The last hurrah: President Bush and Secretary of State Rice survey

their last NATO Summit together, Apr. 3, in Bucharest, Romania.



Le Figaro, France

Bush’s Farewell to NATO Underlines 'Absence of American Leadership'


"It is a sad result for a presidency that at its inception placed itself under the rubric of putting the use of force at the service of a conquering ideology."


Editorial By Pierre Rousselin



Translated By Sandrine Ageorges


April 3, 2008


France - Le Figaro - Original Article (France)

The NATO summit in Bucharest is the final farewell of the allies to George W. Bush. If the American president would take a sincere accounting of his actions, he would observe that he leaves a weakened Atlantic Alliance in military difficulty in Afghanistan, politically divided in the face of a more aggressive Russia, and ever-hesitant about its missions, its scope of activity and its raison d'ętre in the 21st century.


Beyond the press releases glorifying painstaking compromise, the summit, which is to be followed on Friday by an unprecedented dialog with Vladimir Putin, highlights the lack of American “leadership” in the world at the end of a period marked by the Iraq War and the transatlantic crisis that it has unleashed. It is a sad result for a presidency that at its inception placed itself under the rubric of putting the use of force at the service of a conquering ideology.



In regard to relations with Russia, the lack of direction is evident. The question of the accession of Ukraine and Georgia to NATO demonstrates this fact. Despite the late campaign waged by George W. Bush, the allies displayed their divisions for all to see. The basic problem isn’t whether the two countries deserve to join the Atlantic Alliance. The answer is obviously that they do. The problem is defining a coherent policy toward Russia. Is it a partner, an adversary or perhaps a little of both? Are the allies capable of holding a common position in relation to Moscow? This is clearly not the case. George W. Bush is preaching in the desert and has only managed to rally the Poles, the Balts and those who were already convinced. A more substantive debate will have to wait for the next occupant of the White House.


Europeans aren't going to mortgage their future. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is busy enough dealing with her coalition of Social Democrats and getting past the 2009 elections. Nicolas Sarkozy has some sympathy for Georgia and Ukraine. But his gaze is fixed on his presidency of the European Union, and he has no interest in provoking a new quarrel with the Chancellor. The time will come for him to open a debate on the real issues, for example, in regard to European defense and the cooperation between the E.U. and NATO that such plans necessitate, or a common European energy policy. 



Before leaving the scene, George W. Bush is doing what he can. After having long provoked the Kremlin with his anti-missile defense system in Poland and in the Czech Republic, he is finally taking account of Russian objections and is proposing a strategic agreement that outlines possible areas of cooperation. He and Vladimir Putin will meet in Sotchi [Russia] after the NATO summit to seal this rather artificial agreement.


For this Atlantic Alliance, which is in disarray if not to say crisis, France's plans to re-join NATO's integrated command is good news, and is perceived as such. Our increased participation to the common effort in Afghanistan is a first step.




Kommersant, Russia

NATO'S 'Blockade'

of President Putin


Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland

Poland's Qualified Yes on

the Missile Shield - and the

Price U.S. Will Have to Pay


Novosti, Russia

Bush Arms Albanians to Do

NATO's Dirty Work in Kosovo


Liberation, France

Taliban Have Learned

the Lesson of 2001 ...

Now It's Time for Talks


Le Figaro, France

Afghanistan Shows the

West Must Regain its

'Colonial Savoir Faire'


Der Spiegel, Germany

NATO: Germany Puts

the Brakes on U.S.

Plans for Expansion,1518,544109,00.html









































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US April 3, 9:47am]

High-stakes summit: President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice try to follow events at the NATO Summit in Bucharest, Apr. 3

—BBC NEWS VIDEO: President Bush 'thwarted,' as Georgia and Ukraine are denied NATO membership - for now, Mar. 4, 00:01:58RealVideo

RealVideo[LATEST NEWSWIRE PHOTOS: NATO Summit in Bucharest, Romania].

—BBC NEWS VIDEO: What is NATO for?, Mar. 4, 00:03:22RealVideo

Man in the middle: NATO Secretary General and former Dutch foreign minister Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has alot on his hands, as he tries to manuever through the diplomatic minefield that is the 59th NATO Summit in Bucharest, Apr. 3.

The logo of the summit.

President Bush looks over at Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in Kiev on Tuesday.

The elephant in the room: Russian President Putin is peeved he won't be given the rostra at the summit, even though he'll be the forst Russian leader ever to attend such an event.