Bush and Putin and Iran and Georgia

History will surely record that President Bush and former President and now Prime Minister and still czar of Russia, Vladimir Putin initially read each other wrong.
 
Bush looked into Putin’s eyes and didn’t see that Putin’s soul was still KGB and would always be KGB.  And we can only assume, because unlike President Bush he never said anything publicly, that when Putin looked into Bush’s eyes, because Bush had the temerity to invade Iraq, Putin  saw in the “cowboy” Bush, resoluteness, strength, and courage.  But these were a chimera, a one time assertion by Bush brought about by the events of 9/11. 
 
In the end it really didn’t matter as much that President Bush got Putin wrong as that Putin realized his mistake and eventually got Bush right.  Putin eventually saw the real Bush, the Bush that revealed himself as irresolute and weak. 
 
Putin came to see that the Bush he had to deal with was indeed the Bush that everyone thought America was originally getting, someone with a Republican isolationist’s mindset, a man ill prepared for the international arena. 
 
9/11 changed that for awhile of course. But as events unfolded and revealed, the President, who remained strong on Iraq, failed to match his tough rhetoric on other fronts. 
 
The most glaring example and the one that no doubt sent Putin into a major reevaluation was President Bushs’ backing down against Iran. First, like everybody else, Putin would have noticed Iran paid no price for allowing men and material, including components of the deadly IED’s, into Iraq, killing American soldiers  Second Putin, just like the Iranians, noticed President Bush’s bluster only policy on halting Irans pursuit of nuclear weapons.. 
 
Putin saw that the man who forswore weakness and pledged that Iran would not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons instead went into an internationalist mode, and allowed the IAEA (headed by Mohammad El Baradi), the UN, and Russia and China (by threatening vetoes in the security council), to set American policy.  Bush’s inaction, proved to Putin that Bush was more bark than bite.  So if Putin wanted to assert himself in his own backyard, particularly against Georgia, ostensibly a close ally of the United States, what did Putin  have to fear other than words of condemnation?
 
As Putin saw it, projecting Russian power against his neighbors was more important then empty words. More important also than would be weak international sanctions that might be leveled against Russia, and that would wither away with time.  Or even if it came down to it, sanctions that didn’t whither away.  If Bush was essentially going to cave to Iran, why shouldn’t Russia move closer to the totalitarian regime of the ayathollas with which he had more common interests? 
 
Putin’s logic seemed to make sense. If the kid with the biggest muscles on the block, the United States, with its army not far from Iran, would back down when their own national
interests were on the line, why wouldn’t the U.S. back down over Georgia? 
 
So Putin saw that as surely as President Bush led an advance against Iraq, he was now leading a retreat from doing anything to actually stop Iran’s nuclear program.  Ironically the President had and still has the support of both the Arab world and Europe, unspoken by both, to stop Iran.  And like Premier Putin, our allies and putative allies have recognized President Bushs’ weakness but are afraid to urge him on publicly only to be potentially victimized later by what has all the appearances of an axis of mutual interests between Russia and Iran.
 
Neither the left nor the right in the U.S. has made the connection between the President’s vacillations on Iran and Putin’s surge into Georgia. At least not publicly.  The left, including the liberal mainstream media, hasn’t and won’t make the connection for the obvious reason that they favor a policy of weakness toward Iran.  The right, including conservative talk radio won’t make the connection because they don’t want to embarrass President Bush and bring up his weaknesses in order to continue to stay on message about a weak Barack Obama.
History will surely record that President Bush and former President and now Prime Minister and still czar of Russia, Vladimir Putin initially read each other wrong.
 
Bush looked into Putin’s eyes and didn’t see that Putin’s soul was still KGB and would always be KGB.  And we can only assume, because unlike President Bush he never said anything publicly, that when Putin looked into Bush’s eyes, because Bush had the temerity to invade Iraq, Putin  saw in the “cowboy” Bush, resoluteness, strength, and courage.  But these were a chimera, a one time assertion by Bush brought about by the events of 9/11. 
 
In the end it really didn’t matter as much that President Bush got Putin wrong as that Putin realized his mistake and eventually got Bush right.  Putin eventually saw the real Bush, the Bush that revealed himself as irresolute and weak. 
 
Putin came to see that the Bush he had to deal with was indeed the Bush that everyone thought America was originally getting, someone with a Republican isolationist’s mindset, a man ill prepared for the international arena. 
 
9/11 changed that for awhile of course. But as events unfolded and revealed, the President, who remained strong on Iraq, failed to match his tough rhetoric on other fronts. 
 
The most glaring example and the one that no doubt sent Putin into a major reevaluation was President Bushs’ backing down against Iran. First, like everybody else, Putin would have noticed Iran paid no price for allowing men and material, including components of the deadly IED’s, into Iraq, killing American soldiers  Second Putin, just like the Iranians, noticed President Bush’s bluster only policy on halting Irans pursuit of nuclear weapons.. 
 
Putin saw that the man who forswore weakness and pledged that Iran would not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons instead went into an internationalist mode, and allowed the IAEA (headed by Mohammad El Baradi), the UN, and Russia and China (by threatening vetoes in the security council), to set American policy.  Bush’s inaction, proved to Putin that Bush was more bark than bite.  So if Putin wanted to assert himself in his own backyard, particularly against Georgia, ostensibly a close ally of the United States, what did Putin  have to fear other than words of condemnation?
 
As Putin saw it, projecting Russian power against his neighbors was more important then empty words. More important also than would be weak international sanctions that might be leveled against Russia, and that would wither away with time.  Or even if it came down to it, sanctions that didn’t whither away.  If Bush was essentially going to cave to Iran, why shouldn’t Russia move closer to the totalitarian regime of the ayathollas with which he had more common interests? 
 
Putin’s logic seemed to make sense. If the kid with the biggest muscles on the block, the United States, with its army not far from Iran, would back down when their own national
interests were on the line, why wouldn’t the U.S. back down over Georgia? 
 
So Putin saw that as surely as President Bush led an advance against Iraq, he was now leading a retreat from doing anything to actually stop Iran’s nuclear program.  Ironically the President had and still has the support of both the Arab world and Europe, unspoken by both, to stop Iran.  And like Premier Putin, our allies and putative allies have recognized President Bushs’ weakness but are afraid to urge him on publicly only to be potentially victimized later by what has all the appearances of an axis of mutual interests between Russia and Iran.
 
Neither the left nor the right in the U.S. has made the connection between the President’s vacillations on Iran and Putin’s surge into Georgia. At least not publicly.  The left, including the liberal mainstream media, hasn’t and won’t make the connection for the obvious reason that they favor a policy of weakness toward Iran.  The right, including conservative talk radio won’t make the connection because they don’t want to embarrass President Bush and bring up his weaknesses in order to continue to stay on message about a weak Barack Obama.