Analyzing all the information about how the U.S. decided to abstain from the security Council ceasefire resolution on Gaza, Cole concludes the gist of Olmert's bragging statement is correct.
Olmert called Bush and Bush overruled Rice, leading to an abstention. How to explain this:
Why in the world would Bush over-rule the US Secretary of State, for the sake of Olmert, in the midst of delicate negotiations with European and Arab allies? Here are the only possibilities I can think of:
1. Bush is as dumb as he looks and just agrees with the last person he spoke to.I'm skeptic of conspiratorial plots. But that doesn't mean they are necessarily false.
2. Bush hates it when the roar of cannon dies down, and is a sadist who enjoys prolonging war far too much to ever actively back a ceasefire.
3. Olmert has something over Bush. I remember that Bush had taken on Sharon in September of 2001, calling for a Palestinian state and ordering Sharon to stop colonizing the West Bank. Sharon was so furious that he compared Israel's situation to that of Czechoslovakia in 1938, when the rest of Europe let Hitler grab part of it. But by spring of 2002 Bush was bending over backward to please the Likud. What changed? Something did. There is a mystery to be explained here. I only point out that along with the previous two explanations, this one would make sense of otherwise baffling behavior on Bush's part. (Juan Cole)