Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I was hoping we'd have more of a discussion about how this incident fits into the overall track of relations between Russia and the West, but apparently it was decided to focus on the spy angle.
I don't know why the position I've advocated--let's let the investigation continue and begin to put more facts on the table--since there are so many rumors and theories floating about--and peoples' stories keep changing--is so controversial. Didn't we learn from the whole Saddam and weapons of mass destruction issue not to make policy on a rush to judgment?
At any rate, what worries me the most about this entire episode, as I said at the end, is whether or not these operations are freelance or for hire, which is much more troublesome a scenario to contemplate.
Now imagine how that may affect the political calculations of a weaker but hostile regime that is "contained."
Always struck by how CNN has to make things black and white. Why can't Litvinenko have been exposing corruption in the Putin government and in Russia (good) and still be involved in nefarious dealings? One doesn't have to cancel the other out.
I do think we need more time to learn what this is all about. I read that Litvinenko converted to Islam on his deathbed and that he had links in Chechnya. The reporter that was killed was not only a friend of Litvinenko but also involved in reporting on Chechnya.
Chechnya has rich oil resources, though I only know that from wikipedia. This makes me suspicious of the entire Russian oligarchy and not just Putin. This is troubling as I am not fond of the idea of Boyars pushing around a large nation for their interests. That tends to lead to conflicts.
Any cursory examination of information relating to polonium 210, leads to the unholy realization, that if this substance in any quantity was to fall into the "wrong" hands, - our (as in the entire worlds) security problems would be compounded by quantum magnitudes.
What to do when you're bogged down in an unwinnable war, beset on all sides by terrorists while a wave of anti-Americanism sweeps the world? Why, you add the Russians to your growing list of enemies, while inciting yet more anti-Americanism because it's the "right" thing to do in Bizarro World.
To be fair, its the Brits making the most noise about this, and unthinking opposition to Russians has a long pedigree there. I read something on the MoD's Conflict Research Centre website fulminating about the dire effect of a non-Russophobic PM taking over in Ukraine would have on "stability in the Black Sea region".
The Post could save a ton of money, and boost its credibility, if they stopped buying his drivel.