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Charlie Wilson and War in Afghanistan

Posted By admin On 22 February 10 @ 10:54 In Michał Bąkowski | 13 Comments

On the 10th February 2010 died Charlie Wilson, a colourful member of the House of Representatives, one of the very few American politicians who actively supported the struggle against communist aggression, first in the Seventies in Nicaragua, and then almost throughout the next decade, in Afghanistan.  To honour this anticommunist, we are publishing again the article from March 2008 (in an extended version).  This text was triggered by a film about Charlie Wilson.

Charlie Wilson’s War is an enjoyable film and, by Hollywood standards, historically accurate to an extent.  Directed by Mike Nichols (of The Graduate fame) it tells the story of a democratic congressman from Texas who, in between rowdy parties, cocaine, alcohol, and Playboy Bunnies, thanks to exceptional determination and ingenuity, managed to gradually increase the CIA budget earmarked to help Afghan mujahidin.  This in turn, was supposed to have led the soviet army in Afghanistan to such significant losses that there was nothing left for Gorbachev to do but withdraw with his tail between his legs.

Mike Nichols is a good director so we can forgive his left leaning tendencies.  Nichols caught very well the relationship central to the story, the strange romance between the ultra-conservative and God-fearing anticommunist, Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts, wooden as always) and charming, left wing bon vivant, Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks).  In reality, Herring played a bigger part than that shown in the film.  She went to Afghanistan in person in the spring of 1980 with professional film makers (including her own son) and brought back some shocking material, which, thanks to her wide contacts in the Republican party, attracted the eye of George Bush (senior) and Ronald Reagan who were at the time engaged in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Herring, Wilson and the CIA agent by the name of Gust Avrakotos (Philip Seymour Hoffman, brilliant as always), ushered in a complicated secret scheme, whereby modern arms, shoulder launched Stingers in particular, would be delivered to the mujahidin via Israel, Egypt and Pakistan.  Negotiations with the Israelis, Egyptians and general Zia are the best part of the film.

Charlie won the war in Afghanistan, got his medal and today stands accused of creating the “Frankenstein monster of terrorism”, because the struggle of the mujahidin against infidels is supposed to have awoken Islamic extremism.  It was in Afghanistan under the CIA’s umbrella that one Osama bin-Laden allegedly met Ayman al-Zawahiri and thus al-Qaeda was born.  As far as I know, there are no documents proving that the CIA trained both terrorists but it appears highly likely.  On the other hand, Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned by fsb agents in London, was adamant that al-Zawahiri was also trained by kgb.

Let’s go further back in time and let us look more closely at the causes of the soviet armed intervention.  How did it happen that the soviets found their own Vietnam in Afghanistan?

Communists took power in Afghanistan in a bloody coup in May 1978.  In February 1979 American ambassador to Kabul, Adolph Dubs, was kidnapped.  Kidnappers were tracked down to a hotel room and surrounded.  They were about to give themselves in when a kgb adviser, Sergey Batrukhin, ordered an immediate attack.  As a result, the unknown kidnappers and the ambassador were killed.  What actually happened is unclear to this day and is likely to remain so, as one of the very few sources of our knowledge is the extremely suspicious so called Mitrokhin Archive.  With the murder of their ambassador, United States were cut off from any credible sources of information about the developments in Afghanistan.

At the same time, the highest echelons of Afghan party erupted into an open conflict, as often is the case among gangsters.  Karmal and Najibullah, leaders of one of the factions, escaped to Moscow in fear of retaliations, whilst the two leaders of the victorious faction, Taraki and Amin, immediately entered into another power struggle, this time against each other.  On the 20 March 1979, Taraki formally asked Moscow for help.  First and foremost he needed military assistance for his regime but he also asked for support in getting rid of Amin.  Kosygin warned him that soviet intervention was not a good idea but promised 500 advisers and 700 paratroopers “to secure the Bagram airport”, whilst Brezhnev warned Taraki that Amin was preparing an assassination attempt.  On his return to Kabul, Taraki invited Amin to a meeting.  Amin agreed but only on condition that his security would be guaranteed by the soviet ambassador.  If it all sounds like a script for The Godfather movie than there is a good reason for that – it’s all about gangsters.  Negotiations dragged along until finally Amin received the guarantees he demanded.  Obviously, he did not believe one word of soviet assurances so during the arranged meeting between “the President and the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan” a full scale gunfight erupted – as is often the case between gangsters.  There are many conflicting versions of these events but one thing is certain: on the 10th October 1979 it was announced that “the great teacher, great genius, great leader” Taraki – was dead.

