Ned Crabb, Letters Editor
WALL STREET JOURNAL
New York, NY
Subject: A letter to the editor re. "Clinton Urges Moscow to Join WTO” - a WSJ report (June 6, 2000)
Your reporters must have been seeing in triplicate when they wrote that “about 300 Russian lawmakers” listened to Bill Clinton’s speech on Monday morning at the Russian Duma ("Clinton Urges Moscow to Join WTO” - WSJ, June 6, 2000).
Too many Stolichnaya bottles? Or too much kow-towing to the White House PR whips?
According to the Russian news sources, “less than half” of Duma’s 450 deputies bothered to show up for the speech the U.S. establishment media billed as “historic.” Vladimir Zhirinovsky, deputy president of the Duma who, as you reported, loudly heckled the U.S. president saying Clinton “has ruined our country,” estimated the number of bona fide Duma deputies at only around 20 (of 450!), according a June 5 APN (Russian news agency) report.
And even if “less than half” of the seats in the Russian parliament were filled, about 100 people from the Clinton’s entourage and officials of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs were used as Duma chair stuffers so as to minimize the embarrassment. In addition, some 15 members of the Russian Federation Council (sort of like the U.S. Senate) were also present.
Since the Clinton News Network (CNN) carried the U.S. president’s speech live (no Russian TV network bothered with it), one could indeed recognize the likes of Sam Berger and Madeleine Albright, for example, among the Duma “extras.” It was finally a role for which Clinton’s un-American foreign affairs officials are well suited. Wish the Russians had given them permanent jobs as chair stuffers.
Bob Djurdjevic, Founder, Truth in Media, Phoenix, Arizona
Also, check out Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns: "Chinese Dragon Wagging Macedonian Tail," "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning Up Another Crisis"