Final Word from Wednesday, May 16, 2007

When Condoleezza Rice said in Moscow yesterday that she doesn't think anyone expects the U.S. to permit a veto of its security interests, it wasn't understood to be a challenge to the Czech Parliament, but it could have been. The Bush administration continues to treat missile defense in Central Europe as an inevitability and is oblivious to the growing obstacles. Rice is right that Vladimir Putin can't "veto" the project, but he's upping the ante for all involved. Against the backdrop of worsening U.S.-Russian relations, Gazprom-owned Izvestia is now calling for common Russians to dump their dollars. Russia's shift away from the dollar could conceivably send the greenback reeling so much that missile defense ceases to be the topic of the day. This would allow Czech lawmakers to say openly to the U.S. what most of them already think privately about the radar: Thanks, but no thanks.[Czech Republic secretary of state United States of America]


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