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13 January 2009


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Pat, I heard about this from my wife an hour ago and found it hard to believe... but now that you've fleshed it out, I must agree that I'm shocked...

... by the fact that Mr. Bush would allow himself to be manipulated to directly.

... by the fact that Olmert would even attempt it and then that he would celebrate it publicly.

Too bad this did not come out before Bush's Last Stand before the assembled press yesterday, though I presume that he and the other parties to it would deny it completely.

Finally, I do not think - or at least I have great hopes - that an Obama's foreign policy team will not be so weak...


"Too clever by half as the Brits might say. Too clever by half... pl"

Or perhaps more clever than wise. And I'm sure many in Israel are thinking Olmert should just shut up. Influence is greatest when it can't be seen and Olmert just gave a hint at what power Israel has over the U.S. government.

Of course he is trying to sound like an influential tough guy because that's all he has left politically. But that doesn't mean it didn't happen more or less as he said it.

I've often wondered; do all American politicians love Israel to death? Do all of them love to go out and issue statements about how they are fighting terror and defending themselves? Is there any nagging doubts amongst any of them? Do any of them resent having to jump at AIPAC's call? Is it Just fear that keeps them in line?

Then again, if it's just fear, then how come a Ron Paul can stand up and tell it like it is and still get reelected?


Hmmm, the dialog gets more and more elaborated. The story just got my head spinning, which in turn resulted in my spamming the whole comment section on Mondoweiss.

Good you control us nitwits. ;)

But from my limited perspective it feels a bit the news inspired the dramatic talents of: Jeffrey Heller, Editing by Alistair Lyon here. It seems to be an elaborated version. No official text to rely on. Were these guys really present in Ashkelon?

http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/01/where-is-hillary-on-ceasefire-.html>Where is Hillary on cease-fire?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090113/pl_nm/us_palestinians_israel_olmert_usa>U.S. says remarks on Olmert-Bush call inaccurate

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, who was with Rice at the United Nations last week during debate on the U.N. resolution, said the remarks were "just 100 percent, totally, completely untrue."

This is of course a recurring story. Origins/original articles/journalists? What exactly happened?


"...a passionate attachment of one Nation for another produces a variety of evils." President George Washington, Farewell Adress 1796.

President Washington gave the nation some good advice that is no longer followed. I wish the politicos would pay more attention to Washington, rather than the criminal mass murderer Lincoln, which seems so popular lately.


Could someone please explain to me why this story seems to be pretty much ignored by everyone except bloggers? If what Olmert says is true, the head of a foreign government is dictating US policy to the head of our government (Bush, for now). Isn't this an infringement on the US "sovereignity" that the right in this country is so often up in arms about? Or is it cool as long as Israel does it?


It's hard to imagine anyone, anywhere, pushing around the Obama-Hillary duet. Hillary no longer has to answer to her New York constituency, and Obama is beholden to no one. Israel will have to think twice about biting the hand that feeds it. (reference: your photo)


Can a nation, collectively, lose its mind? What is the point of this braggadocio? 'they got him off the podium'? Why embarrass one of the last bastions (DC Establishment)of support the Israel has?

Nuts. Self destructive!

Medicine Man

Yet the topic of what extent US national interest and Israeli national interest intersects is never allowed to enter public discourse at a national level. In fact, the entire subject appears to be a forbidden topic to the powers that be. I often wonder why Americans put up with this nonsense.


"One of Israel's greatest weakness is thos notion that they have that they are more clever, more capable and generally superior to most people."

Supremacists with a supremacist ideology, i.e. Zionism.

Hopefully it ends like in South Africa.


The fact that Bush complied says alot about the guts of "The Decider."


Hey. 14-0 with one abstention. It's friggin embarrassing. There can be no doubt who run US foreign policy when it comes to middle east policy. Bush has put US global standing in absolute ditch. The same level as Israel as a world outcast.

From Tel Aviv with Love should be the title of next Bond movie.


In this forum, we have been speculating about this subject for while.

Glad our cogitations have been confirm in public.


I would add the word "arrogant" too arrogant for their own good.


These are gods chosen people we are dealing with. The rest of us are expendable philistines. Zionism makes obligatory the notion that if you are not a Jew you cannot be close to god as Jew's "are" and therefore do not matter. Period. Non-Zionist Jews do not run Israel.


I sometimes wonder if Zionism is a mental illness or a criminal gang.

Bill W, NH, USA

Juan Cole on his web site slices and dices this controversial pronouncement of Olmert's:


"A senior U.S. official disputed the account.

"The government of Israel does not make policy for the United States," the official said on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the diplomacy."

Apparently, according to Cole, the time line is off but Olmert may have been confused.

"Every time we do something you tell me Americans will do
this and will do that. I want to tell you something very clear,
don't worry about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish
people control America, and the Americans know it." -- Aerial Sharon, to Shimon Peres, 3 October, 2001 as reported by Kol Yisrael radio"

Michael Chevalier

Bill Mahre kept on saying the Decider had one giant screw up left in him, before he left.


