Late Wednesday, the Financial Times (UK) reported that Vice President Dick Cheney is "leading the charge" to "give Vladimir Putin the cold shoulder" at the Jul. 15-17 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. -- The reason? -- "For Mr. Cheney, according to administration insiders, the key issue is Iran. They say he is furious at Russia's arms sales to Tehran and its resistance to United Nations sanctions over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program." -- There can be little doubt that Cheney is driving U.S. Iran policy. -- The vice president has placed his own daughter in charge of a new U.S.-funded Farsi-language TV station that will soon be beaming propaganda to Iran. -- Last summer, the Financial Times reported that Cheney and Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld were hoping for hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory in Iran, whom they now like to compare to Hitler, knowing his election would facilitate their ability to gin up public opinion to support an attack on Iran. -- And it was because John Bolton is the administration's Iran hawk that Cheney insisted he be nominated U.S. ambassador to the U.N., despite Senate opposition necessitating a recess appointment that expires in January 2007. -- As Scott Ritter has long argued, Bolton's chief job at the U.N. is to orchestrate the pre-planned "failure" of the U.N. to "deal with" Iran, offering a pretext for aggression against the Islamist regime, whose overthrow has been a longterm foreign policy for the U.S. national security state ever since Iran slipped out of U.S. control in January 1979. -- Many believe that an attack will be marketed as Bush's toughest decision and timed to swing the 2006 elections. -- It's ironic that the vice president is so exercised over the problem of uranium enrichment. -- Cheney's home state of Wyoming leads the nation in uranium production, and it was just a few miles from Dick Cheney's high school that Wyoming's uranium destiny became clear in the late 1960s and 1970s when major uranium deposits were discovered in the Powder River Basin....
BUSH PRESSED TO GIVE PUTIN COLD SHOULDER AT G8
By Guy Dinmore
Financial Times (UK)
May 17, 2006
WASHINGTON -- U.S. President George W. Bush may give Vladimir Putin the cold shoulder when the Russian president hosts the Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg.
This would be the likely result if hardliners in the U.S. win a policy battle over how to respond to what they see as Moscow's increasingly wayward behavior.
While there is no doubt Mr. Bush will attend the July summit -- despite calls by Republican senator John McCain and others for a boycott -- Mr. Putin could be on the receiving end of the "minimalist approach."
"There is a push for the president to do the bare minimum in St. Petersburg," said Nikolas Gvosdev, editor of the National Interest, a publication of the Nixon Center think-tank that promotes a "realistic" U.S. approach to Russia.
This would mean no "chumminess" with Mr. Putin, such as private dinners, and could involve a side-trip to a former Soviet satellite for a speech on democracy. Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine president, has invited Mr. Bush to Kiev, which might come next month, provided a coalition government has been formed.
The White House said no decisions have been taken on the U.S. president's timetable for the July 15-17 summit. Tensions are also rising over the agenda. The U.S. wants to tackle a range of issues that are sensitive for Mr. Putin, including Chechnya.
The Bush administration is also pondering whether to send an official to an "Alternate Russia" conference of opposition politicians and non-government organiZations brought together by Garry Kasparov, the chess grandmaster and outspoken critic of Mr. Putin. The conference is to be held in Moscow just before the G8 summit.
Dick Cheney, U.S. vice-president, is said to be leading the Washington charge for a tougher line towards Russia -- as seen in his broadside launched from Lithuania when he accused Mr. Putin of backsliding on democracy and using oil and gas for blackmail and intimidation.
For Mr. Cheney, according to administration insiders, the key issue is Iran. They say he is furious at Russia's arms sales to Tehran and its resistance to United Nations sanctions over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state, backs a more nuanced approach.
Mr. Gvosdev said the "minimalist approach" would be a compromise between a no-show and whole-hearted engagement. But much could change in the two months before the summit.
Yuri Ushakov, Russia's ambassador to Washington, spoke of a "war of words" and heated rhetoric directed at Russia.