Russia’s Cuban Hoax

Back when the Czech Republic went forward and signed agreements with the United States for the installation of anti-ballistic missile shield sites, the Russians were justifiably furious that their protests, concerns, and counter-proposals were summarily ignored. Seething, the Kremlin promised a “concrete” military response, but it was unclear exactly what that would be. Then, a few weeks later Izvestia runs a curious report citing anonymous sources that the government was thinking of deploying nuclear bombers to bases on Cuba, causing a panicky debate among the Trans-Atlantic security camp. The Kremlin later denied this report with particularly strong language (angrily calling it a media hoax), and today Alex Rodriguez of the Chicago Tribune has an interesting dispatch which speculates that “The stories may simply be an awkward attempt at sending shock waves through Washington by using claims that would evoke memories of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, which brought Washington and Moscow to the brink of nuclear war.” Over here on the blog we barely paid attention to the news as it seemed like a clear manipulation of public opinion and ridiculous fear mongering. However, the astonishingly daft Murdoch-owned media really helped out whoever planned the hoax by blowing up the issue; or as my friend would say, they really made a meal out of it. Somehow I doubt they gave the same sensationalistic coverage to the denial of the report.