Twenty years ago, Hollywood produced a black comedy, “Wag the Dog,” that involved a sex scandal in the White House less than two weeks before the election. A spin doctor is brought in to distract the public from the scandal by constructing a diversionary war with Albania. When the CIA learns of the plot, it sends an agent to confront the spin doctor, who convinces the agency that revealing the deception would be against the best interests of the United States.
One month after the movie was released, a sex scandal actually confronted the Clinton administration, the infamous Monica Lewinsky affair. What followed was an exercise in the comparison of film and reality as the United States conducted a series of pin-prick strikes against ramshackle al Qaeda training facilities in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan that had nothing to do with the production of lethal chemicals. This is where reality got more interesting than anything in the film.
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What Russian Folklore Can Tell Us About Russia
Russian history is largely the history of war, as Russia found itself engaged in military confrontation between the 13th and 20th centuries. For most of its history, Russia anticipated confrontation on its long border with China in the East; with the legacy of the Mongols on its “sensitive southern frontier,” and with the Western invaders—Napoleon and Hitler. Putin and his ilk come by their paranoia, xenophobia, and siege mentality quite naturally.
U.S. Intelligence Boasting Intensifies Russian-American Proxy War
York Times’s international affairs columnist Thomas Friedman is arguably the most influential editorial writer in the country. Last week, his editorial aptly warned the Biden administration of the “huge unintended consequences” of its unplanned and impromptu remarks regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin and the savagery of his tactics in Ukraine. Friedman reprised the World War II slogan, “Loose lips sink ships.”