Top Leaderboard, Site wide
November 29, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!






The Chain


Truthdig Bazaar
The Conscience of a Liberal

The Conscience of a Liberal

By Paul Krugman
$17.13

more items

 
Ear to the Ground

Israel Preplanned Lebanon War

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Mar 8, 2007
Olmert
haaretz.com

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, while speaking with a commission investigating the Lebanon war, said he made the decision to invade four months before soldiers were abducted. Olmert testified that he agreed with a contingency plan to respond dramatically should Hezbollah take predictably aggressive action.


Haaretz:

The scenario presented in the various assessments reflected prior incidents: the abduction of soldiers from Israeli territory accompanied by heavy cross-border shelling. Then-chief of staff Dan Halutz said such an incident would have far-reaching consequences for Israel’s deterrent capability. Halutz said Israel could not show restraint in the face of a kidnapping in the north, and it had to respond. Olmert testified that he accepted this stance.

In a meeting in March, Olmert asked the army commanders whether operational plans existed for such a possibility, and they said yes. He asked to see the plans, and they asked why. He responded that he did not want to make a snap decision in the case of an abduction, and preferred to decide at that moment. Presented with the options, he selected a moderate plan that included air attacks accompanied by a limited ground operation. At the time, Shaul Mofaz was defense minister.

The Winograd Commission asked Olmert what he thought his predecessor would have done. Olmert said that following Hezbollah’s failed November 2005 attempt to abduct Israel Defense Forces troops in the border village of Ghajar, [Ariel] Sharon ordered the army to prepare a “list of targets” for a military response in Lebanon. The list included an air attack on the long-range Fajr and Zilzal rockets, which were destroyed in an air raid the first night of the war. Sharon said at the time that the status quo, of ongoing Hezbollah raids, could not continue. Olmert told the commission that he behaved as Sharon would have.

Olmert stated that he had decided in earlier meetings that Israel’s goal in an operation would be the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls for the deployment of the Lebanese army along the Israeli border and the disarmament of Hezbollah.

Read more

More Below the Ad

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By Daniel, March 9, 2007 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s amazing how the story was spun to favor Israel, demonize Hizballah, and dehumanize The Lebanese People at every turn. In the first day or two of Israel’s war on Lebanon, media were running the raw, first-hand accounts, but before you could say, “false flag,” the script was flipped.

================================
[stress added]
The militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from Israel, which sent ground forces into its neighbor to look for them. The forces were trying to keep the soldiers’ captors from moving them deeper into Lebanon, Israeli government officials said on condition of anonymity. [Forbes 7/12/06]

The Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement announced on Wednesday that its guerrillas have captured two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon. “Implementing our promise to free Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, our strugglers have captured two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon,” a statement by Hezbollah said. “The two soldiers have already been moved to a safe place,” it added. The Lebanese police said that the two soldiers were captured as they “infiltrated” into the town of Aitaa al-Chaab inside the Lebanese border. [Hindustan Times 7/12/06]

Only weeks ago, an entire reserve division was drafted in order to train for an operation such as the one the IDF is planning in response to Wednesday morning’s Hizbullah attacks on IDF forces along the northern border. [JPost 7/12/06]

[”...along the northern border”???]

Israel’s military response by air, land and sea to what it considered a provocation last week by Hezbollah militants is unfolding according to a plan finalized more than a year ago. In the years since Israel ended its military occupation of southern Lebanon, it watched warily as Hezbollah built up its military presence in the region. When Hezbollah militants kidnapped two Israeli soldiers last week, the Israeli military was ready to react almost instantly. [SFGate 7/21/06]

[http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/israeli_solders.html]

================================

The quotes from SF Gate and The Jerusalem Post show how omission and revision of the most vital facts (who encroached upon whom, why Hizballah did it, etc.) gets the spin process going. When combined with words like “response,” “provocation” and “kidnapped,” well-placed in the context, it gives the story a substantial turn – in this case, in a pro-Israeli direction (BTW: Soldiers aren’t kidnapped; they’re captured. And who “provoked” whom? Who “responed” to whose attack/encroachment?).

Imagine the frenzy into which AIPAC, CAMERA, et al. were whipped, circa July 13, tasked with another huge on-the-spot “PR campaign.” Poor Hasbaraniks – they weren’t ready just yet.

