Friday, March 24, 2006

David Frum says

If it's true that the Russian ambassador to Iraq presented Saddam Hussein with the US war plans for the invasion, I'm left with four questions:

1) Who made the decision to share these plans with the Russians in the first place? True, it was not yet positively clear in the spring of 2003 that Vladimir Putin's government was fundamentally unfriendly to the United States. But self-evidently Russia was not an ally fit to be trusted with such ultra-secret information.

2) Having learned the truth, why does anybody still put any stock in Russia as a potentially helpful partner in the Iran crisis?

3) What consequences will follow for Russia? Anne Applebaum has argued that Russia should already have forfeited its status as a member of the elite club of democracies, the former G7 now renamed the G8. That certainly seems right. Over the past months, we've learned that Germany provided all kinds of quiet help to the United States in Iraq even as Chancellor Schroeder publicly opposed it - a demonstration of the depth and endurance of German-American friendship despite passing quarrels.

With Russia, though, the record is now exposed as exactly the opposite: surface friendship, deep underlying jealousy, hostility, and finally sabotage.

Accountability, anyone?

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