Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Did Bush Set Merkel Up?

So, based on various press reports, it seems German Chancellor Angela Merkel was upset with President Bush's continued forceful lobbying for Georgia and Ukraine to get a Membership Action Plan at the Bucharest summit. She apparently thought that the two of them had agreed last week to a common script: no MAP now, but no end to NATO expansion either.

But does she feel that, with the president's vigorous and very public statements for MAP Now!--she's been set up? The president can appease his many domestic U.S. critics who feel he's too solicitous of Russia by blaming "old Europe", appeasers at heart, for scuttling the MAP at Bucharest (Germany and France, recast in their 2003 roles)--and can say, I pushed for it to happen. But of course, he can go to Sochi to meet with Putin and say, Vladimir, no MAP for Ukraine and Georgia on either of our watches, so let's put this issue aside and get a deal on missile defense.

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