I haven’t found the actual Hebrew text yet, but here is how the Jerusalem post reports the just-released testimony of Ehud Barak before the Winograd commission (tasked to investigate the failures associated with the Second Lebanon War):
[New Defense Minister,] Labor Party leader and former prime minister Ehud Barak told the Winograd Committee that after the kidnapping of two soldiers and the killing of eight others on July 12, 2006, it was inevitable that the government would launch a broad attack against Hizbullah, because it was led by civilians and had a new chief of General Staff, Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz.
He added that although he did not publicly express criticism at first, he had his doubts that this was the right choice.
“I told friends: ‘Let’s wait three weeks. It might turn out that you will come to realize that we had two prime ministers [referring to himself and Ariel Sharon] who were not so confused and not so blind, but rather felt sufficient peace of mind and self-confidence to determine when and how [we would strike] and that [the other side] would not force a second front upon us.”
Does the arrogance stand out? It does to me — especially coming from the guy who presided over the IDF’s flight from South Lebanon in 2000, which allowed Hezbollah to transform itself from an irritation to a serious threat.
We’ll never know how he would actually have reacted in the summer of 2006 if he had been in a position of responsibility. But I’m afraid that Hezbollah and Syria will soon give him a chance to demonstrate the quality of his judgment.
At least he’ll know to remove the lens caps from his binoculars.