Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Olmert Gets Everything Wrong But The Timing

If only this had happened a couple of weeks from now ...

A couple of days ago, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert bragged about how he'd persuaded President Bush to abstain on the United Nations resolution demanding a cease-fire between Israel and the Gaza Strip:

Upon receiving word that the US was planning to vote in favor of the resolution - viewed by Israel as impractical and failing to address its security concerns - Olmert demanded to get Bush on the phone, and refused to back down after being told that the president was delivering a lecture in Philadelphia. Bush interrupted his lecture to answer Olmert's call, the premier said.

America could not vote in favor of such a resolution, Olmert told Bush. Soon afterwards, Rice abstained when votes were counted at the UN.

PM: Rice Left Embarrassed In UN Vote

Any Americans noticing a teensy problem here? Like as in a foreign head of government is bragging about being able to have our President dragged off a stage to talk to him about how he should vote on a U.N. resolution? Reactions to this announcement over at Sic Semper Tyrranis like this one:

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.

Olmert Ordered US Abstention: Comment by Medicine Man

sum up pretty well why this should have been a huge mistake on Olmert's part if he wants the U.S. - Israel relationship to continue as it has. Why make the head of state of your most useful ally appear to be your puppet? The question that Medicine Man asks, in one form or another, would occur to most Americans if they knew about this.

That's what makes Olmert's timing so exquisite. The President is a Republican today, and so the news, TV in particular, won't tell us about this. It's embarrassing to their guy. Oh, sure, that mouthy lady and the Sports Night guy would have, but no one who's serious pays attention to them, right?

If this had happened two weeks from now, Barack Obama would have been President, and you can bet that Fox "News" would have picked up on this in a flash. They would have made the connection between Israel's interests and our President's behavior, and made the inference that they were too closely related. Then CNN would have done their level best to ape Fox's skepticism, and this would have been, to use a West Wing expression, a "thing".

That, I think, is why Olmert will get away with this, at least for now. Just wait a couple of weeks, though. Soon, we'll be a much more independent nation.

As appalled as I am at the reason that will be true, maybe that's a good thing.

No comments: