There is news out of Washington today that provides further evidence of the Republican "We are the world and the hell with the rest" attitude, and the ramifications of that attitude.
President Bush said Monday he is stepping up a dialogue with Russia over a planned U.S. missile defense system in Europe in hopes of convincing Moscow it's only "a friendly force.''
The issue came up on the first day of a U.S.-European Union summit at the White House. Bush said German Chancellor Angela Merkel's urging, he has begun trying to better explain his plans to President Vladimir Putin.
The Bush administration is planning to install a radar system and interceptors in Eastern Europe as part of its broader missile defense system. Last week, Putin repeated opposition to the U.S. plan and threatened to pull out of a key post-Cold War treaty that set limits on the deployment of military forces in Europe as a result.
It's encouraging that President Bush recognizes that there might be more one viewpoint, and that Putin may have concerns that need to be addressed, but what's amazing is that (1) Bush had to prodded into this action by Chancellor Merkel, and (2) Putin had to publicly and loudly denounce the actions of the United States last week in order to bring this matter to the forefront.
Ratcheting up and escalating tensions in the world is not the way win friends and influence allies -- and the Republicans' distaste for worldwide consensus building, as evidenced by their continued disdain for consensus building though the United Nations, for example, is leading us right down the path to the cold war days of old.
This cavalier attitude towards world opinion and escalation of tensions and instability worldwide has served to warm the cockles of the defense-industry lobbyists to whom the Republicans are so devoted, but the American people deserve better.
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