[FPSPACE] Follow On to Clinton Admin's Russian Policy

Chuck Donaldson cwdonald@ix.netcom.com
Tue, 19 Sep 2000 23:49:15 -0700

Here's another article covering the Republican report on the Clinton/Gore
Russian foreign policy debacle.
    As you read this, try and have the article James sent us from Stephan F.
Cohen's article, "American Journalism and Russia's Tragedy."
    As you read the above article, try and evaluate the following Democ rat
ic's response as:

"This is a political hatchet job. It's outrageous," said Rep. Sam Gejdenson,
Connecticut Democrat
Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher, California Democrat. "It's only meant to inflame the
electorate 48 days before the election."
        [Let's see, by informing you of the disaster that races to your door
step via Al Gore's Foreign Policy is to "inflame the electorate."  Guess
it's best they stay stupid and uninflamed.]
       "This is a partisan report not worth the taxpayer-provided paper it's
written on," said Douglas Hattaway, a spokesman for Mr. Gore yesterday.
        [Since when did a Gore spokesman care about American's taxes and
what they pay]

House GOP report says Gore's policies hurt U.S.-Russian ties
By David Sands

     The Clinton administration's close identification with a few corrupt
Kremlin officials has badly tarnished America's reputation in Russia and set
back U.S.-Russian relations by at least a decade, a new congressional report
says. Related Articles
    The 209-page report, to be released today by a dozen senior Republican
House members, takes direct aim at Vice President Al Gore's stewardship of
policy on Russia over the past eight years, and it has already drawn
prerelease fire from Mr. Gore and congressional Democrats unhappy with its
     "After tens of billions of dollars and eight years of mismanagement by
the Clinton administration, the U.S.-Russian relationship is in tatters,
characterized by deep and growing hostility and divergent perceptions of
international realities and intentions," according to the report, titled
"Russia's Road to Corruption."
     The report criticizes the administration's record on a variety of
fronts, including aid in building a market economy in Russia, weapons
proliferation, efforts to fight Russian corruption, and the focus on
President Boris Yeltsin and a few favored aides while ignoring Russia's
parliament and other regional and private power centers.
     The survey notes that Russia's relations with China have improved
sharply, with the two talking openly of warmer ties to frustrate U.S.
foreign policy goals.
     "To find a foreign policy failure of comparable scope and significance,
it would be necessary to imagine that after eight years of American effort
and billions of dollars of Marshall Plan aid, public opinion in Western
Europe had become solidly anti-American, and Western European governments
were vigorously collaborating in a 'strategic partnership' directed against
the United States," the report says.
     House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert commissioned the study in March. House
GOP Policy Committee Chairman Christopher Cox, California Republican,
chaired the group, which included the chairman of the House Banking and
Financial Services, International Relations, Intelligence and Appropriations
     Democrats criticized both the report and its timing, coming out just
weeks before the presidential election.
     "This is a partisan report not worth the taxpayer-provided paper it's
written on," said Douglas Hattaway, a spokesman for Mr. Gore yesterday.
     "While they play politics with foreign policy, Al Gore has put the
national interest ahead of politics to help Russia reduce its nuclear
arsenal and move toward a free-market democracy," Mr. Hattaway said.
     "This is a political hatchet job. It's outrageous," said Rep. Sam
Gejdenson, Connecticut Democrat and the ranking minority member of the
International Relations Committee.
     Mr. Gejdenson was one of five senior Democratic House lawmakers who
wrote a letter Monday to Mr. Hastert, Illinois Republican, complaining about
the report, although they had not seen the text.
     A copy of the report was obtained yesterday by The Washington Times.
     "This document should come out under the letterhead of the Republican
National Committee," added Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher, California Democrat.
"It's only meant to inflame the electorate 48 days before the election."
     Mr. Gore has been closely identified with the administration's Russia
policy since being appointed by Mr. Clinton to head a joint commission with
former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin overseeing a number of
bilateral issues, including energy and space exploration.
     Mr. Cox, in an interview with reporters and editors of The Washington
Times, said the report was not intended as a partisan attack.
     "The next president is going to face tremendous challenges and
tremendous opportunities in our relationship with Russia," he said. "It's
important to understand how we got to where we are and not repeat the
mistakes of the past."
     To Mr. Cox, the last eight years represent a series of squandered
opportunities that have left Russia poorer, U.S. influence weaker and the
average Russian far more cynical about U.S. intentions.
     The report cites the State Department's own surveys tracking a sharp
decline in favorable opinion among Russians toward the United States during
the 1990s, from 70 percent favorable in 1993 when Mr. Clinton took office to
just 37 percent in February.
     Mr. Cox said an "insular troika" of advisers  Mr. Gore, Deputy
Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and Deputy Treasury Secretary (now
Secretary) Lawrence H. Summers  largely set U.S. diplomatic and economic
policy toward Russia.
     Their unflagging support for Mr. Yeltsin and close association with
corruption-tainted aides such as Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and
privatization chief Anatoly Chubais backfired badly as Mr. Yeltsin's
popularity flagged and the economy staggered in the ruble crisis of August
1998, according to the Republican report.
     Because of their rhetorical and financial support of figures like Mr.
Chernomyrdin and Mr. Chubais, the report argues, the administration became
associated with their policy failures and with the scandals involving money
laundering and theft of state assets that plagued the Yeltsin years.
     The administration has cited a number of successes in its foreign
policy with Russia, including progress in decommissioning Russia's huge
nuclear stockpile and Russia's efforts to broker an end to the conflict with
Yugoslavia over Kosovo last year.
     While the House report castigates U.S. economic policy toward Russia, a
new International Monetary Fund survey forecasts over 7 percent economic
growth for Russia in 2000, the country's best performance in years.
     The House Republican report says the incoming administration will have
a chance to repair Russian relations, but must broaden its contacts beyond a
small Kremlin circle, must promote private sector solutions to Russia's
woes, and more aggressively combat official Russian corruption.