Playing games during the War on Terror: that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
This evening, President Bush threw a party for our pal Jacques Chirac (search), the president of France. The soiree was held in Brussels at the home of the American ambassador to Belgium. Everyone had a swell time, we're sure.
But the question is should Mr. Bush be kissing up to a man who has hurt America in the terror fight? There's no question Chirac has done that. If France had kept its promise to Colin Powell (search) and enforced the U.N. resolutions on the WMD (search) search in Iraq, there would have been no war.
But as we know, France had the potential to make billions in Iraq dealing with Saddam. And Chirac sold the USA out. That's not an opinion, that is a fact. And as we reported last week, Chirac now says Hezbollah (search) is not a terrorist group, again making the war on terror much more difficult for everybody. And this guy gets a party?
German Chancellor Schroeder (search) will also get a party. Mr. Bush will see him tomorrow. And the two will give a joint press conference saying how swell everything is. This is the same Schroeder who sold America out for votes and still will not help the USA inside Iraq.
And then there's Vladimir Putin (search). He gets a party as well. Putin last week said Iran is not a nuclear threat because he wants to sell Iran weapons. He also supported the fraudulent election in the Ukraine (search) and is throwing his opponents in Russian jails. Putin certainly is a party guy.
So what's going on here? Well, it's obvious President Bush wants the world to think he's a uniter, not a divider. So this is a P.R. gambit designed to soften hostility against the USA. That's a good thing and a necessary thing. The more partners we get to fight terror, the better.
Henry Kissinger (search) told me on the radio today he believes Putin and Schroeder will eventually help in the war on terror, but Chirac never will. The French president simply dislikes America too much.
But Mr. Bush has to give it a try, has to hang out with old Jacques. And we Americans have to watch it unfold and hope something good happens. In the meantime, we should not buy French stuff, should not trust Putin and Schroeder, and should feel sad that the world is so messed up.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
I got a kick out of "The New York Times" editorializing today about the problems at PBS.
They describe Bill Moyers (search) this way: "Whatever slight liberal favor might be dug out of the Moyers broadcasts"... Slight liberal flavor? Don't you love that?
Is this the same Moyers that said, "The right-wing agenda includes the power of the state to force pregnant women to give up control over their own lives."
Now there's no question Bill Moyers is a committed progressive who dances with the far left. But to "The New York Times, he's just a little left, just a bit, which explains how that newspaper sees the political landscape.
Ridiculous? Of course, it is. But to be fair to Moyers, he wins another big award announced today. A Polk Award (search). So he got a Peabody and a Polk. They just love him. And -- well, good for you, Bill.