Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ambassador Bolton Debunks Olmert Version of Lebanon War

Former American United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, visiting Israel to participate in a security conference, has discredited Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's version of events in the final hours of the Second Lebanon War. Since the war in the summer of 2006, Olmert has been under intense pressure.

His perceived failures have been attributed to his lack of military experience and to not seeking adequate direction from experts. Particularly contentious is Olmert's decision to launch a costly eleventh-hour offensive causing the deaths of 33 soldiers. The operation came as final details of a U.N. resolution to end the war were being negotiated by Bolton and French U.N. Ambassador, Jean-Marc de la Sablière. In his own defense, Olmert insists that the offensive was necessary to improve Israel's situation vis-à-vis the resolution, an earlier draft of which was deemed detrimental to Israel. He also claims that the offensive positively influenced the Bolton-de la Sablière negotiations. Bolton told Haaretz newspaper that Olmert is dead wrong on both counts. He said the offensive influenced nothing and certainly not his talks with de la Sablière. The final draft of the report by the government-appointed commission investigating the war is due out on January 30th and pressure on Olmert to resign is rapidly mounting.

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