This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor.
Used to be a G-8 Summit was little more than a gigantic photo op — leaders of the world's most important economies getting together to talk about stuff that would put most of us to sleep.
Last year the G-8 was supposed to be all about Africa. Suddenly with Bono and Bob Geldoff around, interest rose again. But Africa took a back seat to terrorists when the London transit system was hit just as the G-8 was set to begin.
World leaders are in St. Petersburg this weekend for the G-8, and again the sleepy photo op has turned into something more.
President Bush has the chance to look Vladimir Putin in the eye again and ask Putin why he's not playing ball with us on North Korea. Putin has said North Korea had every legal right to test its missiles. Thanks, Vlad.
And then there's that little matter with Israel and Lebanon. Israel is trying to kick Hezbollah's butt once and for all, and the Lebanese people are paying the price.
As the camera pans from one leader to the next, we'll all be hoping this is more than a photo op.
Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many across the country.
By Harry Smith
Copyright 2006 CBS. All rights reserved.