By the end of the first full week of coverage on the major networks and cable channels, the unchallenged foregone conclusion was that Hizballah was guilty of almost every form of treachery and “unprovoked” violence against Israel, when in fact the opposite was the case.

Nothing new under the Sun…

Report this

By Federer, March 9, 2007 at 1:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s highly likely that Olmert is not telling the whole truth. It’s also highly likely that the Winograd Commission will be as much of a whitewashing effort as the 1983 Kahan Commission was in investigating Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

By mid-July last year, it was known that Israel had pre-planned its invasion of Lebanon for over a year, not merely in the four months before the Israeli soldiers were CAPTURED (soldiers are not ‘abducted’ in a conflict) as observers assume Olmert is claiming. Israel just waited for the right time or pretext to launch the war. Just ten days into the war, Uri Avnery said (based on news reports in Israel): “Now it is not a secret anymore: this war has been planned for a long time. The military correspondents proudly reported this week that the army has been exercising for this war in all its details for several years. Only a month ago, there was a large war game to rehearse the entrance of land forces into South Lebanon - at a time when both the politicians and the generals were declaring that “we shall never again get into the Lebanon quagmire. We shall never again introduce land forces there.” Now we are in the quagmire, and large land forces are operating in the area.”
http://www.juancole.com/2006/07/war-on-lebanon-planned-for-at-least.html
http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1153678193
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/07/21/MNG2QK396D1.DTL&hw=kalman&sn=001&sc=1000

Olmert claims that he made the decision to invade just before he became Israel’s prime minister in April 2006, and that the basic invasion plans were drawn up during Ariel Sharon’s reign (did Sharon already decide to invade Lebanon?). Indeed, for all the blame heaped on Olmert and Peretz for being inexperienced in war, the invasion strategy was initially devised during Sharon’s time and executed mostly by Sharon’s people such as Dan Halutz.

Israel deliberately escalated a minor border skirmish (started by Hezbollah) into a full-scale bombing war against Lebanese civilians and infrastructure. International Law Prof. Richard Falk: “Whatever else, this outbreak of major two-front violence is not about Israel’s right to defend itself against an enemy that is seriously threatening its territorial integrity or political independence, the only grounds for justifiable war. To treat border incidents, involving a few casualties from rockets and the abduction of a single Israeli soldier by a Gazan militia and two by Hizbollah in south Lebanon, as if it were an occasion of war is a gross distortion of well-accepted international law and state practice. To justify legally a claim of self-defense requires a full-scale armed attack across Israeli borders. If every violent border incident or terrorist provocation were to be so regarded as an act of war, the world would be aflame. . .Recent Hamas/Hizbollah provocations…were not of a scale or threat that warranted large-scale military actions…The exaggerated Israeli response, together with circumstantial evidence, suggests that Israel used the Hamas/Hizbollah incidents as pretexts to pursue a much wider and long planned security agenda directed at Palestine and Lebanon, and beyond this, as an opportunity for a political restructuring of the entire region in partnership with the United States.”
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=22&ItemID=10668

Articles on the myths on Israel’s war against Lebanon:
http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2928
http://www.antiwar.com/orig/cook.php?articleid=9407
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0725-27.htm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1839280,00.html
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0725-23.htm
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=22&ItemID=10683
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=107&ItemID=10663
http://www.medialens.org/alerts/06/060725_demolishing_lebanon.php
http://www.medialens.org/alerts/06/060726_demolishing_lebanon.php

Report this

By Matthew Dodson, March 8, 2007 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: #57338 by Canadianguy

Pretty good point about Israeli peacemakers.  Being an Israel leader with the mindset to take his people towards peaceful solutions on the region’s conflicts seems to greatly increase the chance of sudden death or debilitating trauma.  If I were a an Israeli pol with a hankering for peace, I’d dismiss my state-provided security detail and get some friendlies trained rather quickly.  I only hope there will be future Israeli and Arab leaders with the courage to stand up for peace and the street-smarts to stay alive long enough to realize the dream.

Report this

By Mad As Hell, March 8, 2007 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have no problem with Israel defending itself. I have no problem with them acting in Lebanon when soldiers were seized.

