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Comments on: Eye on the Watcher’s Council





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By: jimmy carter s children Trendy Here!

Sun, 18 May 2008 00:51:59 +0000

[...] understands that the missiles being fired at the Israelis by the Palestinians aren’t … credit : [...]



By: Freedom Fighter

Thu, 15 May 2008 01:46:21 +0000

Hello Again, Dave The problem is the demon of coalition politics. As I said, if you look at the polls, Olmert's approval ratings have been in single digits for quite some time. The Knesset ( Israeli parliament) has 120 members of whom Olmert's party,Kadima, has only 29. You need at least 61 members to be able to seat a government, and a majority vote of no confidence to go to elections. When a government is formed, building a coalition means various goodies are handed out in the form of ministries.which means power, subsidies for special interests and patronage,just like here. Some members of Olmert's coalition are reluctant to go to elections with a vote of no confidence, because many of them, particularly in Kadima and would not only lose their ministries but likely get voted out of power. So they're hanging on for dear life in spite of an increasingly infuriated electorate...kinda like our Fearless Leader in DC. I mean,can you imagine where Bush's approval ratings would be if they were shooting rockets at shopping malls from Mexico and he basically did nothing effective to stop it? At present, Olmert's majority is a bare 63 seats, which includes 10 Arab members. Several of the members of his coalition will likely bolt if he's indicted, as seems likely. According to all the polls I've seen, a Center Right coalition made up of Likud, Shas, NRP and probably Israel Beiteinu would win the election handily if it were held today, with Likud getting a majority..which means that Bibi Netanyahu would be the next PM. There you go, boyo..more about the bodily contact sport of Israeli politics than you probably wanted to know! Hope it was helpful. All Best, ff



By: Dave Schuler

Wed, 14 May 2008 17:02:49 +0000

Thanks, ff. I appreciate your response. I'm absolutely no expert on Israeli politics but doesn't the fact that Olmert continues in power constitute prima facie evidence that, although some Israelis may have wanted otherwise there wasn't enough dissatisfaction with what happened that there would have been enough political support to do more?



By: Freedom Fighter

Wed, 14 May 2008 15:57:21 +0000

Hello Dave, To answer your question.... First there was a great deal of political support in Israel for finishing off Hezbollah as a threat from the Israeli electorate. Not only were they deliberately attacked, but Hezbollah's missile attacks on civilian targets in Northern Israel had the same sort of effect that the Nazi Blitz had on Britain's population in WWII - they wanted to even the score and finish off Hezbollah. The uncertainty came from the Olmert Government, who originally tried to fight the war from the air while sending in ground troops piecemeal with no offensive plan, thanks to Olmert and his amatuer defense minister Peretz, who later resigned. Read the Winograd report sometime. Based on what I've heard from my IDF contacts, they were outraged at both the mismanagement of the war and the proclamation of a ceasefire when they had Hezbollah's positions in South Lebanon surrounded. ( You'll rmember that Olmert finally sent the IDF ground troops in full force towards the end). From what I've heard, they feel they could have destroyed Hezbollah in South Lebanon in about two to three more weeks or so of fighting,since they had already crossed the Litani and split the Hezbos in South Lebanon off from their bases in the Bek'aa Valley so they couldn't be reinforced or resupplied except from the air...which the IDF controlled. 'Finishing the job' would have entailed continuing the offensive and destroying Hezbollah's bases and infrastructure in South Lebanon and then continuing to bomb their bases in the Bek'aa Valley, while holding out for a meaningful ceasefire that would have ensured that Resolution 1701, which mandated the disarmament of Hezbollah was actually carried out. If that had happened, Hezbollah would have been destroyed as a player for quite some time, and a major Iranian proxy would be off the board. One need only look at how our warriors and the Iraqi Army defeated another Iranian proxy, the Mahdi Army as an example of how that works..and yes, I understand that there are differences in the two situations, but the basic principle applies. As it was, Condi Rice engineered a meaningless ceasefire that did nothing to stop Hezbollah from being rearmed under the noses of UNIFIL, who were supposed to prevent it under the Resolution. They're now a threat again not only to Israel and Lebanon, but in other places like Central Africa where Iran is trying to expand. The Israeli public is fully aware of this, which is one big reason Olmert's approval ratings poll in single digits. I hope this clarifies things. All Best, ff