As we can see, the events in Afghanistan followed a well known bolshevik pattern.  Something very similar happened in Nazi occupied Warsaw during WWII, when one soviet agent, called Mołojec, murdered another soviet agent, called Nowotko, and replaced him as first secretary of their party, only to be subsequently murdered.  Nowotko inevitably entered the pantheon of communist saints martyred by “fascists”. 

In response to disturbances in Kabul, Amin executed 20 thousand prisoners without trial.  The total number of victims of red terror before soviet intervention remains unknown but is estimated to be above 30 thousand in Kabul alone.  Outside Kabul, though, neither Taraki nor Amin had much control.

It is true to say that throughout the history of that troubled kingdom, every regime in Kabul had little control over far away provinces.  The power of the King was based on a tacit acceptance of the elders of various quarrelsome tribes that it was better to have a monarch than perpetual conflict.  The King’s role was limited to that of an arbiter in never ending disputes rather than a governor.  The former Prime Minister, Daud, who overthrew the monarchy, failed to instigate the promised reforms because he lacked backing outside Kabul and a few larger towns.  One could say that, without the support of tribal elders, power in Afghanistan is by necessity limited to control of larger towns and strategic roads between them.  That was exactly the kind of power the bolshevik gangsters in Kabul enjoyed in 1979.  Why then, did soviets invade?

On the night of Christmas Eve in 1979, 80 thousand red army soldiers crossed the border of “friendly” Afghanistan, invited by “president” Amin, who was immediately murdered by a Spetsnaz unit codenamed Zenit.  Soviets brought Karmal from Moscow and installed him as the new president.  In the first phase of the conflict the red army destroyed every resistance but after a few months it was obvious that, regardless of the overwhelming military force, regardless of the total air domination, soviets only controlled 20% of the territory.  Why did they invade then?  When during talks in Moscow – I repeat, in March 1979 – Taraki asked for soviet military assistance for his government, Brezhnev replied: “We have examined this question from all sides, weighed the pros and cons, and I will tell you frankly: We must not do this.  It would only play into the hands of enemies – both yours and ours.”  What had changed between March and December 1979?

The most popular answer to the question of the causes of soviet invasion is this: Brezhnev wished to place his man on the seat of power in Kabul because he could not trust Amin (there is also a more fanciful version of this, i.e. Amin was a CIA agent…).  I can easily believe that no one trusted Amin in Moscow but why didn’t they simply order 700 elite paratroopers at the airport to arrest him?  Especially so since Amin actually repeated the same demands for military assistance as Taraki did before him.  One does not invade a neighbouring country to get rid of a friendly despot, even if one does not trust him; but one surely does not take such a step when one thinks that “it would only play into the hands of enemies.”  “Enemies”, or simply the West, had no interest in Afghanistan whatsoever.  When in March 1979 soviet air force bombed Herat in retaliation for the massacre of 20 soviet military advisers, President Carter did not bat an eyelid, even though 24 thousand people died in Herat raids.  In other words, there were no reasons to invade, when soviets could easily continue to “help the brotherly Afghani nation” from a distance.

One often hears another hypothesis attempting to explain the causes of the invasion, the one that presupposes that Amin’s regime would have been overthrown without the brotherly soviet assistance because the mujahidin forces were growing day by day.  The best answer to that was given by Kosygin during the same Kremlin talks with Taraki:

“We believe it would be a fatal mistake to commit ground troops.”

“The entry of our troops into Afghanistan would outrage the international community, triggering a string of extremely negative consequences in many different areas.”

“Our common enemies are just waiting for the moment when Soviet troops appear in Afghanistan. This will give them the excuse they need to send armed bands into the country.”

“If our troops went in, the situation in your country would not improve.  On the contrary, it would get worse.  Our troops would have to struggle not only with an external aggressor, but with a significant part of your own people.”

Could this be more unequivocal?  So once again, what happened between March and Christmas of 1979?

As late as in the beginning of December, Yuri Andropov wrote a letter to Brezhnev to express his unease about the situation in Afghanistan and proposed overthrowing Amin’s regime by using paratroopers stationed in Bagram airport.  However, when by the 11 December the decision to invade has already been made and the chief of staff, Ogarkov, tried to convince the politburo that intervention is not necessary and could prove counterproductive, the same Yuri Andropov interrupted him rudely: “Stick to military affairs!  We, the Party, and Leonid Ilich [Brezhnev] will handle policy!  You have been invited here not to express your opinions but to note down the instructions of the politburo and make sure that they are implemented.”  These are the words of the famously cold, controlled and calculating Andropov who, only a few days earlier, presented exactly the same views as Ogarkov dared to express now.

