‘A conservative,” the old cliché goes, “is a liberal who has been mugged.” But some liberals who are mugged refuse to admit that it happened.
Observe the rough treatment to which the new American ambassador in Moscow, Michael McFaul, has been subjected since his appointment last January. Since his arrival, the ambassador has been constantly accused in the media of stirring up anti-government protests, and lately he has been ambushed by Russian state-TV crews at his meetings, official and unofficial, suggesting that his phone was tapped. This comes on top of numerous other strong indications that the Obama administration’s attempts to “reset” relations with Russia — a policy spearheaded by Mr. McFaul — have failed. But while McFaul has complained loudly about his recent treatment, he does not seem to realize that he has been mugged in a much broader sense.
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