President George W. Bush and President Vladimir Putin of Russia emerged from a nearly two-hour private meeting early in Bush’s first term pledging that they would work together to keep peace and to usher in a new era of US-Russian relations. “I looked the man in the eye,” Bush said as the two stood together at the medieval Brdo Castle, the site of their meeting. “I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.”
“Can I trust him? I can.”1
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What President Bush had done in that first encounter with his fellow head of state (though I leave it to the reader to decide ...