We can see that both the military and the political leaders were fully aware that the invasion was unnecessary and could prove very costly (I’d say that Kosygin’s predictions rank among the most accurate I have ever heard).  The usual explanation to this puzzle is that they were old fools who were losing grip on reality in their drunken decrepitude; that Brezhnev, who saw the Prague intervention in 1968 as a great success, wanted to have his “last hurrah”, and such like nonsense.  The trouble with such elucidations is that the words of the top soviet brass betray a very good grasp of the situation and yet, regardless of their judgment, they were ready to accept the “negative consequences in many different areas”.  But why?

And what has the other side got to say?  The closest to the “official” American version of events is the opinion expressed by Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1998:

“We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would…  That secret operation was an excellent idea.  It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?  The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: we now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.”

Hold on a moment.  Didn’t I just watch a film about Charlie Wilson and his persistent struggle to organise help for the mujahidin?  Didn’t they show that no American assistance reached Afghanistan; that general Zia ul-Haq wanted to support the mujahidin but Americans blocked his initiatives?  So was Nichols wrong and was there a “secret operation” mentioned by Brzezinski, which provoked soviet invasion?  That would be surprisingly clever manoeuvring, not what I would expect from the Carter-Brzezinski team.  But when we look a little closer, we can see that Brzezinski could only mean the presidential directive of 3 July 1979, authorising covert propaganda operations against the communist regime in Kabul.  So what did they do?  Dropped leaflets?  I am puzzled as to how this was of assistance to the fighting Pushtuns…  In Nichols’s film we have a following exchange on the subject:

Charlie Wilson: You mean to tell me that the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is to have the Afghans keep walking into machine gun fire ’til the Russians run out of bullets?
Gust Avrakotos: That’s Harold Holt’s strategy, it’s not U.S. strategy.
Charlie Wilson: What is U.S. strategy?
Gust Avrakotos: Well, strictly speaking, we don’t have one. But we’re working hard on that.
Charlie Wilson: Who’s ‘we’?
Gust Avrakotos: Me and three other guys.

Hollywood fiction is probably closer to the truth in this instance than fiction served by Zbigniew Brzezinski, so let’s return to reality.  And the reality is that all soviet leaders, from Brezhnev and Kosygin to Andropov and Ogarkov, did not want the intervention but decided to go for it anyway.  Why?

According to Anatoly Golitsyn, the long term strategy initiated by Shelepin and Mironov, and continued by Andropov, was supposed to create over a period of many years a false opposition movement, and then trigger off a series of dramatic events to create an impression of decline and fall of communism, when power could be safely transferred to the “opposition”.  But would a collapse of communism be credible without a military disaster?  Moreover, should communism begin to “fall” in the presence of politicians such as Jimmy Carter or Zbigniew Brzezinski, they were likely to drop everything to ensure its survival.  It is therefore possible that Andropov changed his mind because he realized the enormous potential of such action in the context of the long term strategy, to which he was clearly committed. 

First of all, invading Afghanistan during the presidential campaign in America must have been calculated to strengthen the antisoviet voices in the States.  In 1979 Ronald Reagan was already a well known figure, he had two successful stints as Governor of California under his belt and was standing for presidency for the third time, but he wasn’t standing as a favourite.  His anticommunist rhetoric could not escape Andropov’s attention, though.  From Carter’s administration he could only expect empty gestures like boycotting the Moscow Olympics.  (At the time, that boycott was seen as political miscalculation on Carter’s part, as he inadvertently antagonised his left wing constituency.  I’m not sure this analysis was correct; lefties like nothing better than a good boycott.)

Secondly, prolonged, festering conflict – and only that kind of war can be fought in Afghanistan – is an ideal background to demonstrate one’s weakness.  Afghanistan, with its ethnic mosaic of mutual hatred, with its history of internal strife, with its inaccessible valleys and lofty mountain passes, well hidden caves, severe and unforgiving climate and unguarded borders, is an ideal ground for guerrilla warfare.  As far as I know, no one has ever managed to claim control over territories making up modern Afghanistan.  I guess the soviet strategists knew that; well, even Brezhnev and Kosygin seem to have known that and God knows they weren’t the brightest of sparks.

