Sunday, October 05, 2008

Manchurian candidate?

It would be irresponsible of me not to speculate, but... John McCain [hearts] the Kremlin?

Over the course of the presidential campaign, John McCain has repeatedly emphasized his willingness to stand up to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as proof that only he possesses the fortitude and judgment to become the next leader of the free world. In his acceptance speech at the Republican convention, McCain lashed out at Putin and the Russian oligarchs, who, "rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power...[are] reassembling the old Russian Empire." McCain rushed to publicly support the Georgian republic during its recent conflict with Russia and amplified his threat to expel Moscow from the G-8 club of major powers. His running mate, Sarah Palin, suggested in her first major interview that the United States might have to go to war with Russia one day in order to protect Georgia--the kind of apocalyptic scenario the United States avoided during the cold war.

Yet despite McCain's tough talk, behind the scenes his top advisers have cultivated deep ties with Russia's oligarchy--indeed, they have promoted the Kremlin's geopolitical and economic interests, as well as some of its most unsavory business figures, through greedy cynicism and geopolitical stupor. The most notable example is the tale of how McCain and his campaign manager, Rick Davis, advanced what became a key victory for the Kremlin: gaining control over the small but strategically important country of Montenegro.

According to two former senior US diplomats who served in the Balkans, Davis and his lobbying firm, Davis Manafort, received several million dollars to help run Montenegro's independence referendum campaign of 2006. The terms of the agreement were never disclosed to the public, but top Montenegrin officials told the US diplomats that Davis's work was underwritten by powerful Russian business interests connected to the Kremlin and operating in Montenegro.


Anonymous said...

Davis Manafort and a few others have been involved with so many bad actors in so many different areas, that no one should go any where near them domestically, because half the time they are at a minimum in technical violation of US law.

You are going to trip over the Russians everywhere in Eastern Europe and throughout Asia. They still dream of Imperial Russia, and keep their hand in with their old "clients".

hipparchia said...

imperial russia, can't blame them for dreaming, or for wishing for a return to 'the good old days'. if we're lucky, it won't happen any time soon.

davis manafort, i'd never even heard of them until i stumbled over that article. yeah, my immediate reaction was there's just got to be a way to throw these people in jail. for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

Last I heard "unregistered foreign agent" was a slap and a fine, but have of the people they deal with are not technically directly working for foreign governments, only for the people who "own" those governments.

hipparchia said...

... only for the people who "own" those governments.

yeah, now that you mention it, there's something else we need to start throwing people in jail for.