Sir, - One need not have read the Winograd Report to know that the government of Israel botched the war with Hizbullah. As always, such events are a microcosm of the greater problem: Put politicians in charge where private experts should be, and the consequences are disastrous.
Surely the government's only job should be to agree to go to war. Thereafter, engagement should be firmly entrusted to the hands of those who know how to execute it: the generals ("Prime minister gets support from cabinet, sets up committee to implement Winograd," May 3).
Sir, - Like the brazen bunch responsible for the collapse of the bridge over the Yarkon at Maccabiah time, these government officials should be indicted, brought to trial, convicted and sentenced for wantonly and recklessly causing injury and death to hundreds of Israelis ("Opposition MKs to attack Olmert," May 3).
Sir, - This government can redeem itself by a last deed for which it would be favorably remembered. It can change the electoral system to one in which the voter has direct control of who gets elected. After all, the present incumbents have nothing further to lose.
Sir, - Once again Larry Derfner has it right on the nail. The Winograd Committee blames Israel's three leaders, Ehud Olmert, Amir Peretz and then chief of staff Dan Halutz, for having gone to war at all - prepared or not. But the Israeli "street" wants blood because the leaders didn't win in a decisive enough fashion ("The anti-war message of Winograd," May 3).
wars are about
Sir, - Larry Derfner is a challenging commentator. However, his column should have been written after he read Ruthie Blum's remarkable interview with Amir Taheri, a veteran journalist in Middle East Affairs, in the same issue ("You can't make a deal with a cause").
The view expressed by so many intellectual elites is that there is no justification for a war in which the sovereignty of Israel is not the issue. A war can be justified only if the people of central Israel are under constant attack; and in order to survive, practically every aspect of territory should be surrendered.
The view represented by those who understand that the Islamist danger of the Middle East, from India to Africa, is ever-spreading has not been properly emphasized. A war in which the Muslims defeated Israel would create a world in which it would not be very easy for the rest of humanity to live.
The Islamic world that existed in the Middle Ages does not exist today. Muslim ambitions have terrorized and perverted Muslims' thinking so that they now cannot accept a proper place religiously and nationally, but demand dominance.
Western thinking, for its part, must be able to accept that there is value in Western civilization.
Israel has emerged as a country that is leading the war for the principles of freedom, liberty and self-determination. This is what the wars Israel engages in are all about.