Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Olmert Plays Pawns Bush, Rice: Israel Dictating US Foreign Policy

For years, many have said that U.S. foreign policy, especially in the middle east, is basically run by Israel. Under Bush II, this rumor has been engraved in granite. In fact, W has seen fit to let Israel basically run wild with whatever right-wing schemes it could come up with. And these schemes tend to run to the bloody, overkill side. But now Olmert is up front and center about it. Or should I say, he's bragging about how he called Bush up in the middle of the night, told him to get Condi to last-minute reneg on her planned support for a cease-fire agreement on the Gaza massacre, so, of course, ol' George cain't say no, and made poor Condi back out in an embarrassing breach of promise.

But then, there is no such thing as a promise from the US to anyone other than Israel, or so it seems. In his own bravado:
Olmert: "It transpired all of a sudden that a vote would be held in 10 minutes' time. I tried to find President Bush, and I was told he was attending an event in Philadelphia. I know that if somebody tried to find me on the phone right now, it would have to be something unusual and extraordinary for them to say: Leave it all and go to some room to talk to me. In this case, I said: I don't care, I have to talk to him right now. He was taken off the podium and brought to a side room.

I spoke with him; I told him: You can't vote for this proposal. He said: Listen, I don't know, I didn't see, don't know what it says. I told him: I know, and you can't vote for it! He then instructed the secretary of state, and she did not vote for it.
It was a proposal she had put together, one she formulated, one she organized, one she maneuvered. It left her rather embarrassed, abstaining in the vote on a proposal she herself had put together. That was why the French and the Brits said she had pulled a fast one on them, she having been the one to spur them to submit the proposals."

The NYT indicates Rice & the State Dept deny any such influence, stating this was their plan all along.

After the vote, Ms. Rice said the United States “fully supports” the resolution, which called for “an immediate, durable and fully respected cease-fire leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza,” but opted to abstain to see the outcome of an Egyptian-French peace initiative.

Well, WAS the call in the middle of a speaking engagement by Bush made by Olmert the reason Rice backtracked on the cease-fire plan she allegedly drafted herself? And was she really embarrassed?

About "embarrassed", I have my doubts. It didn't embarass her when Israel destroyed Lebanon's airport and infrastructure and many civilians were slaughtered because of two kidnapped Israeli soldiers. It didn't embarrass her when Israel invaded Gaza, a civilian population with none but the most rudimentary self-defense. Why would this embarrass her? Ah, according to Olmert, it's her ego that was wounded.

So Olmert's getting bored with killing civilians and destroying lives of millions for political gain. So now he wants to mess with superpower egos.

Let's hope this whole thing backfires. Do tyrants and criminals ever pay a price? After 8 years of Bush and right-wing Israelis, one sincerely wonders. Now Obama's coming, so maybe Israeli neocons are having their bloodthirsty last stand. But will there be a similar sea change inside the borders of Israel itself, a shift to the left?

When the slaughter of innocents becomes how you impress an Israeli citizenry, it seems the opposite is true. Will Obama join the legacy of Bush and others to applaud massacres by standing on the sidelines blaming Hamas? Or will there be hope for the future? We are waiting...and hoping...and hoping...

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