Peddling for Russia in Washington
Armenia does Moscow’s bidding in return for continued support
Washington has been shaken to its core by allegations of Russia’s hacking and interference. Frequently, Americans hear more accusations about the extent to which Russia attempted and, in some cases, succeeded in influencing the nation. More is likely to be unveiled, including complicity of homegrown activists, as independent counsel and congressional investigations more forward.
Allegations abound that President Trump’s foreign policy is influenced by close relations and behind-the-scenes contacts among him and his staff with Russian leadership. The most recent “Russian revelation” came in the form of accusations of back-channel communications between presidential adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner and the Russians — back channels are a classic and vital facet of statecraft.
The point is that of Russian infiltration.
Armenia, a client state of Russia in the post-Soviet space, enjoys a well-established ethnic lobby in the United States. Damaged by its support for socialist Bernie Sanders, instead of seeking to repair a significantly degraded infrastructure, it seeks now to engage in regional geopolitics. Once a two-issue lobby — genocide and Nagorno-Karabakh — the Armenian-American lobby now serves as a clandestine influence peddler of Russia.
A fairly simple calculus, Armenia cannot survive without copious Russian largesse; thus, the Armenian-American lobby does Russia’s bidding in return for continued support. It possesses not only access, but a devoutness of well-placed members of Congress. The websites and “informational” emails of Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff, Brad Sherman, Jackie Speier, all of California, and others substantiate. The questionable attention of certain members of Congress with Armenia is not new — a member’s constituency notwithstanding — does that member have a responsibility to the U.S. first?