Patterico's Pontifications


Some Things Never Change

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 1:10 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

With the last months of the Bush Administration just around the corner, President Bush is making another effort to address the troublesome issues of Iran, Russia, and China.

Over China’s strong objections, President Bush met today with Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama:

US President George W. Bush defied China’s severe warnings and made an unprecedented public appearance with the Dalai Lama Wednesday, at a rare ceremony in Congress to honor Tibet’s spiritual leader. The US leader had earlier called on his Chinese counterparts to open talks with the revered 72-year-old Buddhist icon, whom he met privately on Tuesday, sparking a fresh outburst from Beijing.

Bush sat side-by-side with the Dalai Lama, in the ornate Rotunda beneath the dome of the US Capitol, before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi awarded him the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award given by US lawmakers.”

Bush’s rhetoric was even stronger when he warned Iran’s nuclear ambitions could lead to World War III:

U.S. President George W. Bush warned on Wednesday a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to World War III as he tried to shore up international opposition to Tehran amid Russian skepticism over its nuclear ambitions.

Bush was speaking a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has resisted Western pressure to toughen his stance over Iran’s nuclear program, made clear on a visit to Tehran that Russia would not accept any military action against Iran.”

Bush’s message seemed directed at Russia’s Vladimir Putin as much as the Iranians:

“At a White House news conference, Bush expressed hope Putin would brief him on his talks in Tehran and said he would ask him to clarify recent remarks on Iran’s nuclear activities. Putin said last week that Russia, which is building Iran’s first atomic power plant, would “proceed from the position” that Tehran had no plans to develop nuclear weapons but he shared international concerns that its nuclear programs “should be as transparent as possible.”

“The thing I’m interested in is whether or not he continues to harbor the same concerns that I do,” Bush said. “When we were in Australia (in September), he reconfirmed to me that he recognizes it’s not in the world’s interest for Iran to have the capacity to make a nuclear weapon.”

There was even a hint of diplomatic intrigue:

“Chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani was quoted by Iran’s official IRNA news agency on Wednesday as saying that Putin had delivered a “special message” on its atomic program and other issues. No other details were given. Putin’s visit on Tuesday was watched closely because of Moscow’s possible leverage in the Islamic Republic’s nuclear standoff with the West. It was the first time a Kremlin chief went to Iran since Josef Stalin in 1943.

Asked about Putin’s “special message,” U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said he was not aware of any deal or offer put forward by Moscow to Tehran over the nuclear program.”

A US President having problems with Iran, Russia, and China? Seems like old times.


3 Responses to “Some Things Never Change”

  1. Why does Bush need to be briefed on Putin’s meeting. After all, he has already looked him in the eye and seen into his soul and character.

    nosh (53dd5b)

  2. Apparently he is also trying to push through some secret agreements with Mexico too if recent news reports are credible. Given Bush’s record on Mexico and LOST I really wouldn’t doubt if he agreed to return Alaska to Russia in a show of international solidarity.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  3. I gotta wonder, did Bush honor the Dalai Lama to make the Nobel Peace Prize seem even more ridiculous?
    I mean, one stuck a finger in the eye of a horrible, commie dictatorship while the other stuck a finger in the eye of the leader of the free world.
    That’s about as telling a comparison as there is.

    Veeshir (5f9b87)

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