Visiting Latvia, President Bush said of the Yalta agreement that divided Europe following World War II, “‘Once again, when powerful governments negotiated, the freedom of small nations was somehow expendable,’ the president said, opening a four-nation trip to mark the 60th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s defeat. ‘Yet this attempt to sacrifice freedom for the sake of stability left a continent divided and unstable.'” Putin, on the other hand, “issued an absurd statement that could have come straight from the Soviet files, insisting that the Soviet Union was “invited” into the Baltic states in 1939. He has also defiantly emphasised the Soviet aspect of the ‘Great Patriotic War’ — the roles played by Stalin and communist ideology, which appeal to a nationalist and nostalgic Russian population.”
Bush was to head to the Netherlands Saturday night for a ceremony near Maastricht on Sunday. In a television interview, Bush “thanked the country for its help in Iraq.” But “[c]urrent polls show about two-thirds of Dutch don’t approve of the job Bush has done as U.S. president. About half say the Dutch should not have participated in the coalition.” In Amsterdam, protesters reminded us who was who in more modern times, carrying signs declaring Bush a war criminal and a terrorist.