Were Anatoly Golitsyn right in his assertion that the long term strategy leading to the “collapse of communism” was instigated as early as 1958, an event as momentous as the bloody war in Afghanistan must have been a very important part of that plan.

But is it really possible?  Could responsible adults embark on a project of such magnitude with that degree of callousness?  Is it possible that experienced, elderly leaders could decide to send thousands of their compatriots to death with the specific intention of suffering a spectacular defeat so that they could create an image of decline and weakness?  I must say I find it very difficult to believe.  And yet, I can see no other conceivable explanation for this bizarre invasion.  I can see no other plausible reason for this peculiar intervention, which was flying in the face of political logic, which was directed against own interests and undertaken in spite of better judgment.  The most popular explanation, that commies are political fools, seems to me inadequate and unsatisfactory.  Intelligence is not a necessary precondition for being effective in politics.  If it were so, than Khrushchev, who was a moron, would never have managed to outmanoeuvre Kennedy, who was extremely bright and quick witted.  Communists certainly are fools – and thank God for that! what would it be like if they were intellectuals? – but they are equipped with a Method, a tried and tested Method of winning power and maintaining it at any cost.  Their stupidity can often be attested in the somewhat less than perfect execution of their complex schemes but, unfortunately for the remaining free people in the world, this very rarely impedes their progress because of the regrettable but universal “wish to be deceived”, which is prevalent among their opponents.

And what about “Good Time Charlie”?  He would have had nothing to do with the “wish to be deceived”, of course not.  Wilson, Herring, Avrakotos – all acted in the way that honest and honourable people ought to act: they fought the enemy.  Does the hypothesis formulated above imply that they were puppets in the hands of bolsheviks?  No, it doesn’t and they weren’t.  Just like President Ronald Reagan, who surely was never a puppet in anyone’s hands but was also the best President of the United States in the 20th century.  I would suggest a rather different conclusion.  The Method allows communists to achieve an incredible feat of imperceptibly harnessing their sworn enemies to their own chariot, as Józef Mackiewicz demonstrated on the example of Alexander Solzhenitsyn.  Should this demoralise us, anticommunists?  I don’t think so.  Perhaps because I don’t feel demoralised; because I believe strongly that an accurate description and deep understanding of the enemy is a necessary condition for formulating any successful policy.


13 Comments (Open | Close)

13 Comments To "Charlie Wilson and War in Afghanistan"

#1 Comment By Sonia Belle On 23 February 10 @ 4:15

Michal,

Jeżeli rację ma Anatolij Golicyn, że długoterminowa strategia prowadząca do „upadku komunizmu” została zapoczątkowana w 1958 roku, to krwawa inwazja Afganistanu była ważną częścią planu.

Bardzo mnie cieszy owe “Jeżeli”…

Ciekawe, ze ty NIGDY nie bierzesz pod uwage alternatywnej hipotezy – ze owa “długoterminowa strategia” zostala wymyslona i wprowadzona w zycie przez szczerych antykomunistow wewnatrz sowieckiej kompartii….

Udalo im sie przekonac szczerych komunistow, ze te wszystkie reformy, perestrojki i glasnosty to tylko “długoterminowa strategia” by uspic Zachod, obiecujac tym szczerym komunistom, ze po tym “fikcyjnym” upadku komunizmu nastapi ostateczna, zwycieska ofensywa i podboj Zachodu.

A oni (szczerzy komunisci) ciagle czekaja z nadzieja, podczas gdy tacy jak ty, ciagle czekaja z niepokojem….

A nie doczekacie sie.

#2 Comment By michał On 23 February 10 @ 10:16

Soniu,

Czy ja Cię dobrze rozumiem? Czy Ty przyznajesz niniejszym, że istnieje długoterminowa strategia, że została wporowadzona w życie, żeby stworzyć przekonujący obraz “upadku komunizmu”, i że ten upadek z definicji musiał być fałszywy? Chyba po raz pierwszy godzimy się w tym względzie.

A dalej, czy dobrze rozumiem, że proponujesz następującą hipotezę: ta długoterminowa strategia wprowadzona została w życie, po to by uśpić nie wroga, tylko “prawdziwych komunistów”, którzy mogliby się opierać “upadkowi komunizmu”, gdyby nie mieli “marchewki” w postaci nadziei na wykiwanie wszystkich, czy tak? A zatem Szelepin, Mironow, Andropow i Kriuczkow, to sami antykomuniści, czy tak? Ale jeśli to “szczerzy antykomuniści”, to wychodziłoby, że np. Józef Mackiewcz był nieszczerym antykomunistą albo szczerym komunistą albo jakkolwiek inaczej zechcesz nazwać przeciwieństwo Andropowa w takim układzie.

