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Russian actions merit punishment

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/editorials/view/2008_08_16_Russian_actions_merit_punishment

By Boston Herald editorial staff | Saturday, August 16, 2008 |

Yes, it’s just another piece of paper, another agreement supposed to guarantee a cease-fire between Georgia and the Russian troops which have invaded its sovereign territory.

This time it was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice standing beside Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who had signed the agreement. Days earlier it was French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who brokered the original cease-fire agreement - the one that was rendered meaningless as Russian troops continued to advance on the central Georgian city of Gori, a mere 35 miles from the capital.cw0

Russian President Dimitri Medvedev was prepared to sign it as well, Rice insisted. The time has come, she said, “to begin a discussion of the consequences of what Russia has done. This calls into question what role Russia really plans to play in international politics.”

Meanwhile in Washington, President Bush was adding some bluster of his own, saying, “Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.”

And yesterday a top Russian general escalated the war of words by threatening Poland for agreeing to accept a U.S. missile interceptor base, an agreement that was signed this week.

“Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike - 100 percent,” Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn said.

Amid all the Cold War rhetoric comes one solid proposal that deserves serious thought. Reps. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) and Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) say they will file a resolution urging that Russia be dropped as the host of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. That town is a mere 20 miles from the current conflict. It would send the message that actions have consequences. And right now that’s a message Russia needs to hear. Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/editorials/view.bg?articleid=1113216

Related Articles: Georgia prez inks truce, hits West http://www.bostonherald.com/news/international/europe/view.bg?articleid=1113257

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Octobr 17, 2008 - President Bush Discusses the Visa Waiver Program
Office of the Press Secretary/ White House News

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. (Applause.) Please be seated, thank you. Welcome to the White House. I'm pleased to stand with the representatives of seven countries -- the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and South Korea -- that have met the requirements to be admitted to the United States Visa Waiver Program. Soon the citizens of these nations will be able to travel to the United States for business or tourism without a visa. I congratulate these close friends and allies on this achievement, and I thank you for joining us here.

I also thank Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of the Homeland -- Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff for working hard to make sure this day has finally arrived. Appreciate other members of the administration here and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

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