Gunsmoke

Sunday, March 26, 2006
Via Gateway Pundit:


That, folks, is
Col. Gen. Vladimir Achalov and Col. Gen. Igor Maltsev, both former high-ranking officers involved in Soviet rapid-reaction and air defense forces are seen at an awards ceremony with Iraqi Defense Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmed in early March 2003, less than 10 days before the start of the war.

I hope there are some extremely stern phone calls being made.

20 comments:

Skookumchuk said...

Well, the photos just show the cooperation we already knew existed. Whether the cooperation was effective is another question. Still, it is nice to see their smiling faces all together like that. I want to see some Frenchies included in the next batch.

Equally interesting - and as yet still in the shadows - is the battle between those in the US government who wanted to release photos like these and those who wanted to lock them away.

terrye said...

I remember stories about Russians being on the ground in Baghdad when the bombs started to fall.

Interesting that the Russians would help the Iraqi regime when they have been so brutal in Chechnya.

flenser said...

I'm sure the Russians would be more sympathetic to the Chechens, if only they could come up with larger bribes.

Rick Ballard said...

I just hope they stick around Tehran for the comprehensive test of the air defense system that they sold to the mullahs.

terrye said...

flenser:

Or give them all the oil. I don't know if that is even the issue with the Chechens or not. Maybe the Russians are just trying to hang on to whatever they have left, anyway they can.

CF said...

In the released docs there are reports of hiding Russian technicians from the IAEA inspectors.
I remember reading about this awards ceremony as the invasion began--and I remembed shortly after it did begin, there was a shot out by our troops and a cortege of Soviet "diplomatic" vehicles near the Syrian border.
I suspect we did know a great deal..

I think if we want definitive info on whether the WMDs were moved to Syria, we ought to invite Primikov over here..
OTOH Bush said before the invasion Putin called him with a warning Rusiian intel had picked up --that Saddam was planning an attack in US interests here or abroad..

Skookumchuk said...

terrye:

They are trying to hang on.

Then too, I often think that the Russian "government" really just amounts to a loose confederation of Mafias, each pulling and pushing Russia in many directions at once.

terrye said...

skook:

Yes, it seems they are ruled by whoever is the top dog at the time. That might be such a big deal if they were not who they are.

Odd, the Russians can produce some of the most brilliant people in the world and yet they always seem to pick the wrong horse.

Skookumchuk said...

terrye:

Odd, the Russians can produce some of the most brilliant people in the world and yet they always seem to pick the wrong horse.

Except when they pick the right horse by coming here. Walk through a Seattle park and you'll see plenty of young chess players . . .

terrye said...

skook:

Wasn't Kirk Douglas's father a Russian rag picker?

Skookumchuk said...

terrye:

Quite possibly. Issur Danielovitch Demsky was born to "illiterate Russian Jewish peasants", according to Yahoo Movies anyway.

Skookumchuk said...

Which gets me to thinking. There are no decent Jewish restaurants in Seattle. $291.30 round trip on Alaska Airlines for some decent borscht at Canter's Deli is a bit steep.

chuck said...

CF,

I remember reading about this awards ceremony as the invasion began...

ISTR that they were rewarded for planning the layered Baghdad defenses. Didn't work, even though Saddam's army had long utilized Trotsky's desertion control methods. The American army didn't just sit there waiting to get blown up by massed artillery, nor did the Iraqi air defenses keep the massed artillery from getting blown up by high IQ bombs. Pavel Feigenbaum has often pointed out how thoroughly hidebound the Russian military is, noting their disdain for smart weapons and love of massed artillery barrages and carpet bombing. Russian doctrine seems to be stuck somewhere back around 1944.

chuck said...

Arrgh,

Pavel Feigenbaum <- Pavel Felgenhauer.

Post before checking, sure, that's the way to go. I think the Feigenbaum constant was lurking in my subconscience.

Skookumchuk said...

chuck:

Oh crikey, Mandlebrot sets and chaos stuff and all that. So long ago. The choice was between that and girls. And the girls won. So my conceptual grasp is a bit shaky.

Still, your larger point is well taken. Any totalist society needs to centralize control of military activity at the very top, only allowing improvisation to occur at that level. Ergo, they often lose. A sargeant in the US Army has more ability to use initiative than did a colonel in Iraq, or so I've been told by those who have been there.

flenser said...

Odd, the Russians can produce some of the most brilliant people in the world and yet they always seem to pick the wrong horse.

Russia has produced more than its share of accomplished scientists and artists, and yet has never succeded in establishing a viable civic social order. I'd say that the ability to do the latter is the rarer and more valuable skill.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Russia has never succeded in establishing a viable civic social order.

That's seems a wee bit extreme, given the fact that in fact the Russian polity is the largest polity in the world, and has been for quite some time.

flenser said...

If a polity was the same thing as a viable civic social order, you'd have a point. But I don't think being the (geographically) largest failed dictatorship in the world is anything to brag about.

Seneca the Younger said...

I'm loathe to find myself defending Putin in anything, but the Russians have been getting by somehow for a good long time. "Viable" isn't the same as "ideal."

flenser said...

The life expectancy af a Russian is 67, putting them in the same league as Trididad and Tobago and below Iraq.

For males, the life expectancy is just 59.

It's current population is about 140 million. This is projected to drop to about 70 million over the next fifty years. Large areas which were once populated are reverting to wilderness.

Drug abuse, alchoholism, violence and disease are widespread. Homicide rates are among the highest in the world. Corruption is pervasive from top to bottom. There is nothing viable about Russia. It started imploding in 1989 and the process is ongoing.

The countries of Western Europe are pictures of robust rosy-cheeked health by comparision.

Presumably the Chinese and Indians will pick up the pieces.