During the past year, President Bush has been pushing for construction of missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. Many people in the Czech Republic have opposed the bases and some polls indicate the number in opposition may represent about half the population of the country. A supporter of the bases, Jan Vidim claims Czech intelligence has evidence Russian spies are operating to stir up opposition to the planned bases. He cites evidence from the Czech Security Information Service(BIS) that Russian agents are openly “trying to influence the public. they have to be pretty sure about it.”
For some reason, members of parliament such as Vidim consider it perfectly appropriate for American agents and political leaders to propagandize for bases but if other nation try to implement similar plans they become “agents” and “spies” bent on destroying the Czech democracy. The United States spends millions trying to influence public opinion in dozens of nations so why should it be surprising that Russia is engaged in similar activities?