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« An Interview With Richard Perle | Main | Infernal Revenue Service »

An Act Of War

That's certainly how the UK could interpret the apparent fact that Russia was spying on them and giving the intelligence to Saddam. There's little doubt, of course, that they were doing the same thing to us. Or that the French were involved as well. What's truly amazingly stupid about it is that it did him no good whatsoever--Russia (and perhaps France) has sundered its relationship with the Anglosphere for no apparent benefit.

Question is now, what to do about it?

Posted by Rand Simberg at April 12, 2003 04:54 PM
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There was also a recent report that two retired Russian generals, with Putin's blessing, had gone to Baghdad shortly before the war to advise Saddam on his defenses. Apparently this is the provenance of the idea of making Baghdad another Stalingrad. I bet the Russians have not yet got over the fact that we cleaned up Afghanistan when they couldn't pacify the place in a decade.

Posted by Wim at April 12, 2003 05:35 PM

Rand -

We spy on them, they spy on us. It's part of the game -- and the world is, ultimately, safer for it.

My only comment is that you won't be hearing any outrage from the anti-war left about this spying, when those folks were apoplectic that we were spying on Cameroon in the lead up to the Second (read: 18th) Security Counsel Resolution on Iraq.

Posted by Andrew at April 12, 2003 06:35 PM

It's not the fact that they were spying, Andrew, it's the fact that they were aiding our enemy.

Posted by ERDV at April 12, 2003 06:38 PM

Yeah, I know what they were doing and your point is well taken. But I guess I'm so cynical about Russia, et al., that I'm not surprised. And I guess I don't get outraged anymore if things don't surprise me. Still, the world still is safer for the existance of a lot of espionage.

That said, I can't buy this suggestion that Russia would do "hits" as a favor to anyone strikes me as perposterous. Russia acts in her own interests, and it certainly knew there was no long term favor to curry with Iraq.

Posted by Andrew at April 12, 2003 07:02 PM

This just doesn't seem to make any logical sense to me -- at some point, Putin must have known Hussein was going down, and that the spying would be uncovered, and that the US and UK would be less than happy about it. It makes so little logical sense, in fact, that I'm skeptical about the reports. This is the Telegraph, after all. As I wrote on my blog, we conservatives normally have a healthy skepticism for whatever this newspaper reports. Let's maintain it, until a more credible newspaper picks up the story.

Posted by David Kenner at April 12, 2003 09:22 PM

If this can be adequately documented, it could peel Germany out of the axis of weasels. Schroeder has been belligerent lately, but this would be a step too far.

-- Erik

Posted by Erik at April 12, 2003 09:50 PM

In his wonderful novel The War In 2020, Ralph Peters (yes, that Ralph Peters) has his protagonist, an American colonel at the head of an expeditionary force sent out to assist in the defense of Russia against an Islamic incursion, react to clear evidence of Russian betrayal of the Americans by asking a Russian liaison: "Is there anyone in your country who remembers how to tell the ****ing truth?"

The question is pertinent to current circumstances.

Posted by Francis W. Porretto at April 13, 2003 04:48 AM

Remember that stuff like this is also a weapon. If Bush seems to take this rather in stride, and I have a feeling he will, it means in the rooms you and I are not privvy to, we are likely to be getting some reasonably juicy quid pro quo.

Intel like this is to be played, not clubbed over the transgressors head. What good is that?

Posted by Andrew X at April 13, 2003 08:38 AM

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