Bush also got a huge deposit of more political capital from the Iraqi election - BUT HE SEEMS TO BE SQUANDERING IT!
Chirac and Schroder and Zapatero and Putin should be ashamed of how they behaved during the Iraq Crisis, and now they should be BEGGING forgiveness - and asking if they can do more! Instead: Bush is letting them off the hook!
Now: Bush and Condi should be ashamed of themselves for lowering themselves down to their level!
"Steve Forbes is going to hear this message from me. I will do nothing for him if he does to me what he did to Dole. Period. There is going to be a consequence. He is not dealing with the average, you know, 'Oh gosh, let's all get together after it's over.' I will promise you, I will not help him. I don't care."
I REPEAT: Bush should be as AT LEAST as tough with Chirac and Schroder and Putin and Zapatero as he CLAIMED he would have been with Forbes.
DISLOYALTY TO THE USA AND TO THE CAUSE OF UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND LIBERTY MUST HAVE CONSEQUENCES! Bush's pathetically obsequious trip sends EXACTLY THE WRONG MESSAGE! He is rewarding Putin and Chirac and Schroder. This will set us back YEARS in the GWOT...
The ONLY acceptable excuse is if Bush's PUBLIC PERFORMANCE is a ruse, and if we are in fact deeply - and surreptitiously - engaged in fomenting democratic revolutions in Lebanon and Iran and North Korea (and even Russia) - RIGHT NOW. As we should be.
Time will tell: if the Lebanese Orange Revolution - and the upcoming Lebanese election - fail to bring real change; if Mahmous Abbas fails; if Iraq becomes like Iran is now (instead of the reverse) - THEN BUSH WILL HAVE FAILED, AND IT WILL HAVE BEEN BECAUSE HE SQUANDERED THE POLITICAL CAPITAL HE GAINED IN THE IRAQI ELECTION.
Bush has squandered his political capital because he has chosen to be magnanimous instead of "going in for the kill" - which is VERY un-cowboy-like.
It's sort of like, well, it's sort of like if Bush was "Marshall Will Kane" (the Gary Cooper character in the classic Western, "HIGH NOON") - who - having just faced-down a gang of murderous outlaws ALL BY HIMSELF, and just as he's outdrawn the baddest badguy and the ringleader of the gang that was after him, suddenly turns his back to take a bow in front of the town that ABANDONED HIM and made him face the gang alone - and he gets shot in the back!
Which is why Gary Cooper didn't do it. And why George W. Bush shouldn't have. The pinko appeasers of Old Europe will shoot him in the back the first chance they can. Unless we get them first.
Sound too harsh? Too hawk-like and extreme? Not if you remember this simple dictum: the pinko appeasers are NOT anti-war; they're on the other side.
WW4 will not end until we have utterly defeated the enemy, and that cannot happen until we defeat THE AXIS OF EVIL, which means overthrowing Iran and Syria and North Korea.
That NOW means we must also defeat Putin - and his sycophants in Old Europe - the part of Europe we liberated in WW2, protected in the Cold War - (WW3), and that took our efforts for granted. We must defeat Russia and Old Europe because their selfish and short-sighted arms deals nuke deals strengthen our enemies: Iran and China (and even that thug Chavez in Venezuela), and thereby they hurt us (because these EU/Putin strengthened enemies will INEVITABLY cause us more casualties in the inevitable battles that lie ahead).
TRUE: The "spirit of magnanimity" is noble and fine; Bush and Rice are merely PREMATURELY MAGNANIMOUS. The time for sweet talk and magnanimity has not come yet; it can only come AT THE END OF WW4. And that's still a long way off.
(ASIDE: NEW EUROPE - that part of Europe we liberated from the USSR - is OKAY. Bush should have ONLY visited New Europe and Italy and Denmark, even Ukraine - the nations who stood by us in OUR time of need.)