Speaking at a news conference Tuesday with Ukraine's president in the country's capital of Kiev, Mr. Bush said he would work as hard as he can to help Ukraine join the NATO alliance, and he declared that Russia will not have a veto over the matter.
Mr. Bush praised democratic and military reforms undertaken to help support Ukraine's bid for NATO membership. He said that the United States "strongly supports" Ukraine's request to get an outline for what it needs to do to join out of this week's NATO summit.
The President spoke after talks with his counterpart, President Viktor Yushchenko. The Ukrainian leader said he is sure his country will "receive a positive signal" during the summit. At the summit, NATO leaders are expected to formally invite Croatia, Albania and perhaps Macedonia to join, expanding the alliance's imprint in the Balkans. Mr. Bush supports that expansion and also wants Ukraine and Georgia to get on track for membership.
Is it the intention of the United States to further provoke Russia into making a move to secure itself? If the natural boundaries that once protected Russia from invasion are removed--and if the great breadbasket that points at the underbelly of Russia becomes a Western NATO power with treaty obligations and economic interests more dependent on the Germans, the Americans and the British and less so on Russia--then, guess what?
Russia is going to act.
I think it's all academic--everyone knows Bush is on his desperate "legacy" tour of the world and no one's betting on neocons to be calling the shots for much longer. But it's an interesting way of looking at desperation. Putting missiles in Poland and enticing Georgia into NATO is like waking up a bear that was already pissed off and awake in the first place. A bear that is sick of being hungry and cold and wants a little fresh meat, perhaps.
On a side note, I think it's ironic that the military has all but purged Russian and Serbo-Croatian linguists from the ranks. The intelligence community has been so Arabic/Persian language focused while trying to expand the number of Chinese and Urdu linguists that it isn't even funny--if anything were to start with Russia or, more likely, with Serbia, we'd be back to square one again in most cases.