I don’t know how to say this any clearer, so I’ll just repeat myself: no matter what the US could, would, should or might have done, its relations with Russia would still be very bad. Because that’s what Russia needs at this point. The anti-US feelings meet a huge internal need in Russia.
George W. Bush could have walked on water, but this would have changed nothing in terms of the US-Russia relations. So let’s stop dumping on Bush already. On this particular issue, he is really not to blame.