Thursday, January 19, 2012

American Prospect: Who knew the State Department was so hip? (VIDEO)

Great stories from both the American Prospect and Foreign Policy.

Can't say we didn't try.

Oh, yeah...the Russians did just that:

Apparently, this is Moscow's idea of rolling out the "red carpet": Russian state television today launched an all-out assault on new U.S. Ambassador Mike McFaul.

"The fact is that McFaul is not an expert on Russia. He is a specialist in a particular pure democracy promotion," read a report published on Russia 1, the channel that is run by the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK).

The Russian government was evidently displeased that McFaul met with human rights activists in his first official function at the Moscow embassy, where he was joined by visiting Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns. The Russian media's public smear campaign against McFaul accused him of working on behalf of the "so-called democratic movement" in the country during the early 1990s, when he visited there on behalf of the National Democratic Institute -- an organization "known for its proximity to the U.S. intelligence services," according to the TV report.

The report then quotes from several of McFaul's writings and from The Cable's post on McFaul to accuse him of having an agenda of supporting Russian opposition groups in an attempt to destabilize the Russian government.

The hostile welcome represents a sharp rebuke to McFaul's message of openness and cooperation that he brought with him upon arriving in Moscow last week.