Observations on the world today.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Sour Grapes 

Yahoo! News - Putin Takes Bush's Side Against Democrats on Iraq
Russian President Vladimir Putin stepped into the U.S. political campaign on Thursday, saying the Democrats had "no moral right" to criticize President Bush over Iraq.

The Kremlin leader, answering a reporter's question in Sea Island, Georgia, suggested that the Democrats were two-faced in criticizing Bush on Iraq since it had been the Clinton administration that authorized the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia by U.S. and NATO forces.

The reporter had asked Putin to respond to U.S. press articles questioning Russia's place at the G8 feast of leading industrial countries.

Putin brushed these off, saying such articles were part of an internal U.S. political debate.

He went on: "I am deeply convinced that President Bush's political adversaries have no moral right to attack him over Iraq because they did exactly the same.

"It suffices to recall Yugoslavia. Now look at them. They don't like what President Bush is doing in Iraq."

Russia was adamantly opposed to the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, as it has been to the U.S.-led military operation Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein.
Some right-wingers are tripping all over themselves using this as evidence that Bush has the support of foreign leaders in his war in Iraq.

The thing about that Putin piece is that Putin fails to understand the democrat position. In both cases, Yugoslavia and Iraq, the democrats were consistent. In both cases, we wanted an international and legally recognized broad coalition before action was taken. Putin criticizes the democrats for taking one position in one instance and another position in the next instance, but he's wrong.

Moreover, Putin is actually criticizing both the American action in Yugoslavia AND the action in Iraq. So for the right to suddenly embrace him for this one back-handed compliment tells me that they just don't understand what they read.


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