Nobody is pretending the Bush administration supported Israeli expansion of "settlements" in the disputed territories (i.e., Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan). It didn't
, and it made quite a lot of nasty noise
about it, too. That's why, as US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton was obliged to reflect the policy of the administration when, as rotating president of the Security Council (not on his own behalf), he recited this Presidential Statement
in 2006, which included, among other things, the following language:
The Security Council reminds both parties of their obligation under the Road Map and on existing agreements, including on movement and access.
It calls on both parties to avoid unilateral actions which prejudice
final status issues. The Security Council underlines the need for the
Palestinian Authority to prevent terrorist attacks and dismantle the
infrastructure of terror. It reiterates its view that settlement
expansion must stop and its concern regarding the route of the barrier.
Colum Lynch at Foreign Policy is trying to make a big issue
of this, implying that Bolton's critique
of Obama's compromise on the current anti-settlement resolution is hypocrisy. It's not. I'm sure there were many policies of the Bush administration with which Bolton took issue and many policies of the Security Council, as well. He wasn't the (U.S.) President. He wasn't calling the shots.
For the record, here's Wikipedia's description
of a Security Council Presidential Statement:
A Presidential Statement is often created when the United Nations Security Council cannot reach consensus or are prevented from passing a resolution by a permanent member's veto, or threat thereof. Such statements are similar in content, format, and tone to resolutions, but are not legally binding.
The adoption of a Presidential Statement requires consensus, although
Security Council members may abstain. The Statement is signed by the
sitting Security Council President.
The sitting Security Council President this month, by the way, is Brazil.
For one good analysis of the pending train wreck, see Robert Satloff
(via Jeffrey Goldberg