The international community now has a potent new motivating tool to dissuade world leaders from engaging in tyranny and aggression — tell them they’ll be like George Bush if they do it:
Nicolas Sarkozy saved the President of Georgia from being hanged “by the balls” — a threat made last summer by Vladimir Putin, according to an account that emerged yesterday from the Elysee Palace. . . .
The Russian seemed unconcerned by international reaction. “I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,” Mr Putin declared.
Mr Sarkozy thought he had misheard. “Hang him?” — he asked.
“Why not?” Mr Putin replied. “The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.”
Mr Sarkozy, using the familiar tu, tried to reason with him: “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?”
Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah — you have scored a point there.”