The weak point of the Winograd Committee report, which is already being utilized by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as the starting point for his defense, is that if everyone is guilty, then no one is.
As is to be expected from a panel that includes renowned strategist Prof. Yehezkel Dror, the committee did not only uncover the tactical failures of the Second Lebanon War, but also the strategic errors that were made.
The committee, however, did not stop there. The report makes sure to place the blame on all the relevant officials from the political and military echelons. It does not exempt any ministers from responsibility for the failure, nor the National Security Council.
The committee did not only diagnose the ailing ones currently in power, it did not miss the opportunity to identify the chronic diseases of past governments, offering not only an analgesic, but also a cure.
Olmert's aides took full advantage of this. Their first responses reveal the defense strategy of both the prime minister and defense minister, namely: "What do you want from us? The report states that great military experts also failed."
Olmert will cling to Eliyahu Winograd's claim that this report does not focus on the past, but on the future. He will promise to learn from past mistakes and say that no one is more suitable for rehabilitating the country.
The severity of the report will also be used by its victims to claim that due to the dangers that lurk at the northern border, Israel cannot afford to change horses mid-stream.
The government's insurance policy is the current balance of power between the coalition and the opposition in the Knesset. A young Knesset does not tend to shorten its lifespan.
The Kadima party in power is nothing but a group of disconnected members, with no shared ideology, that will not rush to follow in the footsteps of Yosef Lapid's late Shinui party.
The feuding Labor Party, whose eyes are all on next month's primaries, will settle for dancing on Peretz's grave, which was dug long ago.
The greatest asset of this coalition is opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu. Over the past few days, the same argument that always arises during political crises resurfaced: "What do you want - Bibi in power?"
Some think that the public will succeed in ridding us of this crowd of failures. Olmert can say he has lost his faith in the state comptroller. He can even hide behind the Winograd Committee that has lost its faith in a generation of Israeli leaders. But Olmert cannot say that he lost faith in the public.
Only a well-respected and charismatic leader, someone who can lead the masses and translate that charisma to political power, can launch the countdown to the end of the Olmert government and the era of Kadima.
As the Winograd report says, all of this is critical, yet not enough to avoid the failure of a third Lebanon war or a conflict with Syria. For that, we finally need to elect a government that knows not only how to get into war, but also how to get out of it. Even 300 million Americans couldn't pull that off.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now