Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Thursday, April 10, 2003

What will Saddam's files turn up about Russia?

"I am convinced that there are many documents that are still secret [in Iraqi archives] -- details of cooperation between many other countries and Iraq, and the links that [Saddam's] Baath party had in the world -- all this is very interesting for Russian special services and for special services of many other countries. I think that now there goes a very tense fight for the access to these archives," Orlov says.

Well-known Russian defense analyst Pavel Felgenhauer disagrees. He says Russia's opposition to the war in Iraq may have been fueled not only by political considerations but also by fears that the real extent of Russian cooperation with Hussein's regime would be disclosed.

He tells RFE/RL that a source in the Russian ministry of foreign affairs, whom he declines to identify, says the Russian military actively and illegally cooperated with the Hussein regime.

And, he says, this type of cooperation will be impossible to hide: "It is impossible to destroy all evidence in any country, especially in such a bureaucratic country, as was Iraq ruled by the Baath party, when the archives were not in one location. I mean, there are many state agencies there [in Iraq] and a deal is usually reflected in many archives. This happened after the fall of Communist regimes in Russia in the Eastern Germany, where the attempts to destroy the archives led nowhere. Always, a track is left. Some copy was sent to some place, in some other place there are checks. Some [documents] are in the archives in the Ministry of Finance, others are in Party archives, some are in the archives of intelligence services archives, some are in are military [archives]. You cannot destroy everything."

And a new nominee for the "al-Sahhaf Propaganic Lie Award"

Bobo Lo, an associate fellow at the Royal Institute of International affairs in London, tells RFE/RL that he cannot believe these types of allegations: "To break these rules and conventions and sanctions regime would be not [only] anti-Western, but it would be to flout the authority of the UN and that's something [Russia has] prided itself in not doing -- in contrast for example to the United States. It has always seen itself as a good international citizen that observes the rules of the UN. And I don't think it would do that. I mean it's possible that you could have rogue elements, you could never rule out anything out, but I would be very, very surprised if the Russian government even on quasi official basis involved in braking UN sanctions regime."

For starters, Russia isn't really a "Western" nationa and since the October Revolution has been set on a course of "anti-Western" activity.

And to think Bobo Lo (was he wearing his big red nose at the time?) would outright rejects the mere thought that Russia would flout the authority of the UN. Ask the people of Grozny about Russia's adherence to the spirit of the UN. Or the newspaper editors in jail, might write up a good story about how law abiding the Russian government is.

Rouge elements in the Russian government? You mean they are not a transparent paragon of a Constitutional Republic.

Either this guy is hopelessly naive, a useful idiot or is just an outright liar.

< email | 4/10/2003 02:58:00 PM | link

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