Carlos Watson, over at CNN, reckons that Russia may be about to give George W Bush a helping hand in both Iraq, and the upcoming Presidential elections.
Putin, whose powers seem almost dictatorial, could probably push through a deal to help in Iraq if he was so inclined. He would certainly demand a lot for it –perhaps billions of dollars in aid money, access to Iraqi oil revenue (Russia says it has oil deals with Iraq that have been interrupted by the war), and the United States turning a blind eye to how he handles the rebellion in Chechnya.
Right now, the US already gives Russia billions of dollars in aid money, virtually no oil will be flowing out of Iraq for years to come, and the US administration probably couldn’t even place Chechnya on a map. Bush is going to have to come up with something pretty spectacular to persuade Putin to upset France and Germany – two of the EU’s most important and economically powerful states, and two of Russia’s key trading partners, to boot. The only thing Bush really has to offer is to smooth the way for Russia into the WTO, but now that the EU have swung their support behind Russia’s membership, Bush is going to be under pressure from the Euro’s to do that anyway.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, however, has a much better idea of how to help Bush’s re-election campaign…
Zhirinovsky “has sent a letter to Bush’s daughters, Barbara and Jenna, inviting them to take an internship to help conduct an election campaign in the Liberal Democratic Party,” the party’s press service said.
Studying the work of the Liberal Democratic Party will give Bush’s daughters experience to help their father get re-elected in the fall, Zhirinovsky said.
(Thanks to Philaduck for the Zhirinovsky link).