Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Olmert less popular w/own people than Bush!

Juan Cole has a good compilation of new information coming from the Middle East. One of Professor Cole's postings caught my eye.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert put his foot in his mouth by saying that US troops should stay in Iraq, otherwise the resulting chaos might cause the Hashemite monarchy of Jordan to fall. Jordan has a peace treaty with Israel and puts up with Israeli colonization of the West Bank even while condemning it-- i.e. Jordan functions as a de facto ally of Israel. Olmert sees its potential loss as a threat to Israeli security. The Jordanians are hopping mad about Olmert's comments. They see their regime as perfectly stable, whereas they wonder how long Olmert's government can last, with only 2% of Israelis expressing trust in him in polls. And, the Jordanians believe that the real threat to regional security is Israel's steadfast refusal to grant the Palestinians their own state within recognized and viable borders.

What the Jordanians are not saying, but is worth saying, is that if chaos in Iraq was a threat to the stability of Israel's neighbors and therefore to Israel itself, it was foolish for Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert to act as cheerleaders for an Iraq War back in 2002 and early 2003. War has unpredictable consequences. Olmert is wrong about the fragility of the Hashemite monarchy, but is right-- too late!-- that the violence in Iraq may well rebound against Israel.
What Professor Cole is saying is that Israel is using Jordan as its proxy-target for fear-mongering - about what seems to be a genuine fear about their own security. Jordanians don't appreciate it. I don't blame them. Would you like it? In my book, you just don't treat an ally fairly when you generate a false threat that involves them unreasonably.

The only leader who seems to be less popular with his own people than George W. Bush seems to be Ehud Olmert. Tony Blair's not too popular these days, either.

Speaking of Blair, can you imagine, with our already-stretched military, getting embroiled in a larger war with Iran over an ally-nation's investigation of automobile smuggling in the Persian Gulf? Give me a break!


Anonymous said...

Iddy - if you go over to JBlogs (a great great blog aggregator) and search on "Olmert" - you will see that the man is reviled and Israel for the most part is sick of him.

Even I think so: Dumb... Dumber...

You rule Iddy.