Saturday, May 07, 2005

Have I mentioned how much I like his style?

I am pleased as anything that Bush is visiting the Baltics, three forgotten little countries (often mistaken for the Balkans, too, by many) that suffered under the Stalinist takeover after WWII. 14 years ago, Latvia declared itself independent. Soon after, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, after being urged to leave Canada and declare her candidacy, was elected President. I see her as a regular Vaclav Havel: someone with a deep knowledge and love of her homeland who is not at all afraid to stand up and speak plainly.

Bush has some serious balancing to do, as he doesn't want to anger Russia too much, and as Nick puts it - Putin's most likely up to something. Bush did put it beautifully when he said that democratic countries are peaceful, that Russia should not consider the democracies sprouting around them as threats, and that both Russia and other countries emerging from totalitarianism could learn a lot from the Baltics.

As for the protesting going on, the calls that the Baltics are discriminitory against Russians, that the US is a terrorist country, that Latvians were Nazi collaborators: Grain of salt, a very large one.

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