The Corner

Re: I Wonder

Rich, I was assuming that, so maybe I worded my post sloppily. What I was referring to was the intangible cost to Israel of believing for the first time that it has lost a war. That’s a huge setback for the nation, and in retrospect the country would have been better off not beginning the fight it was going to lose. The great mystery here is why Olmert choked. He had his nation’s support to go in guns blazing, he had tacit American support, even secret Arab support. And then he just froze, clinging to the delusion that he could win this from the air. He used ever more fiery rhetoric while his tactics grew ever more ineffective — and then when he finally resolved to use ground forces, he clearly felt like he had been saved when the U.N. resolution’s language offered him enough cover to give it up. This was a colossal failure of leadership, one of the worst I can think of. And it comes at immense cost to his nation’s sense of itself.

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