The Russians Are Coming - With A Truck!
This blockbuster story was just released by the Washington Times:
Russian special forces troops moved many of Saddam Hussein's weapons and related goods out of Iraq and into Syria in the weeks before the March 2003 U.S. military operation, The Washington Times has learned.If true, the story is devastating to Kerry as it completely undermines his entire approach to the war of working with the Security Council and the rest of the UN. Work with Russia? They were arming Saddam in the first place and helping him fight the war!
John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, said in an interview that he believes the Russian troops, working with Iraqi intelligence, "almost certainly" removed the high-explosive material that went missing from the Al-Qaqaa facility, south of Baghdad.
Officials believe the Russians also can explain what happened to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs.
Was it Bush's plan to release this story all along? Or only if he felt the election were still close enough for litigation? (Please, not again!) In any event, it's out there now, and masterfully preceded by an MSM furor over some 300-400 tons of weaponry that US Forces may or may not have been secured properly after capturing it.
That story has rapidly been disproven, but Kerry is running a campaign commercial based on it, nonetheless, which makes it almost impossible to ignore this sensational followup a day later, one that may also include the release of confirming surveillance photos.
My question is this: did Russia get a heads-up that this was coming? Putin is a kinda sorta ally. He makes no secret of his preference for a Bush presidency, nor of his disdain for Kerry. But it was also his government that helped Saddam. How much control does Putin really have as he tries to clean up the endemic corruption there?
We'll know soon enough. If Putin knew this was coming, he'll already have lined up his worst internal enemies as scapegoats and he'll leverage the whole affair to purge himself of a few more rivals. It will be swift and public. If he didn't know this was coming, he's gonna have to eat the blame himself. I'm betting on the former, but we'll see.