Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Luck

In EJ, Yulia Latynina comments on the Kremlin's red letter day (my tr.):
FSB head Nikolai Patrushev reported to President Putin on the liquidation of “Terrorist No. 1", Shamil Basayev. As it turned out, Basayev had been blown up together with a Kamaz truck which was carrying explosives to the location of a terrorist act in Nazran. In the morning, when the explosion of the Kamaz was made public, there was still no talk of any special operation. Then, a few hours later, when it became clear that Basayev was among those killed, it felt somehow improper to acknowledge that the medal for liquidating “Terrorist No. 1" must be given not to Patrushev, but to a comrade who is united in three persons, and images of whom can be seen in any church.

An anecdote comes to mind in connection with this: at 8am on September 11, President Putin calls Bush and expresses his condolences. “What for?” asks Bush. “Oh, sorry,” says Putin, “I’ll call again later.”

A special operation is when it is known in advance who is going to be destroyed, and how. But when the Interior Ministry says first that a truck exploded, then says it will explain why, then starts to investigate who was actually blown up, and the finds out it was Basayev, that is not a special operation – that is luck.
Hat tip: Marius
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