Ja nie czekam z niepokojem na zwycięską ofensywę, bo nie uważam wcale, że tzw. “ostatnia faza” jest tuż za rogiem, że konflikt militarny jest zupełnie nieunikniony, tak samo jak wschód słońca – to oczywiście nonsens. Nie wydaje mi się możliwe, żeby plan Szelepina przewidywał, iż w 1980 roku Bolek obejmie władzę nad 10 milionowym związkiem zawodowym a w 10 lat później zostanie rezydentem. Plan musi być chyba o wiele subtelniejszy, jest to plan wielowątkowy i bardzo giętki; zresztą słowo plan jest tu nie na miejscu, to jest strategia. Strategia ta niewątpliwie przewiduje także konflikt zbrojny, ale tylko jako środek ostateczny. Europa się już wędzi niby łosoś królewski, wbita na złoty hak – po co więc posyłać czołgi sowieckie na ulice zachodnich miast? A nuż ktoś otrząśnie się z oparów na widok “ruskich tanków” i zdejmie łososia z haka? Po co im to?

#3 Comment By Jason On 24 February 10 @ 4:38

Michal,

Can you please get this translated into English? Looking greatly forward to reading.

Thanks,

Jason

#4 Comment By michał On 24 February 10 @ 7:54

Jason,

I wasn’t going to translate this at all but now I feel obliged. I will have to ask you for patience, though, as I will be rather busy for a while.

#5 Comment By Jason On 18 March 10 @ 7:14

Michal,

Thank you kindly for your work in translating…. you never dissapoint. Curious as to why you consider the Mihtroikin archives to be highly suspicious? I have generally found them to support Golitsyns analysis.

#6 Comment By michał On 18 March 10 @ 9:43

Jason,

Circumstances of the archive coming to light make the contents of it highly suspicious. Consider this: Mitrokhin walks into the US Embassy in Riga (of all places!…) with handwritten notes, is dismissed as unrelaible so he goes – in cold light of the day – to the Brits. A month later they organise recovery of 25,000 notes hidden in his dacha. A month after an ex-kgb archivist walks into a US Embassy… Forgive me, I prefer to take such stories with a pinch of salt.

His revelations mainly confirm what was already known and add to that sensations such as the exposure of Melita Norwood (“Who?” I hear you say…). All this conforms to the pattern of disinformation as described by Golitsyn: successful disinformation campaign implies release of substantial amount of true information. The only question mark over Mitrokhin is what was the disinformation they wished to perpetrate.

The answer may – just may – lie in the involvemnet of Christopher Andrew, a well known academic and a vocal critic of Golitsyn, whom he describes as “an unreliable conspiracy theorist “. I have very little inclination to read Mr Andrew’s editing of what kgb allowed Mitrokhin to take to the West but judging by what I’ve read about it, it could be that Mitrokhin’s role was to support the Nosenko story and thus further undermine Golitsyn.

#7 Comment By Jason On 22 March 10 @ 5:25

“it could be that Mitrokhin’s role was to support the Nosenko story and thus further undermine Golitsyn.”

This never occurred to me and it is certainly an interesting thought. The point is, then, while the information contained within these archives may be “damning”… it’s not THAT damning.

The admission that Kruschev himself coined the phrase “Liberation Theology”… I find to be pretty damning, although (predictably) this has recieved little/no attention other than an article on frontpagemag a few months back.

People over here are now starting to realize that communism has been rebranded as “social justice”, but I fear that it is too late. I believe that humanity at large is on the throes of a major convulsion, brought on mainly by failure to comprehend history.

#8 Comment By michał On 23 March 10 @ 11:32

Dear Jason,

Mitrokhin’s “revelations” appear to me to be of the non-revelatory variety. It really looks like someone sifting through a mass of documents with a view of releasing those that cannot possibly do any harm…

Anyway, as I’ve said before, I have not read Mitrokhin’s archive (and find very little inclination to do so) so my views about it are pretty irrelevant.

You make an interesting point that people in the States are beginninig to wake up but it might be too late. I have to say that I do not share your optimism, as far as the “realization that communism has been rebranded” is concerned. I can’t see much evidence of that or of any waking up. On the contrary, the West seems to be hypnotised by the cobra of “social justice”, “equality”, “human rights”, “democracy” and state control. It’s quite sad, really.

