During a joint news conference Saturday in St. Petersburg, Bush said he raised concerns about democracy in Russia during a frank discussion with the Russian leader.
"I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world, like Iraq where there's a free press and free religion, and I told him that a lot of people in our country would hope that Russia would do the same," Bush said.
To that, Putin replied, "We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy that they have in Iraq, quite honestly."
OK, we all know Bush is quite possibly the most diplomatically inept leader the US has had perhaps ever, but is he seriously so idiotic that he would suggest to a foreign leader that his country learn from the example set by Iraq, a country that has descended into civil war, with no central government to speak of, that's been so fragmented by US occupation that it's unclear if Iraq as a national entity will ever be viable again, that indeed has become a playground and training zone for international terrorism? Is he really that stupid? Apparently so.
And Putin's rejoinder above is simply brilliant in its deadpan understatement. I mean, even if the guy learned his political moves from his career in the KGB and considers democracy a nice word although not much else, you really can't expect him to agree that he'd be better off taking after Iraq.
A curse has surely descended upon America.