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"It's a lateral transfer" -- George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States
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Friday, February 10, 2006

Dubya and the Duck

It seems not much notable occurred at today's meeting between Polish President Kaczyński and President Bush, though we did get another nice little lesson in friendship from Dubya - one that we've had before.

"I asked the president his advice on Ukraine," Bush said. "That's what friends do - they share information and share strategic thoughts."

There was no change in stance on the visa issue, and even little discussion of it, despite the Duck telling a Polish radio station before he left for the US that if Poles wouldn't get visa-free travel to the US, he'd work to make visas a requirement for Americans coming to Poland.

However, Kaczynski did take the olive branch extened by Vladimir Putin two weeks ago, when he said that Poles and Russians were "cousins", and that they should look to the present rather than squabble over past differences.

"There have been certain signals that might lead to an improvement of relations between the Republic of Poland and the Russian Federation," Kaczynski said. "We have no certainty yet, but these signals we have received, and we're hoping for an improvement in relations between Poland and Russia."

The sincerity of Putin's words remain to be seen, but many political analysts believe this could lead to a warming of relations.

PiS cuddling up to Putin? They're adopting his strongarm tactics, isn't it only natural that soon they start sharing strategic thoughts?

After all, that is what friends do.


Blogger Gustav said...

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of
remarks by President Bush and President Kaczynski of Poland in photo
The Oval Office

11:57 A.M. EST

PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. President, welcome to the Oval Office. It's really
good to have you here. We have just had a extensive discussion about important
issues. After this press statement we'll go have lunch and continue our
discussions. And we've got a lot to discuss, because we're strong allies and
friends. We're friends in liberty. We believe in peace.
I told the President, it's amazing to be sitting with somebody who knows
the difference between living in a society that is not independent, and not
free, and one that -- and now he's the President of a free country. I thanked
the President and the Polish people for their support of democracy movement in
We had a very interesting discussion about NATO and the European Union.
You can be an active member of the EU, a loyal member of the EU and a friend
of the United States at the same time. I asked the President his advice on
Ukraine. That's what friends do -- they share information and share strategic
We talked about the importance for commercial ties. We'll continue those
discussions over lunch. The President of Poland comes to a country that
respects Poland. There's a lot of Polish-Americans that have still got great
pride for the homeland. We congratulate you on your victory and welcome you.
Thanks for coming.
PRESIDENT KACZYNSKI: President Bush has spoken of the subject of our
talks. The first part has been extended, to a certain extent, and we will
continue our discussions during lunch. We have discussed issues relating to
NATO, the European Union, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia and Iraq and
Afghanistan. In other words, to say very briefly, we've discussed all issues
that both countries are interested in.
Mr. President and myself have discussed issues relating to freedom in the
Ukraine and Belarus. And the support of the United States for all actions that
are leading to freedom in Ukraine and Belarus are very important for Poland,
at the same time. There have been certain signals that might lead to an
improvement of relations between the Republic of Poland and the Russian
Federation. We have no certainty yet, but these signals we have received, and
we're hoping for an improvement in relations between Poland and Russia. We
shall continue our talks in a few minutes.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, sir. Thank you.

END 12:02 P.M. EST

SOURCE White House Press Office

2/10/2006 10:03:00 AM  

Blogger Michael Farris said...

I've discovered that although I often find written translation an absorbing and interesting sideline I lack the temprement of a good spoken interpreter (namely my mind starts to drift in the boring parts).

Nevertheless I would have paid to be on the interpreting staff at Bush - Kaczynski behind closed doors. The biggest bonus would be the total culture clash with Bush's politics-as-business schmoozing and tendency to give demeaning nicknames as an expression of his power and Kaczynski's politics as moral crusade and liable total disdain of Bush's faux Texas behavior (probably the only thing I don't detest about the duck).

2/10/2006 06:57:00 PM  

Blogger Gustav said...

It seems to me that they both exhibit a kind of "I'm-not-one-of-themhigh-falutin'-edumacated-types" attitude that goes well together. Plus, PiS' platform of social "solidarity" is very close to the idea of compassionate conservatism, that is: trample all over civil liberties while enacting populist agendas and then call yourself sensitive for doing it.

PiS is the Polo-European incarnation of the neo-cons.

I doubt there was any tension in the room at all Michael, these two are a match made in hell.

Just wait.

2/10/2006 08:09:00 PM  

Blogger Michael Farris said...

Not the vibe I've gotten from Kaczynski, he might play to the rubes but doesn't see himself as one (the way Lepper quite rightly does) or want to be seen as one. Who he really reminds me of is a communist era local official who takes himself very seriously and doesn't know how to handle disagreement or dissent.

The things he has in common with W (not being good at the whole compromise thing) are even more likely to drive them apart.

2/10/2006 11:45:00 PM  

Blogger Bialynia said...

This was obscured in the current newscycle somewhat by Cheney's decision to shoot a buddy in the ass.

2/13/2006 10:21:00 PM  

Blogger Gustav said...

A small price to pay for hours and hours of hilarity.

2/15/2006 06:15:00 PM  

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