#9 Comment By Sonia Belle On 25 March 10 @ 4:41

Przepraszam, ze nie na temat, ale ciekawa jestem co myslisz o tym artykule w “Rzeczpospolitej”:

[1]

Okazuje sie, ze Prezes Polonii Amerykanskiej, Edward Moskal, byl informatorem PRL-owskiego wywiadu w latach 80-tych.

Niektorych moze to dziwic, gdyz Moskal byl przeciez nieprzejednanym antykomunista.

Mnie to jednak nie dziwi, gdyz Moskal byl rowniez jeszcze bardziej nieprzejednanym antysemita.

A w latach 80-tych, rzad PRL-u byl bardzo antysemicki, podczas gdy opozycja i Solidarnosc – bardzo filosemickie.

Kwestie te niestety nie bardzo pasuja do twoich ulubionych teorii…

#10 Comment By michał On 25 March 10 @ 9:36

Soniu,

Odpowiedziałbym chyba w ten sposób: tylko w oczach Hegla jest tak, że jeśli fakty nie pasują do teorii, to tym gorzej dla faktów. To raz. A po drugie, zwróciłbym nieśmiało Twoją uwagę na z pewnością znany Ci artykuł Mackiewicza pod tytułem “Sowiety i antysemityzm”, w którym rozprawia się (jak sądzę!) skutecznie ze znaną tezą, którą tu jeszcze raz prezentujesz.

Po trzecie wreszcie, jestem pewien, że widzisz oczywistą sprzeczność pomiędzy twierdzeniem “Moskal byl przeciez nieprzejednanym antykomunista” oraz oświadczeniem, że tenże “Moskal, byl informatorem PRL-owskiego wywiadu”.

Albo-albo.

A co ja o tym myślę? Emigracja była naszpikowana bolszewickimi agentami. Tak było zawsze, od 1917 roku. Nie musieli zaraz być antysemitami, że porzucić swój “nieprzejednany antykomunizm”.

#11 Comment By Jason On 30 March 10 @ 4:21

Michal,

Something I have been pondering as of late. While the deception had many successes, it also had several significant failures – the most notable of which was the Soviet’s failure to hijack the reunification of Germany (which was to become perhaps what Belarus is now) and the failure to break up NATO. I also believe the impact of the deception on the Soviet economy (and by extension it’s military) had far greater consequences than they anticipated. Golitsyn wrote in his 2nd book that East/West convergence could be achieved in “about 10 years time”, which would correspond to roughly the year 2000. So, Golitsyn may have been off with his “when”, but I think he had the “what” correct (as he nearly always did). Now that the West is ready to fall (like ripe fruit, as Kruschev said) into the hands of Socialism, will the real communists who brought about all of this “change” be ready to deal with the collapse of Capitalism as they had planned? Or will they be like a dog who finally catches a car and knows not what to do with it – ?

#12 Comment By michał On 30 March 10 @ 10:51

Dear Jason,

I think this is a fundamental question about the nature of the provocation we are dealing with. I strongly believe that the main strength of Shelepin’s plan lies in never committing to one possible path, to simultaneously working on many parallel actions, so that if one does not work the other one might, in never ever gambling all on one course of action. But the most important factor is always having many contingency plans for many possibilities (by the way, that’s why I believe that the hypothesis of the “third echelon of soviet leaders” is so vital because they were always prepared that things might not work out so they needed to assure succession to perpetuate the fiction). So when Golitsyn writes about any time scales I think he speculates and diverges from what we know about the nature of soviet long term planning (as you rightly put it: he’s off with his ‘when’ but correct with his ‘what’).

For instance, I believe that German unification leading to break up of NATO was only one of many possibilities they were taking into account. The other, clearly, was integrating the fundamentally soviet structures of countries such as Poland, Hungary or Czechoslovakia into NATO. Why should they have passed on such an opportunity?!

Andrei Navrozov described the soviet plan somewhere as a delicate, almost imperceptible, “cranking up of a plate” (I quote from memory), whereby things fall into place very slowly but surely. They obviously have all the time on their hands, they are not afraid that voters will vote them out, they knew before the Guinesses that ‘good things come to those who wait’. Why should they speed things up? For what conceivable benefit?

Will they not know what to do with it once they catch it? That is of no importance to those millions who will be caught, either way, it ain’t gonna be pleasant.

#13 Comment By тв- онлайн On 12 May 10 @ 12:51

ок ценно


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