Obama tried to stop Operation Cast Lead?
Over at the Jawa Report, Stable Hand blogs an article that claims that then-President-elect Barack Hussein Obama tried to stop
Israel's Operation Cast Lead in January.
If true, Obama erred when saying "there is only one president at a time" when questioned about Israel's Gaza offensive before his inauguration:
Despite Barack Obama's persistent pledges as president-elect that he would not meddle in foreign affairs while President Bush was in office, a new report in The New Yorker claims that his transition team worked to persuade Israel to end its offensive in the Gaza Strip before Inauguration Day.
The article also quoted a former intelligence official as saying former Vice President Dick Cheney started "getting messages from the Israelis about pressure from Obama" before Jan. 20.
It's no big secret here that Obama demanded that Operation Cast Lead be stopped
no later than inauguration day.
There's a deeply disturbing headline that all three Israeli newspapers with English web sites share this morning. The JPost headlines "Officials: Troop pullout to end before Obama inauguration." Haaretz didn't put it in the headline, but notes
Israeli officials have said that troops would withdraw completely before Barack Obama's inauguration on Tuesday as the new U.S. president. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not been publicly announced. YNet headlines "Israel plans to complete Gaza pullout before Obama inauguration." YNet even gives a time: 7:00 pm GMT. Even Hamas 'gave' the IDF a week to pull out.
Government spokesman Mark Regev would not confirm the timetable. He said only that if Gaza remains quiet Israel's dparture will be almost immediate.
I will grant that I would rather have our soldiers home than being sitting ducks at Gaza, but this accelerated timetable does not give the IDF a lot of time to confirm that the 'cease fire' actually takes hold.
All of which leads to the real question: Did the incoming Obama administration pressure Israel to end the Gaza war so as not to ruin the
party coronation taking place in Washington on Tuesday.
From what I hear from the US, the incoming Obama administration placed 'enormous pressure' on Israel to end the operation.
So despite the fact that Stable Hand's post is based on a Fox News report that quotes a New Yorker article by the notoriously unreliable Seymour Hersh, the story is apparently true (Cheney's denials - cited by Fox - notwithstanding. I guess that Cheney denies the conversations but not the essential story that Obama forced Israel to stop the operation).