Some months back I organized a dinner on Capitol Hill that brought together some former and current Russian officials with a number of prominent U. Republicans and conservatives, including two congressmen, a conservative magazine publisher, some journalists, and others.
It didn’t seem like a particularly newsworthy event—just a routine opportunity for some top Washington hands to share views and perceptions with prominent counterparts from another national capital.
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It occupies most of eastern Europe and north Asia, stretching from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea and the Caucasus in the south.
The fact that the foreign capital was Moscow testified to the fact that I have been concerned about the rising bellicosity in the U. But then I have been concerned about the bellicosity of American foreign policy generally.
magazine, though, saw significance in the dinner far beyond anything I had contemplated.
It ran a 1,500-word piece exploring what it seemed to consider an intriguing phenomenon, captured in its headline: “” One thrust of the piece was that Moscow has initiated a “dramatic shift” in its efforts to influence U. domestic politics—namely, by cultivating an apparently unsuspecting American conservative movement.
piece wasn’t particularly objectionable in terms of its focus, though the suggestion that American conservatives might be susceptible to manipulation by foreign officials certainly betrayed a lack of understanding about those American conservatives who have not signed up for membership in good standing among the neoconservatives who dominate the country’s right-leaning politics.