ISRAEL'S MINIATURE NAPOLEON
By Prof. Paul Eidelberg
Israel's Prime Minister is a miniature Napoleon. He arrogantly proclaims: "No one can teach me about security!"
So what constitutes a nation's security? First factor, territorial depth. Yet our miniature Napoleon is willing to yield the Golan Heights and most of Judea and Samaria. Second factor, military power, which means maintaining military superiority over potential enemies. Yet our little Napoleon is prepared to enter into an agreement that would result in the American modernization of Syria's military establishment!
Third factor, knowledge of the enemy. Yet our minute Napoleon refers to Syrian despot Hafez Assad as a "great man" -- meaning a man he looks up to, a man he can trust, a man who sincerely desires peace! If our simpleton believe this he can believe anything! But even if he doesn't, his praising the Butcher of Damascus can only disarm the people of Israel.
This third factor needs to be elaborated. Knowledge of the enemy is obviously essential to the highest ranking military commander. He must understand not only the enemy's military power, but also its political system, the character of its people, their relationship to their ruling elites, hence, what holds the enemy's regime together and what can tear them apart. And he must also understand the character of the enemy's allies and the extent to which those allies can provide military, economic, and even diplomatic support. That Israel's miniature Napoleon possesses such knowledge is more than dubious.
A fourth factor of national security is knowledge of what constitutes the power of one's own country. As any military scientist knows, the most important ingredient of national power is not military hardware, is not territory, is not economic resources, is not size of population, but MORALE! It was because of its lack of morale that the United States, the greatest military power on earth, lost the war in Vietnam to a backward nation. On this most important ingredient of national power Israel's former chief of staff is a self-inflated ignoramus.
In the case of Israel, morale requires not only national unity, but national pride and a strong sense of national purpose - which can only be derived from the nation's heritage. On this subject Israel's Napoleon is an utter flake.
This fourth factor also needs to be elaborated if we are to fully understand what constitutes a nation's security, of which Barak boastfully claims to be an expert. The power of a nation also depends on the character of its allies. It goes without saying that Israel's most important ally is the United States. Our highest ranking military commander must not only understand America's political institutions, but the character of its people, especially of its policy-makers and opinion-makers. He must understand America's global interests and alliances, and therefore the character of many nations with which the US has diplomatic relations.
The above is only a brief survey of the ingredients of national power, hence of what constitutes a nation's security. Is it not obvious, however, that the highest ranking military commander (as well as a military scientist) must also possess the knowledge of a political scientist of the highest caliber? This one may learn from the great Karl von Clausevitz, the Aristotle on war, but hardly from Israel's pathetic War College, which, thanks to the late Professor Y. Harkabi, fosters moral relativism and the pernicious doctrine that Israel can only react to, rather than initiate, events in world affairs.
Which takes me back to Israel's diminutive Napoleon, who knows next to nothing about security! He himself lacks the personal qualities required of the highest ranking military commander, let alone of a prime minister. One of those qualities is modesty-this to appreciate diverse points of view and to consider advice from wiser or more experienced counselors. Yet this former chief of staff struts around on the world stage like Napoleon Bonaparte.
Modesty, however, has to be balanced by intellectual independence. Yet Clinton's little toy has confessed that had he been born an Arab he would have been a terrorist! A nice display of the moral relativism Barak may have imbibed at Israel's War College.
But enough! When the prophet Isaiah said "And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them," he was forewarning us of little Napoleons like Ehud Barak!