Sunday, November 4, 2007
If history serves up one big belly laugh at George W. Bush's expense, the punchline will most certainly come via Vladimir Putin. Because what other foreign leader better exemplifies President Bush's rapid evolution from foreign policy buffoon to foreign policy bungler to foreign policy nightmare? With Russia as prickly as a Joshua Tree Cholla, this hardly strikes me as an opportune time to pull backroom deals worthy of JR Ewing:
Guided by American legal advisers, the Iraqi government has canceled a controversial development contract with the Russian company Lukoil for a vast oil field in Iraq’s southern desert, freeing it up for potential international investment in the future...
The contract, which had been signed and later canceled by the Saddam Hussein government, had been in legal limbo since the American invasion. But the Kremlin remained hopeful it could be salvaged until this September, when Mr. Shahristani traveled to Moscow to inform officials there that the decision to cancel it was final, he said.
The Russian government, newly emboldened in international affairs by its expanding oil wealth, is still backing Lukoil’s claim and protesting what it considers selective enforcement of contracts in Iraq.
As for that new round of Security Council sanctions on Iran, well, don't hold your breath.