This year’s G8 summit appears to be one of the most productive in recent years. Thats not saying much though, since last year the only thing that came out of the G8 Summit in Russia was an awkward encouter between Papa Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. This year, Merkel pushed through an environmental protection bill that wasn’t signed by the US and Russia (two of the world’s top three polluters), an aid package that simply reaffirmed a prior agreement, and a plan to meet again later. Awesome.
James makes a few arguments that I think I can agree with. He says Blair, Putin, and Barroso will be weak after this summit. I agree. Blair and Putin are already done attending G8 summits and Barroso has never been very strong. I agree that Bush is going to take the blame for the Iraq debacle, but I also think that G8 leaders are willing to put it behind them (even if other leaders are still livid.)
I think a lot of the G8 members are already losing interest in the Iraqi issue. Those that actually have troops in Iraq have only a marginal vetsed interest in the immediate outcome of the nation and know that any real change will either come at a huge price to their country (if they press Bush on the issue) or from the next US leader. Foreign leaders know that if they try to talk to Bush on the issue, the run the risk (100%) of alienating a President that is determined to go down with his ship. I think this change of the winds was evident by the fact that this summit focused on just about everything except Iraq. No one wants to touch the Iraqi hot-potato.
All in all, G8 2007 is looking to be the cutest meeting of foreign minds since, well… G8 2006.