I don’t even have a problem with making contingency plans for all sorts of scenarios, likely and unlikely.

But, why, oh WHY did they have a plan in place for 4 months before that attack that was such a $#!tty plan????

I mean, if the Bush admin was 100% in support (and especially if they helped plan it) then you KNOW it had to be a truly awful catastrophic plan. 

I mean, really.  Have the Israelis EVER looked so incompetent in battle before?  They may be tough, they may be rough, they may go over the edge, but DAMMIT until now they always were competent!

It just looked SO much like a Bush operation.

Report this

By Fools on the Hill, March 8, 2007 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That is about the time they met with Cheney in Wyoming when everyone was saying no one knew where Cheney was hiding out.

Report this

By Gradioc, March 8, 2007 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s quite obvious what is being implied. The evil Israelis were just lurking there hoping this would happen so they could kill some poor innocent Arabs. What a bunch of crap. What Hezbollah did is an act of war. I’m no mindless apologist for the Israelis. They’ve done plenty to inflame things over the years and conditions in the occupied territories (esp. Gaza) are like something out of “Escape From New York”. But they, like every other nation, have every right to defend themselves from attack. War staffs develope plans for all sorts of things, from the likely to the absurd. Want to fix the middle east? Get Arabs to stop killing Iraelis. Problem solved.

Report this

By Dale Headley, March 8, 2007 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is thought-provoking that Condi Rice was immediately and fully prepared to back Olmert’s plan on the very first day of the attack, isn’t it?  And you can be sure that she will be right there behind him hours after any forthcoming attack against Iran.  Has anyone bothered to inform Ms. Rice that the core mission of any Secretary of State is to promote peace, not war?  War should be waged by the warmongers, not the “diplomats”.

Report this

By Lefty, March 8, 2007 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #57324 by WCG on 3/08 at 5:57 am

“So why is this news? Despite your inflammatory headline, “Israel Pre-Planned Lebanon War,” I’m sure most countries have contingency plans for attack. In some cases, contingency plans for very unlikely attacks, which this obviously wasn’t. Whether or not it was the right decision is a reasonable question, but not the simple fact of agreeing to a contingency plan. I’d say it would have been negligent NOT to have developed some kind of plan. Again, why is this news? What are you trying to imply?”
——————————————————————-

WCG,

Don’t you get it?  Israel is not supposed to have either the ability or willingness to defend itself. The 6 million Jews who were murdered The Holocaust established a precedent in the Jew-hating mind, that Jews were put on this Earth to be victims who go limp in the face of attack!

In reality, it seems to me that the alpha-dog status that modern Jews occupy is the result of natural selection over the millenia.  All of the stupid, weak and cowardly Jews were murdered, and along with them, their stupid, weak, cowardly genetics.

The rest of the world hasn’t gotten comfortable with the idea, yet.

Just a thought. wink

Report this

By Max, March 8, 2007 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The reason why this is news, though certainly no surprise, is because Israel claimed the war was about the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. This was the claim touted to the world, this is the claim the US President and his proxies, Rice and Bolton used day after day as “reasons” for the justification to bomb the living day lights out of Lebanon and, most significantly and criminally, civilian targets.

Olmert now claims his pretext for war was a lie from the started - it is an admission of pre-planned war, an act of agression against a sovereign nation for activity waged by a militia acting on its own.

It’s that simple.

Report this

By ed_tru_lib, March 8, 2007 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So what if there was a contingency plan-gee what a warmongering surprise. Surrounded by a vast sea of enemies throughout its existance, of course Israel is going to have scenarios in place for when the terrorists attack, and probably even some plans for preventing the attacks in the first place. Too bad this country wasn’t similarly so “warlike” and “aggressive” prior to 911, or for that matter Pearl Harbor. Remember the British “leadership” of the 30’s. They had contingency plans too-knuckle under at all costs-how bad can it get-at least we’re not warmongers like that nasty Churchill and his notoriously pro-Jewish friend Roosevelt.

Report this

By Fadel Abdallah, March 8, 2007 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am surprised that this is presented as new news or new revelation about Israeli terrorist war in Lebanon. However, those who know better and those who are informed know that Israel plans its terrorist wars at least five years in advance. When it comes to war and terrorism Israel is ahead of the whole world; no one can beat them at this game, they are the ultimate masters, I should sadly admit!

