Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Israeli Tail Wags AmeriKan Dog

"Tail, Dog, Wag

The U.S., together with France, had authored the recent UN Gaza ceasefire resolution but then, in the evening of January 8 between 9:15pm and 10:15pm, was the only one to abstain from it. How come?

Julian Berger wrote for The Guardian on January 9:

The US change of mind came at the last moment, as a result of White House intervention following a call from Olmert. Rice was overridden and in the final vote, the US abstained. In her remarks afterwards, Rice made clear she backed the resolution, saying the US "fully supports" its goals, text and objectives.

Aluf Benn for Haaretz reported yesterday:

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice supported the UN Resolution and assisted with its formulation. Livni was in contact with Rice in an attempt to soften its wording.

At the last minute, at 3:30 A.M., Prime Minister Ehud Olmert also intervened with a desperate phone call to President George W. Bush, requesting that the United States veto the resolution. Bush refused, simply instructing Rice to abstain from the vote.

Now Olmert gives his version of that day:

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was left shame-faced after President George W. Bush ordered her to abstain in a key UN vote on the Gaza war, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Monday.

"She was left shamed. A resolution that she prepared and arranged, and in the end she did not vote in favour," Olmert said in a speech in the southern town of Ashkelon.
The United States, Israel's main ally, had initially been expected to voted in line with the other 14 but Rice later became the sole abstention.

"In the night between Thursday and Friday, when the secretary of state wanted to lead the vote on a ceasefire at the Security Council, we did not want her to vote in favour," Olmert said

"I said 'get me President Bush on the phone'. They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I didn't care. 'I need to talk to him now'. He got off the podium and spoke to me.

"I told him the United States could not vote in favour. It cannot vote in favour of such a resolution. He immediately called the secretary of state and told her not to vote in favour."

Bush was in Philadelphia on January 8 talking about the no child left behind sham between 11am and 12am. The time difference between Israel and U.S. eastern is -7 hours. If Olmert called at 3:30 that would have been 8:30pm in Washington DC, not during any official speech in Philadelphia, but right before the Security Council meeting.

So Olmert is exaggerating his influence here - he did not get Bush to interrupt a speech, but he did get him to change a UN vote..

But the essence is clear. Israel called and the U.S. president did as he was told to do.

Dog, Tail, Wag, whatever ...