Dan M

This does seem idiotic -- just days before the new president takes office, he publically announces himself as the top dog in the bush administration's relationship with Israel and makes out the us secretary of state to be some lacky who needed "shaming." Obamanistas/Clintonistas will surely take note.

William R. Cumming

Each day in GAZA that goes by further ensures no peaceful outcome nor long-term increased liklihood of peace. That should be the test for all nations including the participants of the disaster in GAZA at this point. For the very first time, the US is going to face the occurrence of the potential of genocide being conducted by a nation-state that would not exist without the help of the US. They (the Israelies and Palestinians) have tried to box in the US and they may both learn that was not a great choice of strategy or tactics given the uncertainty of the US leadership in the past or even now. It does look like the early foreign policy test will now deluge the OBAMA adminsitration and divert it from other important issues. Bad timing by the warring parties.

Mad Dogs

I apologize in advance for the somewhat OT comment here Pat, but per Tom Ricks via Laura Rozen, Gen. H.R. McMaster has a piece in the latest online issue of World Affairs entitled "The Human Element: When Gadgetry Becomes Strategy" that is a worthwhile read for all who visit SST.

While General McMaster writes about the United State's involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, one could, and perhaps should, also read it with respect to the ongoing Israeli war with the Gaza Palestinians.

Food for thought!


This story has been circulating on a couple of blogs for the last few days.

One aspect that bothers me is the lack of Philadelphia witnesses. "...I looked for President Bush and they told me he was in Philadelphia making a speech," Olmert said..."They got him off the podium..."

Did his handlers interrupt the speech? Were the after comments or Q&A shortened? Or did they hand the cellphone to him as soon as he arrived backstage? I've yet to see corroboration from anyone in the audience or who was close to the POTUS entourage. Although Bush's initial confusion sounds just about right.

Your point is well taken and my question is minor, since the point is Bush's decision and order to Sec. Rice. I don't think it odd that a President would hasten to take an urgent call from the PM of Israel while efforts to address a hot conflict are ongoing. I think Olmert is bragging and embellishing, but in light of the recent House vote on support of Israel in this attack, we really do need to start asking some hard questions about Israeli influence on policy...or at least ask them again, and louder.


It's worse than Olmert's display of arrogance; this idiocy is a result of political wrangling over who can take credit for wagging the dog:

"Anger at Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni for taking credit for forcing Rice to change her intention to back the resolution was behind the Prime Minister's boast, according to Channel 1 television newswoman Ayala Hasson.
However, she cancelled a press conference before the vote and hurriedly spoke with President Bush, delaying the vote until she returned and abstained.

All media reports agree that Bush trumped Rice's intentions, but Livni and Olmert, who never have been the closest of friends, each tried to take the credit.

At this week's Cabinet meeting, she complained to Prime Minister Olmert after Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) criticized her for failing to convince the U.S. to veto the U.N. motion. Hasson reported that Prime Minister Olmert ordered the minister not to deal with politics while a war is going on.

The following morning, Livni told Voice of Israel government radio that she spoke with Rice last Friday night and secured a promise that she would abstain in the vote.

Hasson said that when Prime Minister Olmert heard of her comments, he took the opportunity in a speech in Ashkelon to brag about how he personally interrupted President Bush with a phone call.

"I said, 'Get me President Bush on the phone,'" he explained. "They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I did not care: 'I need to talk to him now.' He got off the podium and spoke to me."

He later told the Associated Press, "She was left pretty embarrassed."

McCormack's comments were challenged by Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki, who said that he was told that the U.S. would back the resolution."

In other news, warblogger The Muqata reports that Israeli commanders are furious at their political "leadership":

6:01 PM Walla news reports: Senior IDF Officer: "Because of Israel's politicians, we may lose another war." Harsh criticism against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzippi Livni, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak for taking too much time in deciing further moves for IDF.

According to Walla, IDF generals are furious with Israel's politicians and say that without a clear cut victory over Hamas by allowing the IDF to continue with the 3rd phase of the war, "we end up on the losing side of the war".


Even wimps trying to act like tough guys (or their clicheed fantasies thereof) get a break from time to time when they encounter total invertebrates.

What "interest" of the United States (or anyone else, including Israel and the Ziocons) is served by this?

Charles I

So, every American here needs to write HARD COPY MAIL, NO EMAIL, to each and every one of your local, state and federal representatives and tell them you will not vote for or donate to any one who does not loudly publicly call for disengagement from and sanction of Israel.

You are preaching to the converted here.

You need to carry this discussion to your friends, family and colleagues, and urge - no, hound - those who agree with you or just don't give a damn, to weigh in IN WRITING against Israel.

Let us indeed -IN DEED- hope and help Israel find trhe right course, which requires the right course from YOUR ELECTED GOVERNMENT.

I attended several demonstrations here in Toronto and was heartened to see the numbers for once firmly on the Palestinians' side. Change will not happen by itself.


Where is Egypt? I give a lot of credit to the Egyptian police state that Mubarak is still in power.

Obama? Don't hold your breath. He is a politician, and the American public is more concerned whether Donovan McNabb is going to stay with the Eagles than it is with genocide in Gaza.

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