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Thursday, April 3

1 1/2 Out Of Four

Back before the Peloponnesian War (about 440 BCE), the Greek city-state of Athens established a military and political alliance with a bunch of its neighboring city-states in order to hold back the Persian threat. Basing the alliance's headquarters and treasury on the Aegean island of Delos, it became known as the Delian League.

As time went by, however, Athens grew stronger and more high-handed until the allied city-states became subjects, and the Delian League became in fact the Athenian Empire.

Okay, let's hit fast forward ...

After the Second World War (about 1949 AD), the United States established a military and political alliance with a bunch of its neighbors in order to hold back the Communist threat. Basing the alliance on its geography, it became known as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO.

President Bush went to Bucharest, Rumania for the annual NATO summit with a few things on his mind - things designed to enhance the legacy of accomplishments he wanted to leave behind. First, he wanted to secure more signatories to his idea of planting a missile defense system right beside the Russian Federation. For all of the Bush Administration's protests to the contrary, Russian President Putin couldn't shake the idea that this shield (such as it is) was aimed at his country.

Only the Czech Republic agreed to basing some components of the missile defense.

Another thing Bush wanted was the introduction of Ukraine and Georgia into NATO membership. Putin objected vociferously, and the NATO council agreed with him, essentially giving Bush the Great Green Weenie by approving Albania and Croatia for membership.

Bush wanted Macedonia to become a member as well, but Greece (still pissed off that the breakaway Yugoslavian province called itself that) objected until the country changed its name.

France agreed to send about another 700 troops to Afghanistan to help out there.

So Bush comes away from Bucharest winning only one and one-half out of four things.

It's not looking good for His Imperial Majesty's legacy, is it?

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