Their next terrorist war is long way in the planning. I hope you have heard about the Arab city they built, at huge cost to taxpayer’s money, for training towards the next war. They do all this while the ‘…ucken’ bloody Arab and Muslim leaders, with very few exceptions, spend their wealth in building palaces and brutal security apparatus of espionage to suppress their own peoples and to keep them in bondage.

Few weeks after the Israeli terrorist war in Lebanon, I posted on one thread of Truthdig information from reliable sources that it was preplanned. It is sad that Western media outlets, including the respected Truthdig Blog, are way behind in learning about the truths and reporting them in a timely manner. Only when they get it from Israeli sources it becomes worthy news!

Report this

By trantieungoc, March 8, 2007 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sub-animal was preplanned to be human beings but it is still a sub-animal !

Report this

By dick, March 8, 2007 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel is getting much bad press recently. Perhaps the recent poll by BBC sheds some light . It shows that a majority of those polled believe Israel has the most negative influence in the world, even worse than Iran.

Report this

By Ga, March 8, 2007 at 11:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Again, time brings out more and more truths and (hopefully) dries up the speculation and assumptions that drive many first reports.

Both sides have been fighting for so long that anything can be used—indeed has—as an excuse for violent action.

Many wars start out as plans waiting for an excuse so as to implement. Perhaps most. America is good at it.

Report this

By John Lowell, March 8, 2007 at 9:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anyone surprized? I just wish a side-by-side, televised edition of this piece could be done with Secretary of State Rice’s cow-flop about why we weren’t doing something to end the violence in Lebanon last Summer.

It is indeed sad that the experience of the Hitler years has been so pervasive that it has taught some Israelis to emulate the tactics of National Socialism. Why did they wait for a provocation? Why didn’t someone in the IDF simply dress-up a couple of doped-up Lebanese in Hezbollah outfits, have them take over a radio station on the border and announce the beginning of hostilities alla Gleiwitz in 1939?

Neither Likud nor Bush is interested in peace in the Middle East. They endanger the world with their taste for war.

John Lowell

Report this

By joneden, March 8, 2007 at 9:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a war of civilizations. And it all hinges on the West Bank. If the Arabs don’t want us to kick their butts, they had better get the hell off of there so that the good Israelis can enjoy their ancient home land without further interference.

Connecting the dots: From human behaviors to Ecosystem Collapse
http://StudentsForTheEarth.org

Report this

By Canadianguy, March 8, 2007 at 8:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Did Olmert behave as his predecessor would have? Speculative, at best. Sharon may have asked for options, such as taking out long-range rocket positions, but I think he would have stopped at taking them out, period. A continuing game of tit for tat, with some brutal reminders of true Israeli power. I think Sharon would never have played his hand entirely the way Olmert did, and have to fold. If anybody thought Sharon was a hawk, Olmert proved him to be a dove, in comparison. How convenient for Sharon to fall ill, and into a coma, allowing the pieces to move into place to finalize the destruction of Lebanon, leaving it a shambles, and then give the coup de grace to Palestine. Why is it that as soon as an Israeli Prime Minister moves too close to dialogue and peace with the Arabs, something happens to him? It is a very dangerous stance or position for any Israeli PM to take. The disarmaent of Hizbollah must be read in the general context of the neutralization of any force, anywhere, that calls for united opposition to Israel’s continuing policy of totalitarian hegemony in the region. A weakened Lebanon, and indeed, a weak Arab Middle East, is just the way Israel likes it.

Report this

By WCG, March 8, 2007 at 6:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So why is this news? Despite your inflammatory headline, “Israel Pre-Planned Lebanon War,” I’m sure most countries have contingency plans for attack. In some cases, contingency plans for very unlikely attacks, which this obviously wasn’t. Whether or not it was the right decision is a reasonable question, but not the simple fact of agreeing to a contingency plan. I’d say it would have been negligent NOT to have developed some kind of plan. Again, why is this news? What are you trying to imply?

Report this
 
Monsters of Our Own Creation? Get tickets for this Truthdig discussion of America's role in the Middle East.
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook