Sunday, April 13, 2003

Our Friends the Russians

A blogger in Great Britain named Andrew whose blog always has great pictures from the war, also has an interesting opinion on the details. This morning he got my attention with his discussion of Yevegini Primakov's visit with Saddam days before the bombing started. Within the article is also a denial that the Russians offered Saddam a haven for exile.

In one of the broadcast news programs this morning, (if I find the cite I'll come back), from the Information Ministry of Saddam's Iraqi government, were documents proving much of the materiel support for Saddam for the past several years came from Russia. And yet another broadcast report mentioned that much of the debt of Iraq was owed to France, Germany and Russia.

I wish I could say that I was surprised. In many ways, Russia is the only European country that shows any understanding of Arab culture in its dealings with them. They are ruthless. They are also reasonably successful given their goals. Make no mistake, they are looking out for themselves. It seems to me that Russia thinks its European neighbors are a bunch of wusses. We're another matter altogether. I think they are uncomfortable having us play conqueror so close to its borders, but just haven't decided how to deal with it. Putin knows the world is a stage full of actors. Of the Fearful Three, only Putin earns any respect for being able to have a ability to strategize.

Stephen den Beste's favorite of the Fearful Three for being the most self-serving is France. There were reports last year that much of Saddam's manufacturing capabilities were German imports, but that information in my mind is so old that I'll wait for the story to come out of post-war Iraq for verification. Shroeder seems to lack the stature of his two co-villains. His goal seems to have been much more shortsided that either Putin or Chirac.

God, this is making me sound like a neocon.