I Spy

Leaving the grotesque nature of war aside and the appalling way that international politics is geared to decrease the chances of states like Ghana from achieving trade parity with the west, the news recently on other obscene fronts is equally dispiriting. Spying and assassinations are all the vogue.

Israeli hit squads travel across borders to erase their enemies without any moral qualms or consideration of the sensitivities of foreign governments, never mind the inhuman nature of these acts against individuals that are far beyond the parameters of justice. Likewise, the Russians poison dissenters with plutonium and bump off free thinking journalists and develop a spy network in the United States which seems to exist in a suburban world that mixes Desperate Housewives and 24 Hours. All of this comes to light through the usual bungling of which even the most professional human beings seem capable. As I have often remarked in these columns, entropy is endemic in human affairs. No matter how like Bourne or 007 these agents of state terrorism try to be, they slip up. Forged passports, indiscreet emails, letter drops, buried bank notes and writing in invisible ink bubble to the surface of scrutiny as though they have a life of their own, unbeknownst to their human couriers.

This is what we can see. But, like the proverbial iceberg, most of it we can’t, though, eventually, it will percolate into the public arenas of the future as spies write their autobiographies, or files eventually come to light as state apparatuses change.

It seems to me to be totally unforgivable that governments from west to east and north to south play with each other’s employees in this inhumane way, as though their lives have no other meaning than virtual figures in computer games. Ministers of State must sit down in their grand offices and discuss, coldly, the extermination of foreign nationals. War is obscene and unfathomable but there is something even more evil in this personalised visciousness.

But it is only a jolly game, after all. Obama and Putin’s puppet are keen to keep the latest spy furore as a sideshow because they have ‘greater considerations’ driving them. Israel still gets its huge subsidies from the United States despite the sickening nature of its apartheid policies and its high seas piracy. China is not really challenged on Tienanmen or Tibet. We witness everywhere Governments who have no sense of moral credibility, whether they be our own or those of others.

The fact that the eleven Russian spies lived and worked among US citizens for so long may show levels of deep-seated ideology on the one hand but they also show that they are like you and I or they wouldn’t have been able to exist, untroubled, in that every day ordinary world.

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