RUSH-N-ATTACK: It appears that Russia has sold prohibited equipment quite recently, and that there might have been Russian scientists on the ground in Iraq as recently as two days ago. Russia denies these claims, and says that it will investigate. It may be that certain Russian companies sold technology to Iraq without complicity from the government (plausible deniability: a benefit of Russia's newfound capitalism). Personally, if these reports are true, they don't really surprise me or anger me the same way such reports about France and Germany would. Russia has never pretended to be our close ally, and has made no secret of the fact that they have different goals around the world than we do. Unlike France and Germany, who make friendly noises to our face and then stab us in the back.

Additionally, unlike France and Germany, Russia actually has power outside of UN conference rooms. In some areas, our interests do line up with theirs, and so there is a much richer and more complex diplomatic situation between the US and Russia than there is between the US and the countries of Europe. Russia agreed to our abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, for instance. So even though Russia is on the US Security Council and may have violated UN sanctions, they actually have the power to offer us other things in compensation (unlike the Weasels). So with Russia, Iraq is just one piece of a large puzzle, and we can continue to work with them in the future. We may never have even really expected them to respect the sanctions in the first place (which underlines the futility of the UN process).

However, France has pretended to be our "close ally" and "friend" for quite a while. Similar revelations about France would (will) have a much more serious effect, and rightly so.



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