Aug 22, 2006

Israeli reservists demand war inquiry

Allege "shocking incompetence" in war prosecution.
One group spoke of how they were sent to war in the choking summer heat without water. They had to grab canteens from the bodies of Hizbollah fighters. They staged protests in several ways. Some signed a petition; others pitched tents outside government buildings in Jerusalem. But their message was clear.

They charged that Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, and his security advisers provided dithering and incoherent leadership and must be held to account. Many of the protesters simply called for the security elite to resign.


Hundreds of members of the Spearhead Brigade, a reserve unit that fought in south Lebanon during the month-long conflict, signed a petition published in a newspaper that attacked the "cold feet" of their commanders.

"There was one thing we were not and would not be willing to accept," the petition said. "We were unwilling to accept indecisiveness.

"The war's aim, which was not defined clearly, was even changed in the course of the fighting. The indecisiveness manifested itself in inaction, in not carrying out operational plans, and in cancelling all the missions we were given during the fighting.

"This led to prolonged stays in hostile territory, without an operational purpose."

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