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Friday, October 12, 2007

Once Again, Sarkozy Spits in Putin's Eye (this time, with savoir faire)

In Moscow to visit Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, Nicolas Sarkozy of France once again showed that he's the West's current leader of the opposition to the rise of the neo-Soviet state. He confronted Putin over Russia's provocation of Georgia, met with one of the pro-Putin set's most despised figures, leading dissident Svetlana Gannushkina (saying of her group "I thank God that there are organizations like this in the world able to take, and that are taking upon themselves the responsibility to point out mistakes to the powers that be"), issued tough new rhetoric on Russia's support of Iran, and lectured Russia about "acting responsibly" as if it were a child. And he did it all while pouring on the charm -- brilliantly frustrating any Kremlin propaganda effort to dismiss him as a "russophobe" and laying the groundwork for even more devastating attacks to come while making Putin look rigid and uncooperative. Meanwhile, the head of one of France's leading companies, oil giant Total, declared he has no interest in partnering with Russia's Gazprom.

To sum it all up, as the Moscow Times reported: "During [one] ceremony, Sarkozy turned to Putin with a smile and, when Putin did not reciprocate, laughed to himself."

Indeed. Bien joue, Monsieur Sarkozy! Clearly, a man to be reckoned with.

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