Friday, May 13, 2005

I Try to Spy

Putin's paranoia just went up a notch. Just after I write something sympathetic towards Russia, I see today on Salon that his "Security Chief" (head of the old KGB) is accusing the U.S., Britain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia of spying. Specifically, he accuses some NGO's of funding and supporting "changes of power" in the former Soviet Republics. Even more specifically, he calls out the Peace Corps, which exited from Russia in 2003 after allegations of spying.

I was in the Peace Corps in Latvia from 1993-96, and helped train a new group of English teachers after finishing my stint. Maybe he's on to something because I always wondered about those freshly minted college graduates and retired teachers watching their reflections as they walked past shop windows. All this time I thought it was because they hadn't had any hot water for a month and their hair was getting pasty. I just knew those sly Latvians had an ulterior motive for asking us to wear oak leaves on our heads during Jani.

Honestly, we all know what Putin is really afraid of: people with the guts to start questioning his authority. (Or Lukashenko's). Those people see what's happening in other places and understand that they aren't getting any. And in Russia, the lies just keep coming. They are on the wrong side of history, and it will be painful for all involved to set it right. If our helping the pro-democracy groups is espionage, bring it on. . . .


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At 9:37 PM, Blogger Manuel said...

I was volunteer in Estonia and I am following the sad events about my beloved little Baltic country.
Russia is a bully state. They think they can still rule their former colonies and Putin way of ruling is to foment Nationalism beyond the limit. It's dangerous to close our eyes in this moment.
Our dependency from Russia's resources doesn't have to be an excuse to leave alone again the eastern europe state's.


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