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Take Two

It's one thing when Germany's Der Spiegel publishes a "Could Bush Be Right?" op-ed.

But two in one week? Read:

But Bush, for all his diplomatic bumbling prior to and even since the Iraq war (and including his faux pas on Wednesday night when he neglected to take off his gloves when greeting his Slovakian hosts), is not shy about confronting Putin when he sees a problem. Furthermore, he does so publicly, making it much more difficult for Putin to return to business as usual. Indeed, the cheery press conference -- while to be expected -- was all the more interesting for the clear disagreements separating the two leaders and the direct way Bush addressed those differences. Diplomacy, Bush seemed to be saying, can -- and perhaps should -- work like a friendship. Tell your friend when you think he or she is straying. But at the same time, show your commitment to the foundation of the relationship.

Chancellor Schroeder should take the lesson to heart.

Tipping point, anyone?