excellent examples of internationalism
- The following article appeared on page A7 of the Friday 4 April 2003 edition
of The Arizona Republic and is credited to Joseph L. Galloway of Knight
Ridder Newspapers. Written as it is with a pro-imperialist bias, the
article nonetheless shows a good example of international anti-imperialist
SOVIET GENERALS AIDED SADDAM
Iraq Decorates Two Men For Help With War Plans
Washington--After Iraq, the biggest loser in the 1991 Persian Gulf War was
the former Soviet Union, Saddam Hussein's main source of military hardware
History may be repeating itself.
Apparently determined to avoid another humiliation at American hands, two
former Soviet army generals have been so deeply involved in helping to
prepare the Iraqi military for a rematch with the Americans that Saddam
ordered them decorated with high honors in Baghdad on the eve of this war.
General Vladimir Achalov, a former Soviet deputy defense minister and a
former commander of airborne and rapid-reaction forces, and General Igor
Maltsev, a leading expert in air defense systems, left Baghdad only six
days before the war began, U.S. officials confirmed.
Achalov wouldn't say why Iraqi Defense Minister Sultan Hashim Akhmed
decorated the two, telling the Russian Internet newspaper Gazeta.ru,
which ran a photograph of the two in the Iraqi capital, only, "We didn't
fly to Baghdad to drink coffee."
Both generals were Communist hard-liners who were part of the abortive coup
attempt against the last Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev.
Administration officials said it wasn't clear whether Russian President
Vladimir Putin, who has pursued better relations with the United States
but opposes the U.S.-led war, was aware of the generals' work with the Iraqis,
much less whether he approved.
"The ties between the Soviets and the Iraqis were very close at almost every
level in the military, in the intelligence services and in the Foreign
Ministry," said one administration official, speaking on the condition of
anonymity. "A lot of them took the Gulf War personally, and I wouldn't be
surprised if some of them looked for ways to get even. But that probably
doesn't include Putin, who I think looks ahead, not backward."
U.S. military and intelligence officials and military analysts said the
advice from former Soviet cold warriors has been evident in the new tactics
Saddam has employed in the U.S. invasion: the avoidance of set-piece
armor battles with Americans who outgun the old Soviet-made T-72 tanks,
the use of hit-and-run attacks on U.S. supply lines by irregulars operating
in civilian clothes and from civilian vehicles, and the apparent attempt to
preserve Iraqi air defenses for a final battle of Baghdad.