Saturday, March 25, 2006

know your friends -- the russians are no friends

A Pentagon report indicating that the Russians passed military intelligence about our troop dispositions to Saddam during our invasion of Iraq doesn't really surprise me. Surely the Russians knew that giving Hussein that operational information was unlikely to change the final result -- Iraq's army was never going to defeat the US military forces. But I imagine what the Russians hoped WOULD happen was that, with more accurate information about US force deployments, the Republican Guard could at least administer a bloody nose or two to the invaders and embarrass us before going down.

Well, that didn't happen. We didn't embarrass ourselves until AFTER Iraq's armed forces were defeated, when we (and by "we", I mean the de facto Bush Administration politicos and the kool-aid drinking generals at the Pentagon, not dissenting professionals at CIA, State, and other places) revealed the fact that we had no idea about the true state of Iraq's WMD program, had no clue about what to expect in Iraq after Saddam's rule was ended, and had not even the faintest suspicion that Iraqis wouldn't treat us as liberators and shower us with rose petals and ululations of praise.

It doesn't really matter whether the information was given to Iraq on orders of the Kremlin or not. But this DOES reveal that while the Russians may not be the cold war ideological enemies of the United States any more, neither are they our friends. Bush famously said he had stared into Putin's eyes and seen his soul upon their first summit back in June of 2001. Well, obviously Bush misread Putin's soul as badly as he and his military aides misread Iraq. The Russians are not friends of the United States.