess mistakenly referred to as the “Galant document” were thinking. There is no point in asking what they were thinking when they drafted the document and forged its source, because they weren’t thinking.


The result was that they screwed over the person they wanted to boost, and most of all screwed over their comrade-in-arms, the army chief. More importantly, for months they drove the General Staff Headquarters crazy, and for two weeks they did the same to the whole country, in the process disgracing the army that is so dear to them.


Closing a circle

There is certainly no point in asking what the officer in charge of soldier Eden Abergil was thinking when she created a book of photographs with Palestinian detainees. The officer was probably taking his lunch break. Perhaps he was the one who clicked the camera himself.


Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi enjoyed immense public credit after it appeared – in the wake of the Second Lebanon War screw-ups – that he was rehabilitating the army and restoring the norms of fighting, discipline, seriousness, and integrity. He dismissed two brigadier-generals just because they got caught telling small lies. Their lies pale in comparison to the latest series of scandals.


Ashkenazi cannot issue brains to every IDF officer. Just like in any large establishment, in the military establishment too we have quite a few idiots who climbed up the ladder. However, the feeling we get as the end of Ashekanzi’s term in office approaches is that a circle was closed: He received the IDF in an embarrassing state, and he is handing the army over to his successor in an embarrassing state. This is not why he came back to the army.



פרסום ראשון: 08.20.10, 14:05
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