Saturday, July 10, 2010

US Swaps Russian Spies for... Russian Spies

A couple of weeks ago I was amused to see a large hammer and sickle on the cover of the local subway rag: Spy scandal! Cold war is back on! Happy days are here again!

The truth, of course, is much less amusing. The FBI, after years and years of assiduous investigation, nailed a handful of Russians for failing to register as foreign agents. (Reminds me, got to get my fishing license renewed.) These Russians have been living boring suburban American lives under assumed Anglo names trying to infiltrate posh cocktail parties. They never succeeded. Yawn.

But eventually the story gets interesting when Washington agrees to a spy swap with Moscow, exchanging these hapless nobodies with... some actual Russian spies—Russians who have been caught spying for the US and have been cooling their heels in Russian jails.

Out with the party crashers, in with some real honest-to-goodness traitors, who will now be hosted in the US at taxpayer expense. Maybe they can do some spying for Moscow now. Being traitors, they should have zero moral qualms. Be sure to look for them at forthcoming cocktail parties.

Update: The bulk of comments submitted for this post attest to two salient facts:

1. Many Americans have a knee-jerk hatred of Russia—not surprising, since this is what American mass media has been trying to instill in many generations of them. Loyal Americans establish their loyalty by bad-mouthing people in other countries. Since this is largely a display of ignorance, it is not even threatening—just pathetic.

2. More interestingly, many Americans no longer even understand the concepts of loyalty and treason—again, not surprising, since for a few generations now they have been ruled by traitors, whose routine acts of betrayal are designed to benefit just about anyone—from Israeli arms smugglers to Afghani heroin dealers—except the people who supposedly elect them to office.

Since most of my readers apparently feel no compulsion to trash-talk Russia or to demonstrate their ignorance of the concept of treason—or to submit comments—I am killing the comments for this post.