A couple of days ago I linked to the story that the CIA was responsible for a massive gas pipeline explosion in Russia during the Cold War.
The Cold War is finished now. Seems like ancient history. Its easy to look back and laugh. Spies running around writing messages in secret ink and trying to assassinate Cubans with exploding cigars.
But Matt Bivens at the Moscow Times doesn’t think it is all that funny…
For Reed and Safire, this sneak explosion was a manly triumph.
For me it’s an occasion to ask: What the hell were they thinking? Was there any adult supervision in the Reagan White House?
With thousands upon thousands of U.S. and Soviet nukes aimed at each other, someone thought that slyly contriving a massive explosion on Soviet territory would be a clever game to play. This was criminal stupidity. It also fits the definition for an act of war.
And you know what? He’s right. It was monumentally stupid.
Thankfully there were no casualties, but the location of the explosion could not have been predicted by the CIA. Not in a million years. Their undercover program was crude, designed purely to create an explosion. Sometime. Somewhere. They had no control over it.
What if that explosion wasn’t in a remote area, but in the middle of a major city like Irkutsk? And what if the Soviets had got upset about the thousands of civilian deaths that resulted? What if they had condemned the USA as terrorists? What if they had seen it as an act of war? Would we still think it so funny then?