I listened to Olmert’s speech today (most of it). I normally do not waste time listening to such speeches, but as I was driving in insane traffic and as listening to music is not the done thing these days, Olmert was pretty much the only option.
Some of the gems from the mouth of our Prime Minister: “Israel is winning, with unprecented gains”; “the face of the Middle East has changed”; “this war created a new balance in the region”; “Israel can no longer be threatened with missiles”; and so on and so forth. You get the picture.
The conclusion is obvious: Olmert knows that time is running out and fast. International pressure, coupled with the evident lack of success in bringing about a decisive victory in the battlefield (as if one were possible), means that the cease fire is around the corner. Unless Israel deliberately widens the scope of this war in order to escalate the conflict and continue fighting – and it’s becoming a bit late in the game to do that – Olmert will very soon need to agree to a political solution that will allow Israel to bow out of this conflict with some dignity. However, as this political solution will not bring about a significant change compared to the situation Israel was in prior to July 12, 2006, he is beginning to spin the story to make this war look like a victory, lest he and his government be blamed for promising too much and achieving so little.
The window of opportunity Israel created three weeks ago, with the help of a collosal blunder courtesy of Nasrallah, is snapping shut. Olmert’s government hesitated and missed a golden opportunity to make a difference. Now they are scrambling to save what they can. So obvious and so sad.