The Director of the US National Intelligence, Admiral Michael McConnell, has recently stated in the Senate that Russian President Putin was listening to only those people in his team “who are extremely conservative and suspicious of the United States.” “Those that (Putin) is listening to ... interpret things through a lens that portrays Russia as the downtrodden or (shows) we’re trying to hold them back to the advantage of the United States,” McConnell said.
It just so happens that the director of the US National Intelligence publicly complains of the fact that presidential advisors of a foreign country have bad thoughts about the USA. It is not a new phenomenon in up-to-date world politics. The Clinton's administration (during the 1990s) was publicly dwelling upon the question of who should work in the Russian government. However, it seemed to everyone that the past would not return.
A closer look at the George W. Bush’s administration may show that closest advisors of the US president can also be described as “extremely conservative” individuals looking at the world through an ideological lens. When Dick Cheney took the position of the US Defense Secretary during the 1980s, the official did not believe in the concept of Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika. Cheney was standing strongly against the reduction of nuclear arms. Nowadays the US Vice President Dick Cheney claims that Russia uses “energy weapon” in its foreign policies.
Cheney strongly objected to direct negotiations between the USA and North Korea. The nuclear tests conducted by Pyongyang became the “remarkable outcome” of those policies. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had to convince President Bush to exclude Cheney from the group of officials working with the North Korean problem to be able to achieve progress on the matter.
Before going on a crusade against Iraq, Cheney appeared on American television threatening everyone with anthrax, which Saddam Hussein could supposedly use to kill a half of New York’s population. The US troops have never found anthrax spores in Iraq, but one can see Cheney on TV screen talking about the new danger – nuclear weapons.
Another politician in Bush’s team, Daniel Fried, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, firmly believes that the expansion of NATO makes every nation of the world beam with happiness. He criticized an opinion expressed in an article published by The Los Angeles Times, which said that Putin was right to say that it was a mistake for NATO to continue its expansion.
Deputy National Security Advisor Elliot Abrams is one of those politicians who initiated the US-led campaign in Iraq. Mr. Abrams can be referred to as a person of ultra-conservative views. When working in the Ronald Reagan’s administration, Elliot Abrams organized the Iran Contra affair to fund rebels in Nicaragua in spite of the fact that the US Congress banned such activities. Most likely, Abrams was not wise enough to learn the lesson: he reportedly stands behind secret operations which the USA conducts against Iran.
Former UN Ambassador John Bolton was doing his best to prove that the USA could only careless about decisions taken by the United Nations.
Special Assistant to the US President and Senior Director for Russian Affairs at the National Security Council, Thomas Graham, has recently stepped down from his position. Mr. Graham was probably was of the most sensible members in the Bush’s team. He was sincerely interested in developing partnership with Russia. However, Thomas Graham had to confront “extremely conservative” advisors of President Bush for five years of his work in the White House. Graham’s dismissal can only mean that George W. Bush only listens to his conservative assistants.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov