Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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TiM GW Bulletin 2000/6-3

June 6, 2000

Clinton in Russia, Putin in Italy

Clinton Snubbed by Russian Duma 

Ukraine City Punished for Towing Washington's Line; Clinton Makes Fun of His Secretary of State 



Moscow                   1. Clinton Snubbed by Russian Duma

Rome                       2. Putin Puts Off Inviting Pope to Third Rome

Kharkiv                   3. Ukraine City Punished for Towing Washington’s Line  

Moscow                   4. Clinton Makes Fun of His Secretary of State June 7, 2000


1. Clinton Snubbed by Russian Duma

MOSCOW, June 5 - The following is a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal about Bill Clinton’s Monday morning speech to the Russian Duma:

“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, 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


2. Putin Puts Off Inviting Pope to Third Rome

ROME, June 6 - Both Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin, the last two Kremlin leaders, publicly invited the Pope to Moscow, but failed to persuade the Russian Patriarch to accept such a visit.  

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s new president and a born-again Christian, didn’t fall into the same trap.  Instead, Putin on a trip to the Vatican and Italy this week, explained to reporters in Milan his reasons for not inviting the Pope to the Third Rome (Moscow).

“We do not want in any way to harm the discussion in progress between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic one,” Mr. Putin said in Milan, according to a New York Times report. In Rome earlier, he had said on the same subject, “We must proceed with caution and not do harm in attempting to do good.”

Mr. Putin's remarks were welcomed at the Vatican, where the Pope has never hidden his hunger to visit Russia and to mend the 1,000-year rift between Rome and the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Times said.  

Putin also put Italian newspaper editors in their place when asked about organized crime and corruption in Russia.  “Mafia is not a Russian word,” he replied tartly.

Putin then quickly assured his journalist audience that he was pressing legislation to reduce crime and corruption and cut tax rates - both of which are programs that are music to western investors’ ears.  


3. Ukraine City Punished for Toeing Washington’s Line

KHARKIV, Ukraine, June 6 - What do you get for being a good New World Order boy, and for toeing the Clinton administration’s foreign policy line?  Enough rope to hang yourself.  At least that’s been the experience of Kharkiv, an industrial city in northeastern Ukraine, according to today’s report in the New York Times, written as Bill Clinton wound up his European tour with a six-hour visit to Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine.

“There was a brief discussion among American diplomats -- very brief by all accounts -- about having President Clinton stop here during his visit to Ukraine, in this home of the American-sponsored Kharkiv Initiative,” the Times said.  “But because people here are so unhappy with the initiative's results, his visit was limited to Kiev.”

Unhappy?  Probably an understatement.  In 1998, the Clinton administration forced the Ukrainian government to order Turboatom, a producer of giant steam turbines and one of this city's largest enterprises, to back out of an Iranian project.  Secretary of State Madeleine Albright traveled to Kiev in March 1998, and praised Ukraine’s president Leonid Kuchma for "great statesmanship" in joining the struggle to "halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."

Actually, the “great statemenship” was a case of Washington’s coercion.  Having failed to persuade Russia to pull out of Bushehr plant project in Iran, Clinton's senior national security advisers in late 1997 began a campaign to force Ukraine out of the deal. Ukraine's ambassador to Washington at the time, Yuri Shcherbak, was told that the administration would prevent Ukraine from purchasing fuel for its aging nuclear reactors from American companies unless Turboatom gave up the Iran project.

So Ukraine relented.  The move was regarded as a great success of American policy, and it was expected that it would seriously disrupt Russia's ability to complete the Iranian power station.

It didn’t.  It only cost Ukraine tens of millions of dollars in industrial contracts with its Russian partners, and thousands of local jobs.  And the Clinton administration its face and a good name.  But then, Klintonistas never had either to begin with.  Except perhaps for the na´ve among the former Soviet dominions, who thought that the way to riches was becoming a New World Order minion. 

Meanwhile, construction at the Bushehr power plant is well under way, and Russia's deputy minister for atomic energy, Bulat Nigmatulin, says it will be completed in 2002. Russia is expected to earn about $1 billion from the project.  Part of that will go to its largest turbine manufacturer, a St. Petersburg company, which has taken over Ukraine's contract to produce the turbine that will be delivered to Iran in September 2001.

In the end, the only party that was hurt by American intervention was Ukraine, the Times said, the country that the United States has been trying to help become an economically independent nation.

With friends like Clinton’s foreign policy team, does any U.S. “ally” need any enemies?


4. Clinton Makes Fun of His Secretary of State June 7, 2000

“See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil” - Madam Halfbright’s “Entire Foreign Policy”

MOSCOW, June 7 - During Bill Clinton’s weekend visit to Moscow, Madeleine Albright used a fashion statement to try to make her own policy point with the Russians.  And Madam Halfbright’s “fashion statement” met with predictable results.  Even her own boss (Bill Clinton) made fun of her in public.

As the Russian president, Vladimir Putin shook Albright's hand before a meeting on Sunday (June 4), Bill Clinton tried to explain the meaning of the three brown pins depicting monkeys on the lapel of her jacket. They represent, "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil," Clinton said  "That's Madeleine's entire foreign policy," he added.


TiM Ed.: Actually, to us, the three monkeys symbolized another characteristic of Madam Halfbright’s foreign policy - “monkey see, monkey do.”  Seeing that the U.S. has a military, she figured we might as well use it.  And did so, also with predictable results.  Today’s Amnesty International report accused the NATO leaders of war crimes that killed "up to 1,500 Serb civilians" in last year's bombing (see "NATO Deliberately Attacked Civilians," The Independent, June 7, 2000 and "NATO's Air War on Yugoslavia Violated Law, Amnesty Reports," The New York Times, June 7, 2000).


A White House official called Mr. Clinton's remark about the pin "a joke." 


TiM Ed.: Right. Actually, were it not for its tragic consequences, Albright’s entire foreign policy could be considered a joke, not just her three monkey-"fashion statement."

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Also, check out... Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns:  "Christianity Under Siege," "Silence Over Persecuted Christians", "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"

Or Djurdjevic's NEW DAWN magazine columns: "Blood for Oil, Drugs for Arms", "Washington's Crisis Factory,"  and "New Iron Curtain Over Europe"