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Bush has to be Prodded by Merkel

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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Comments (10)

cirby:

...because it's so damned eeeevile of Bush to want to defend Western Europe agaist potential Iranian missiles with nuclear weapons on them.

...and Putin, sitting behind his 100 ABM interceptors and a few thousand ICBMs, has so much to worry about because of the TEN interceptor missiles that might be installed a few years down the road.

Yeah, Bush, such a loose cannon. Whereas Putin is so controlled and considerate.

Oh, wait, he's not.

What Putin wants is a resurgent USSR, wih Russia in control again, and he wants Western Europe to be competely in fear of the USSR, along with all of the former Soviet states.

And folks like you are completely ready to run right back into those old Cold War bunkers.

Congratulations. If we'd been listening to folks like you, we would have lost the Cold War. And not just in an "oh, well, propaganda victory" style, but in a "we lost all of our major cities and military bases" fashion.

Now cirby - I didn't say Bush had evil intentions. I don't believe for a second that he does -- what this situation points out is Russia doesn't believe Bush has good intentions - and that is a direct result of the Republicans' bullshit cowboy attitude towards other nations.

Bush can't be trusted to tell the truth, and Putin knows that. I'm not saying Bush has ulterior "eeevil" motives for placing these systems in eastern Europe - I'm saying that (1) the fact that he's willing to sit down now and explain his position to Putin means he should have done that earlier, before tensions were cranked up, and (2) it's a shame he had to prodded into doing this by Merkel.

Both are clear indicators of the problem the world has with Bush.

"What Putin wants is a resurgent USSR, wih Russia in control again, and he wants Western Europe to be competely in fear of the USSR, along with all of the former Soviet states."

That wasn't Russia's position before Bush began his lying and killing spree - so what do you think changed Russia's position?

Jumpinjoe:
That wasn't Russia's position before Bush began his lying and killing spree - so what do you think changed Russia's position?...Lee

My opinion is that Putin is emboldened by his stranglehold on power in Russia and this has nothing to do with President Bush.

Since taking office in 2000, Putin has made steps to centralize power and eliminate democratic checks and balances. He has created an obedient parliament, abolished direct gubernatorial elections, tightened restrictions on rights groups and presided over the reining-in of non-state television channels.

More........

Russian Forces Break Up Opposition Rally

But then I'm not surprised most lefties support Russian leaders that put the squeeze on the opposition.

Some things never change.

cirby:

what this situation points out is Russia don't believe Bush has good intentions

No, what it really points out is that Putin can rely on quite a bit of the Western populace to say all sorts of stupid things to support whatever position he takes, because of leftover 1960s peace movement foolishness.

Putin is a bad, bad man, and taking his word for anything having to do with strategic weapons is extremely naive and/or stupid.

No, he does NOT really believe that putting ABMs in Europe is "destabilizing," or against any sort of arms treaty. What he does believe is that, by putting ABMs in Poland, the West can counter Iranian nuclear missiles, and Russia will lose a lot of potential future power (not to mention billions of dollars in future nuclear technology and weapons sales).

You're pointing to Putin's domestic policies and suggesting they're an indicator somehow of his foreign policy.

But then I'm not surprised righties would get confused by the two. Some things never change. heh. (See I can thrown out ad hominems that have no real value --just like yours)

I think it's pretty clear that Putin doesn't want Bush potentially effecting Russia's ability to defend itself without Bush first extending his hand and clearly explaining his intentions face to face, and showing that he means no harm.

Bush, as a statesman, is an idiot. Merkel had to remind Bush to do that, to talk to Putin first.... cause righties think they can ride roughshod over everyone and get away with it. NoKo proved Bush wrong, Iran proved Bush wrong, and now Russia proved Bush wrong (who am I leaving out?) When will the righties learn...? Diplomacy has a place in foreign relations... amazing that they still don't get it.

Jumpinjoe:
See I can thrown out ad hominems that have no real value --just like your...Lee)

I just wanted to know what it was like to post on a leftie blog without my comment being deleted within the first five minutes.

BTW, I know you can throw out ad hominems that have no real value. I've seen you do it.

Like this......

Bush, as a statesman, is an idiot

It is nothing more than ad hominem that adds no real value to the discussion.


So this is what it's like being a troll....interesting.

I'll take the lack of any arguments in your last comment as conceding defeat.

And my statement about Bush is not an ad hominem.

An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument to the person", "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument by attacking or appealing to the person making the argument, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument.

My statement about Bush being an idiot, while true, is not an argument attacking you, Joe.

"So this is what it's like being a troll....interesting. "

Calling yourself a troll is the first honest thing you've done in the comment thread, Joe -- (now THAT'S an ad hominem).

Jumpinjoe:
I'll take the lack of any arguments in your last comment as conceding defeat....Lee

Former Soviet KBG agent and leader of Russia with foot on the neck of any opposition...GOOD

President Bush.....BAD
This is a lefty blog, of course you win with that argument.

Revel in your victory.

cirby:

You're pointing to Putin's domestic policies and suggesting they're an indicator somehow of his foreign policy.

...and you believe they're somehow completely independent, and that the tendency of Russia to imprison dissidents (they've put more people in jail for merely protesting in the last month than the terrorists the US has run through Gitmo in the last three years) has noting to do with anything else whatsoever. Quaint.

As far as "foreign policy," the fact that Russia is one of the prime vendors for the Iranian nuclear program (and one of their biggest arms suppliers) should give you a tiny little clue. Their history in Chechnya should give you a much bigger one, by the way.

"and you believe they're somehow completely independent, and that the tendency of Russia to imprison dissidents (they've put more people in jail for merely protesting in the last month than the terrorists the US has run through Gitmo in the last three years) has noting to do with anything else whatsoever."

Totally and completely independent, yes.

I'm not saying a case can't be made that Russia had shifted its foreign policy into cold war mode prior to Bush's latest blunder, and that is a factor in this - maybe it can... I'm just saying pointing to the jailing of dissidents does nothing to support that claim.

Those demonstrations were calling for Putin's resignation -- they weren't demonstrations supporting Bush's placement of the ABMs in eastern Europe. There's no tie-in to the issues raised in this post.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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