Author Topic: The Stench of Something Rotten  (Read 2186 times)

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Offline Shlomo

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The Stench of Something Rotten
« on: October 01, 2006, 01:52:44 AM »
GREAT article!

The Stench of Something Rotten
by Paula R. Stern - Sep 26, '06 / 4 Tishrei 5767
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/article.php3?id=6572

Something was smelling not quite right in my kitchen the other day. After two days of holidays and many guests at several meals, there was this odor that something, somewhere had gone bad. It wasn't in the refrigerator, nor was it on the stove. It might have been some of the wet towels, after days of washing dishes and wiping up things that spilled ... In the end, it seems it was probably the fish, but it might have been something else; so we carefully went through it all, cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom to make sure that what was rotten would be thrown out and only the good and healthy remain.

And the lesson? Where something stinks, there is something rotten to be found. This is true in the kitchen and in the government. Something stinks in the way this government managed (or mismanaged) the Lebanon War: Part II. Something is rotten in the sheer number of our politicians being accused of sexual misconduct. Something is wrong with how many of our leaders are being accused of bribery, fraud, dishonesty and betraying the trust of the people.

Something stinks in the way that political appointments are made, not on the basis of qualifications, but on political connections. Something is rotten about how many of our children live below the poverty line and that so many important medications are not available to the people who need them. It's wrong that men were sent to battle, and to their deaths, because the army was so ill-prepared and so ill-equipped. Even more so, something stinks in the attempted spin the government is hoping to sell Israel. If you can't win a war, the government seems to be saying, at least lie about it.

We won the war, says a desperate Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, though our soldiers are still held captive, billions of shekels of damage has been done, more than one hundred dead, thousands wounded and Hizbullah still has thousands of missiles for the next round. Nasrallah and the Hizbullah leadership are intact and their "victory" has been celebrated by tens of thousands in Lebanon.

It isn't my fault we lost, says a conniving Defense Minister Amir Peretz. Though he admits we lost, he is careful to make sure that the blame does not fall on his shoulders. Who chose me to be the defense minister, he puts forth convincingly. Indeed, before the election, who in his right mind would have thought Peretz was qualified for such an important position? It isn't like he had any relevant experience for the job and, while he might admit to being an opportunist, he certainly doesn't want to admit to being incompetent. He certainly won't admit that he put his own ego and that of his party above the needs of the people of Israel.

Shouldn't Peretz have known the maps were six years old before he gave the order to start a war to get back our kidnapped soldiers? Did he even give the order? Does he even understand there was an order?

As for Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, clearly he is more concerned with his stock portfolio than a true analysis of how the army under his command was prepared. With all of his experience, shouldn't he have known that what Hamas succeeded in doing in Gaza, Hizbullah would try in Lebanon? Why were we surprised that they had such long-range missiles? And so many of them? Why didn't we know where the bunkers were and have the weapons to hit them? Something certainly stinks in the way this war was fought.

And on the home front: Why were the shelters allowed to deteriorate? Why did it take so long to get supplies to the people? Why was there no organized evacuation, if evacuation was required? Why no safe (and affordable) haven for the people?

So many questions, so many rotten decisions and actions.

So many women are coming forward. The president has been accused of misconduct (and worse) and the justice minister of impropriety. We have ministers accused of all sorts of crimes and ultimately, where so much stinks, something is rotten. The only way to clean it out is to examine all the things that were done and throw out what may not have been good in the first place. We may not have many high-level politicians left once we finish, but perhaps if we start, in their place will arise men and women of distinction, of integrity, of honor and pride.

We are, in many ways, at a major crossroad in our country's history. For once, much of the people agree that we have done above and beyond all we can do to achieve peace and now there must be reciprocity. There must be a partner. We know unilateral concessions are simply self-delusional. There must be, among the Arabs, someone with whom to talk. There is no one now. Not Hamas and certainly not Hizbullah; not Mahmoud Abbas and certainly not Ismail Haniyeh.

Disengagement failed because it was never attempted. We did not attempt to disengage with the Palestinians. We only convinced them to try harder to achieve their goals through violence, while throwing out 9,000 Israeli citizens who remain abandoned by the government to this day.

We cannot attempt Convergence. We don't even know what that means. We stand at the threshold of a new year with three more soldiers held hostage and Hizbullah emboldened. We cannot abandon Gilad, Ehud and Eldad, and we cannot continue to have a government where more is rotten than good.

It's time to admit Kadima has not taken us forward, that Labor has not worked for the good of the country. Whatever future leaders we have, they must be dedicated first and foremost to the people, not to their own party or their own political future. If we have to enact term limitations to rid ourselves of the rotten, then it must be done.

As we begin a new year, one we hope will bring peace and safety to our people, we must first throw out whatever stinks, from the topmost offices to the bottom, so that only the good and healthy remain.
"In the final analysis, for the believer there are no questions, and for the non-believer there are no answers." -Chofetz Chaim