Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Interview with a border soldier

We were talking with a soldier in the Golani Brigades, who is currently protecting the northern front. This soldier wants to remain anonymous because he is officially not allowed to make political comments. He is a commander of a special forces unit, who's job it is to go deep into Lebanon and complete missions.
We spoke to him via cell phone from our Jerusalem refugee office.

(This interview is translated from the original Hebrew)
RockofGalilee: Can you tell us a little bit about what is going on there on the border?
Soldier: The soldiers are sitting around drinking tea and playing backgammon.
Rock: Are they enterring Lebanon and engaging the enemy?
Soldier: No. Our orders are to not do anything, only the airforce is doing missions right now and we are making sure that nobody sneaks over the border.
Rock: Do you think that we should be going in with the ground troops?
Soldier: I think that if we want to stop the rocket attacks, ground troops must be used. The air force is very powerful, but they can't prevent terrorists from running out of a barn with a mobile launcher and then running back in 30 seconds later when the missile is in the air.
Rock: Why aren't the ground troops going in?
Soldier: The government, especially the prime minister and defense minister, are weak, spineless cowards. They don't know what it takes to win a war.
Rock: Aren't the generals supposed to educate them on what needs to be done?
Soldier: Technically that is true, but since the disengagement from Gaza it seems like the politicians tell the army what they want to hear and then the army parrots it back. When security officials disagreed with the disengagement from Gaza, they got fired and completely bashed in the media. Career officers are afraid to disagree.
Rock: So what are you going to do about it?
Soldier: I am already the backgammon champion of my unit and I would like to compete among the best of the platoon.
Rock: So in other words, nothing?
Soldier: There is nothing I can do. In the army we follow orders, and when we protest the orders that would only be in not doing what we consider an immoral mission. It would be very dangerous for us and everyone else if we didn't follow orders and went and did a mission.

Rock: Thank you very much for your comments. Good Luck, Be Safew and may God be with you.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

S,

I appreciate your postings, but part of me (the part that is not helping the achdus issue we Jews have) wonders if that was a real interview or is it just your thoughts and feelings put int he words of a soldier. Sorry for the doubt.

Pilgrim said...

Responding to the anonymous commenter at 10:24am, it sure sounds like a frustrated soldier to me.

Whether you made it up or not is immaterial, tho I believe it, the fact is the soldier is right. To destroy the barbarian horde on your northern border you must send in Infantry and Armor to take and hold the land. Destroy Hezbollah and help Lebanon form a REAL government.

God Bless you all. May He protect you and give your soldiers true aim in this fight. May He also speak to your politicians powerfully and allow them to see the reality of this situation. May He also slap President Bush around for even thinking about imposing a deadline on your soveriegn State. Even if he does, I hope your PM Olmert tells him to get bent.

This is a fight long in coming and worthy to be fought.

God Speed Israel.

rockofgalilee said...

It wasn't as much a media interview as much as it was a conversation that I rewrote in interview format for the purposes of the blog.