The recent Wikileaks episode reminded me of a brilliant short story I once read in a Russian magazzine. The story was called "A look-alike'. There it told how in 1942 the Germans captured a young Russian kid Pavel and decided to use him as a source of information for the deep cover operation. They picked a Geerman kid Paul of the same age and of mixed Slavic- German origin and put them both into the Abvercommando- Intelligence school. The idea was to basically transfer Pavel into Paul who was then supposed to become a deep cover operative on the Russian territory. Paul bore a remarkable resemblance to Pavel, had a natural command in languages and was very orderly. The people in the Abvercommando were very thorough. They took their time to prepare the agent in the most efficient way. Any uncertainty was considered, any chance looked at. They called the pair " Paul- Double- Paul' and for two or more years those two people were inseparable, As a result Paul became Pavel literally, down to the little details. But it was 1944 by that time and on one day an English bomb fell on the house they were in. Pavel was mortally wounded. While dying he said to Paul.
- Do not go to Russia. You will be discovered in an instant.
Paul never went anywhere. He surrendered to the English in 1945. With time he stayed in East Germany, became a scientist and in about 20 years was invited to Russia for a conference. This gave him an opportunity to solve the mystery of the Pavel's message; what was missed in the training?
He visited Pavel's home, the village of his childhood where Pavel was still considered an MIA. Turned out Pavel's elderly father was still alive as well as Pavel's former fiancee. They helped Paul to resolve the mystery: Pavel was a prodigy, a famous Russian accordion- player, well known among people since childhood. And then Paul remembered that the people in Abvercommando never considered issues of arts; they were sure that a Russian peasant had nothing to do with that. They were wrong. Arrogance rendered their efforts useless.
There seem to be a law of sorts in the human relationship: whenever you want to make harm to other people your own vices stay in the way. The problem was not with the Russians: it was with the Germans. Maybe this law is the one which helps the Humankind to survive against all odds. The Wikileaks episode is clearly another manifestation of that law.
WikiiLeaks episode is nothing new. It tells us that arrogance, stupidity, malice and ignorance of our so-called diplomats lead to the disaster. It tells that if the goal of our foreign policy is the global domination we end being manipulated and dominated by whoever wants. It tells us what kind of horrible monsters we have on our retainer. It tells us about us. We are much worse than those Abvercommando people; we never learned any lessons.
If I was a President of this country I would request that look-alike story to be a part of the Foreign Service Exam. But I am not a President. And now we have what we have. Don't go to Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan or wherever, people. You will be discovered in an instant. You are already discovered. People know what we are.