Many people rightly regard the annual G-8 (Group of Eight) presidential summit as the closest thing we have to a functioning world government. So it is a shame that these meetings tend to be so scripted and dull, with so little room for the informality needed to make genuine progress on tough issues involving world peace and prosperity.
True, this year is a bit better thanks to having Russia’s Vladimir Putin as host; there is simply too much tension between him and his Western counterparts to keep all emotions under wraps. But if these meetings are ever to be really effective, we need a change in format to spice things up. I have a suggestion. Why not have George W. Bush, Putin, and the other leaders share a G-8 movie night, and then discuss their reactions over drinks afterwards? That should get a conversation going!
Of course, there is the question of which movie to pick. This year, the clear first choice has to be the 1963 James Bond spy thriller “From Russia with Love.” The name itself makes it a winner, and the presidents can enjoy watching the fireworks between suave British spy Bond (Sean Connery) and his fetching Russian KGB counterpart Tatiana (Daniela Bianchi). In case you are worried that the Bond-Tatiana affair would spark too many off-color remarks from the collective eminences, the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel should keep things under control.
Perhaps after a couple drinks, Putin might spill the beans on whether, as a real-world KGB agent, he ever directed any remotely similar operation. And Bush, while of course having no such experience of his own, could retell some of his father’s stories when he was the head of the CIA in the 1970’s. Not to be left out, Europeans could use the film’s romantic shots of Istanbul to open up about whether Turkey will ever join their club.