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Gwynne Dyer: Olmert said 'jump,' and Bush did

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DogPoundPup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:21 AM
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Gwynne Dyer: Olmert said 'jump,' and Bush did
Ehud Olmert really doesn't care any more. He is serving out his time as Israel's prime minister until next month's election, but then he will spend a long time fighting the corruption charges that forced him to resign, and he won't be going back into politics afterward, even if he beats the rap. Not after two bloody, futile wars in three years, he won't. So he's very angry, and he tells it like it is.

On Jan. 8, he had a problem: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was going to vote for a United Nations Security Council resolution that called on Israel and its Palestinian enemy, Hamas, to accept a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. Indeed, she had been largely responsible for writing it, and Olmert was furious. He wanted more time to hammer Hamas, so he phoned up President George W. Bush and yanked on his choke-chain.

Olmert's account of what happened, given in a speech last week in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, was, "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 don't care: I have to talk to him now.' They got him off the podium, brought him to another room, and I spoke to him. I told him, 'You can't vote in favor of this resolution.' He said, 'Listen, I don't know about it. I didn't see it. I'm not familiar with the phrasing,' " Olmert said he told Bush: "I'm familiar with it. You can't vote in favor."

Bush did as he was told: "Mr. Bush gave an order to Secretary of State Rice, and she did not vote in favor of it -- a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organized, and maneuvered for," said Olmert triumphantly. "She was left pretty shamed, and abstained on a resolution she arranged."
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