Smileys people, spy game
“In the world of espionage the value of trust Is paramount” represents a valid statement to an extent.The characters values and Ideologies are a reflection of the context of which they live.The novel Smiley people by John Lee Care, the movie Spy Game, directed by Tony Scott and the Interview Kim Billy’s great betrayal presented by Phillip Adams represent this statement through different portrayals of the world of espionage.
These three texts exhibit a power struggle between communist and western democratic societies, both very different political ideologies.
The world of espionage is fraught with manipulation, betrayal and deceit and aiming to achieve the “greater good”. It is a world where its inhabitants will do anything – even if it means performing acts that are seen criminal by mainstream society – Just to complete a mission. It Is a world where information is gold and an important document Is worth more than a persons life. Trust sustains a relationship In the spy world, a relationship that allows communication and control of knowledge and power. The spy world demonstrates a context where trust Is a value, not valued by all who inhabit this world.
For spies that “play the spy game” they have to have trust in those that control their missions and must have trust in themselves, to be able to get the job done. But for others such as defectors and double agents trust is tool used to get information and used to manipulate and gain power over the opposing side. A clash between the personal and the professional values is seen in Tony Scoots Spy Game, through the character of Tom Bishop. It is shown in the scene where Bishop must bring Schmidt across the border from east to west Germany. When Bishop and
Schmidt realism that they will get killed if they attempt to cross the border, Schmidt pleads with Bishop to take him “But my wife, my kids”. When Schmidt says this we can see Bishops realization that Schmidt Is human and not just an expendable pawn, or an asset. This clash between the personal and professional values of Bishop challenges his moral outlook on life. However in order to stay alive and protect himself he must leave Schmidt, whys trust he has manipulated for use of his own organization and his own professional gain. Whilst having to trust someone who may be doing the same thing to him.
The context has had an effect on the values of Bishop, his values compromised by the situation he has been placed in. The choice to leave Schmidt behind to die was not a choice that Bishop would have made on his own accord, yet he has had to. This is a direct result of his immediate context, which has forced a re-evaluation of his values. The value of trust one that all spies must have, has turned bishop against his personal humanity and has set him to achieve what Is seen as the greater good, to leave Schmidt because he Is less Important.
The trust placed In agents to carry out the Nilsson that they are assigned with Is a tepee for agencies to take in process of completing the mission. The agents who are to best that they should or mess it up completely, it is in these times that the value of trust is seen to be most paramount. An example in Tony Scoots Spy game is when Bishop is sent to manipulate the doctor to have the sheik assassinated however he let down Mir and he didn’t get there in time so Mir had sent in a suicide bomber to blow the apartment building.
Bishop had played on Emir’s trust and let him down, after the explosion Bishop asks Mir if he’s happy with the outcome “Seventy four casualties and an entire apartment block leveled, one dead terrorist. Yeah IM happy’ is the reply from Mir. In this statement we can see the stark contrast in perspectives of success and the values required in order to obtain this success. Seventy four casualties for one terrorist is a high price to pay, but it shows that Mir is more about getting the Job done, and working for the greater good as he believes that their sacrifice is better than one terrorist living.
Mir throughout the book is a representation of freedom pictured almost always with the American flag which is a presentation of the values upheld by the county and the values that he upholds within himself driving him to become better as a spy, the flag is a symbol of the trust placed in him by his superiors working in the CIA and other government organizations it is because of this trust and expectation that Mir pursues his missions to the fullest extend as he is not a person to those who trust in him down. George Smiley on the other hand, an old school spy born and raised in a democratic society.
Stuck in his ways as a spy is more wary about who to trust. Smiley is enraged with the circus or MUM for breaking their promise to protect Vladimir. This trust that Smiley had placed in MUM, much like that of Mir in Bishop, is broken. Smiley must now take matters into his own hands not sure who to trust but close friends. To find the truth is what fuels Smiley search for the mystery behind the death of his old friend Vladimir. Smiley is a perfect representation of a mans internal struggle of conflicting values, and he must overcome the conflict to get to the bottom of the case an bring down Karl.
The conflicting values is depicted in the quote “Wrestling with troubled dreams”. Smiley eventually through internal conflicts of morals and values rings down Karl. Smiley disregards this as a victory as he had compromised values precious to him, he sees the victory as double edged the fact he caught his man but had to give up who he is to do this his views on the sanctity of human life differ from those of Mir, Smiley is seen throughout the novel to try and save people like Castrato’s and not to let them die.
His use of manipulation and deceit was what had allowed him to get the information he needed, but has left him feeling dejected that his morals and values have become irrelevant in order to achieve the greater good. Deception is the way of the spy and most of them have used methods of this nature to obtain information and as a way of being able to use people we see this in the interview “Elliot deceived by Kim Philly’ Elliot was one of Philips friends inside MUM and the trust that he showed in Philly was the weak link in the relationship.
Although some spies might consider the morals behind their actions on the other end of the scale there are those that don’t have moral and will use trust for their own gain and take advantage of those closest to them. These are the people that totally n the novel Smiley People would be something along the lines of a evil master mind set to take smiley out at all costs. Karl however isn’t, he has mixed his personal with professional because of the love for his daughter.
Trust in the spy world is complicated due to the fact that everything is to be kept secret from each other, so how are you supposed to trust someone whilst they aren’t telling you everything that they know. This is where trust comes into play, to be able to trust someone and their Judgment of what is right whilst figuring out for themselves what their values and morals say is right is what the fullest extend of the rust in the world of espionage.
Trust in the spy world isn’t at a constant in different contexts, situations, different people and agents will all see trust in a different light, and of different importance. Trust is what keeps agents alive to able to trust yourself at any time to do what is best for those around you and to trust those around you that they have your back. Yet there is no difference in those fighting and working for the greater good and those working against trust is recognized as a necessity and a value needed to be able to compete in the spy game.