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Old February 4 2013, 04:47 PM   #18
stj
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Re: The Americans is Delightful.

The opener was pretty cagey in making Philip kill the defector for personal reasons, so that he would feel that he couldn't make a deal. That way he gets to be all America-loving but do nothing about it.

But, it's already obvious that in the long run, the more you remember about those years the less savory Philip will be. These were after all the years when the US was building up Osama bin Laden in pursuit of the struggle against Communism. Or paying cothinkers like Hekmatyar to throw acid in schoolgirls' faces. We know that Reagan eventually signed arms control agreements, but that it happened because Nancy's influence increased dramatically because of the Alzheimer's. The terror campaign against the Sandinistas we now know to have been pointless murder. The Sandinistas have been around for years, all of us know there was never any threat. And so on.

Also, in general, spies rarely engage in violence. They haven't the resources, and it is something ordinary police will investigate. The exceptions are almost invariably aimed against domestic enemies like defectors. Counterintelligence, as agents of the state immune to justice with the resources of the state, much more often do. Tradecraft isn't very sexy. Real spies operate much more like Philip's false flag recruitment of the woman at the FBI office. I'll be watching the first regular episode if they're going to opt for the melodramatic fighting.
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