Guo Jia (iv): Olmert, the tragic paradox of history

Had Guo Jia been advising Israel's Olmert, he would have said, "If you drive Hezbollah away from the South, it will have to go to the North. Illustrious Sir, you are on no account to attack the north at any time, for the North has long lived in fear lest the Hezbollah should absorb its part of the country. When they arrive, the North will hesitate. But if you attack the North, it will save Hezbollah and help him; if you wait, they will work against each other. This is evident." (Original: 今闻袁熙、袁尚往投辽东,明公切不可加兵。公孙康久畏袁氏吞并,二袁 往投必疑。若以兵击之,必并力迎敌,急不可下;若缓之,公孙康、袁氏必自相图: 其势然也。)

Olmert could have alienated Hezbollah from the rest of the Lebanese, especially those in the North. Instead, he chose to provoke the Northern Lebanese and drove them together. It was arrogance and over-confidence that led him to make such grave mistakes.

As written in Israeli newspaper Harretz, when comparing Sharon and Olmert
  • "Over and over again, the paradox is revealed: Retired generals discover the limits of power when they become political leaders, while "civilian" leaders tend to be deceived by the magical power of the IDF..."
History is full of tragic paradox. Mao Zedong, who exceled in every war he led, against the KMT and even against the mighty US in Korea, failed miserably in ruling a state. Olmert, perhaps a great politician who has won the support of Israeli people, may go down in history for making a war he knew nothing about.

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