Bush's Foreign Endorsements
Back in the spring, conservatives thundered against John Kerry when he mentioned in passing that many foreign leaders had confided to him that they wanted to see him replace George Bush as President. Now, those same conservatives have remained silent as Russian president Vladimir Putin endorsed Bush's reelection this week.
Putin, the one-time KGB chief and budding Russion autocrat, stated that a Bush defeat would be a victory for the terrorists:
"Any unbiased observer understands that attacks of international terrorist organizations in Iraq, especially nowadays, are targeted not only and not so much against the international coalition as against President Bush.
"International terrorists have set as their goal inflicting the maximum damage to Bush, to prevent his election to a second term.
"If they succeed in doing that, they will celebrate a victory over America and over the entire anti-terror coalition.
"In that case, this would give an additional impulse to international terrorists and to their activities, and could lead to the spread of terrorism to other parts of the world."
This ringing endorsement from a fellow traveler in consolidating power and trampling dissent should come as no surprise. (For a great description on the frightening parallels between Putin and Bush, see Matthew Yglesias on "The Creeping Putinization of American Life.") President Bush's own words about the once and future Russian tyrant say it all:
"I looked the man in the eye. I was able to get a sense of his soul. I knew that President Putin was a man with whom I could work." (November 15, 2001)
"A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it." (July 26, 2001).