In the run-up to the Presidential elections in the USA, Democrats and Republicans take positions. People vs. Establishment. But the fight goes beyond the frontiers of the USA… Opinion polls now give a clear victory to presidential candidate Al Gore (Democrat, Vice-president to William Clinton for the last two electoral terms) over George Bush Junior (leader of the opposition Republican party, son of President George Bush [1992 – 1996]). However, if opinions should change, and if George Bush wins, events could be complicated for Russia. Condoleeza Rice, expected to be Bush’s choice for National Security Advisor, if he wins the election, recently stated that in her opinion, the USA should stop IMF payments to Russia. In a bombastic statement, Ms. Rice said: “They (the Russians) took the money and did not reform anything. Russia has a lot of work to do before you want even to think about IMF assistance”. She continued to state that “under a Bush administration, Russia would have to make its way to whatever it is going to become largely on its own. The days for assistance are largely over”. Ms. Rice continued her tirade against Russia by saying that although the IMF had “pumped funds in”, Russia had “siphoned off funds” for the Chechnya campaign. She also accused Russia of “cooking the books”. What is more worrying about these statements is the fact that this young lady, attractive to America’s large ethnic minority Negro community, being herself a Negress, was the Russian expert employed by the former President Bush, father of the current candidate with the same name. This lady, known as “Condy” to her friends, is already laying down the plans for the future USA foreign policy if Bush is elected: an antagonistic position against Russia support for further strategic defence initiatives in space support for opposition groups in Iraq Basically, reading between the lines, a return to Cold War attitudes, interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states and a policy of aggressiveness against Russia. Fortunately, and not surprisingly, it seems that the American people will give victory to Gore over Bush and his team of advisors in the next elections. Such attitudes will hopefully remain in the archives of the USA’s failed foreign policy during the Cold War, where they belong. Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, Lissabon

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