Monday, June 11, 2007
A Week's Difference
Then President Bush went to Europe. The G-8 summit, instead of showcasing a united front of the West (and providing an opportunity for the new alignment of President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel with their Anglo-American colleagues), foundered on the issue of climate change. No clear and unambiguous message on the future of Kosovo. And Putin's surprise "Gambala Gambit" caught the White House unprepared (even if the substance of the proposal was not known to Washington, shouldn't they have been prepared, since part of the Putin track record is to spring these kinds of surprises? Is the White House that distracted by Iraq?)
Putin seems to have, to some extent, escaped his isolation. He seems, at face value, more reasonable on the missile defense question.
Kosovo may prove to be different, and we will have to see. Significantly, however, I don't think that the U.S. has received assurances that, in the absence of a UN Security Council resolution, the European Union would be prepared to deploy its absolutely essential Kosovo mission. I've also been told that, at least among some European governments, any Kosovo resolution that cannot command near unanimous support would be seen as a failure--so that under this scenario, a Russian veto, combined with a Chinese abstention, and having several other Third World states vote against or abstain--would create the impression that Kosovo independence is a preference of the West but not of the "international community." Could Putin be laying the groundwork for having a reasonable delay? We will have to see.
Well, the problem is found in the first line. Relying on VoA or RL for anything but Putin-phobic spin-doctoring where Russia is concerned is a Big Mistake. They are one of the major forces pushing us all towards another Cold War, which from previous postings of yours you think would be a Bad Thing. It was a mistake to lend your credibility to their effort, just as it would have been a mistake for the Democratic candidates to hold debates on Faux News.