Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Bush-Putin summit: We spent a lot of time in our relationship trying to get rid of the Cold War

Bush and Putin have spent the weekend together. And while Vlad was clearly psyched about it,

and Laura was clearly on psychotropic drugs about it,

it’s unclear that much was accomplished, although Bush talked as if some sort of major breakthrough – he used the word – had occurred on the subject of missile defense, although Putin said “Our fundamental attitude to the American plans have not changed.” (The translator is taking his or her grammar hints from Bush.)

There was talk about creating “confidence-building and transparency” around the program, which Bush seems to think will result in Russian acquiescence, which obviously won’t ever happen, especially since the sort of confidence-building and transparency Russia is asking for is the stationing of Russian military personnel at the sites in the Czech Republic and Poland on a permanent basis, which is an obvious non-starter in those countries, which have already rejected the idea out of hand. But Bush thinks he can convince them to disregard decades (the Czech Republic) or centuries (Poland) of history: “[I]t’s important for the leaders in those countries -- and I’ve discussed the issue with them -- to understand that Russia is not an enemy, Russia is somebody with whom we need to work.”

Still, Bush says that his proposals “will be important and useful in ensuring [sic]* Russia concerns.” The asterisk leads to a note from the transcriber that Bush really meant to say “assuaging.” Sure he did.

HAVE YOU TRIED PUTTING IT ON E-BAY? “We spent a lot of time in our relationship trying to get rid of the Cold War. It’s over. It ended.”

WHAT RUSSIA HAVE: “The United States has suffered terrorist attacks on its soil, as have Russia.”

BUSH REMEMBERS FULL WELL: “And I will tell you, there’s been no firmer person in the world who understands the threat of radicalism, and the capacity of these radicals and extremists to murder the innocent people. I remember full well when that happened on your soil.” You know, that thing. That happened. On the soil.

WHAT THE LAST BUSH-PUTIN SUMMIT PROVES: “It’s a moment where it just proves life moves on.”

WHAT YOU HAVE A LOT OF TIMES IN POLITICS: “A lot of times in politics you have people look you in the eye and tell you what’s not on their mind.”

He also met Puppet-President-Elect Medvedev, who evidently passed the Stanford-Binet-Chimpy test: “And so my first impressions are very positive -- smart fellow.”

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