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US war in Iraq could give terrorism "moral justification" - Russian paper
Source: Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Moscow, in Russian 28 Jan 03

The USA's campaign against Saddam Hussayn is part of a larger plan to extend its economy over the world by controlling the oil market, says an article in the Russian broadsheet Nezavisimaya Gazeta. However, the paper says that the US plan could well backfire. It believes military action could give "a moral justification" to terrorism and destabilize potentially dangerous states, such as Pakistan. The following is the text of the article by Andrey Kiva published by Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta on 28 January. Subheadings inserted editorially:

What lies behind the idea put forward by the US Administration the other day for Iraqi President Saddam Husayn to leave his post voluntarily? Nothing has changed: He could indeed leave, but the United States will not leave the Gulf region, where its military presence has recently increased sharply and is continuing to be built up. And they will go into Iraq, and for the long term, at that. The United States has rarely left strategically important regions, examples being Germany, Japan, South Korea, and until recently the Philippines. And it looks as if they are settled permanently on Cuban territory (Guantanamo).


The civilized United States and its associate, Britain, are enacting a shameful farce before the whole world, a farce that may be mingled with much shedding of innocent blood. But other countries do not venture to say so openly. After all, America now professes the Bolshevik principle: "Whoever is not with us is against us." In practice everything is happening as in the [Ivan] Krylov [19th century Russian writer] fable: "You are to blame because I am hungry." That is to say, Iraq is guilty of possessing fantastically large oil reserves. Although oil is not an end in itself, it is this, and not the Iraqi regime's mythical means of mass destruction, that poses a huge danger to the world community. The danger lies in the clear US desire to take advantage of a favourable situation first to bring the world's richest oil reserves under its own control and then to strengthen its hegemony in the world.

And perhaps nothing reveals the intention of military reprisals against Iraq so clearly as the methods of ideological indoctrination of their own fellow citizens. These are very close to the methods of the well-known German doctor [Goebbels], the great master of propaganda, on the one hand, and of the ancient Roman [Cato] who used to call for the destruction of Carthage on the other. President Bush keeps asserting that the Iraqi regime represents a mortal danger to America, and he repeats again and again that this threat must be eliminated. For his part, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, confusing Algerians with Iraqis as if he had never been to school, tries to frighten not only ordinary citizens but even his own parliamentarians with the threat from the Iraqi regime. Yes, the Algerians who were busy manufacturing the highly toxic poison ricin in a rented apartment in London could well be linked to Al-Qa'idah, since the extremist Islamic Salvation Front, which has for many years been conducting guerrilla warfare against the government of Algeria, is linked to it. But what does Saddam Husayn's regime have to do with this? After all, it is virtually a secular regime. The two things seem to be totally unrelated.

However, let us take a closer look. Was Iraq involved in the blowing up of the American skyscrapers and the spreading of anthrax spores? No! Are Iraq's hypothetical weapons of mass destruction really capable of representing a threat, and not only to the United States, but also to other countries, which are just as entitled as the Americans to take care of their security? Again, no. Let me remind you that Arabs were indeed involved in the blowing up of the skyscrapers in New York, only they were not Iraqis but citizens of Saudi Arabia, a long-standing US ally. And Usamah Bin-Ladin used to work for the United States at one time - they taught him the trade of terrorism. As for the spread of anthrax spores, there have already been reports in the media on the American connection to this phenomenon. The United States have plenty of their own terrorists. What about Timothy McVeigh or the Washington sniper!

Frankly, the work of the UN inspectors headed by Hans Blix is also becoming a farce. It is as if they were looking for a needle in a haystack when there is not one there anyway. You cannot just hide a nuclear reactor, or laboratories for the production of chemical and bacteriological weapons. And if some buried ampoules of poison or bacilli are to be considered a threat to the world, we would have to dig in a great many countries. Why only in Iraq, anyway?

Real threat

But a real threat to the world is posed by the forces of international terrorism, which are by no means routed. Bin-Ladin also sends "letters from afar". A threat could also be posed by Pakistan, which already possesses nuclear weapons and where the Islamic fundamentalists are very strong; they could well come to power on the back of an explosion of anti-American sentiments in the Muslim world if aggression against Iraq begins. But in this case terrorism will only grow stronger, because it will be given a moral justification. Nor will the antiterrorist coalition survive. So why the "big lie" about the US intention to eradicate terrorism in the world?

If we give our imaginations free rein, here is what the US scenario code-named "the disarmament of Saddam" looks like. After establishing control over Iraq, the United States will immediately begin to put pressure on Saudi Arabia. The objective: To bring about a sharp fall in oil prices. If OPEC resists, they will try to break it up. If all this comes off, they will set about Iran too. The number of countries in the "axis of evil" will gradually increase. The United States will be busy for a long time eliminating the "threat".

Countries that do not produce oil will of course be happy with low prices. But whoever controls the access to oil will have the opportunity to impose certain conditions on its consumers. We have not yet forgotten how the IMF dictated a line of conduct to Russia in exchange for loans. And Washington's main strategic aim is to prevent China becoming a superpower of equal might with the United States and to check the growth in India's military ambitions. But to that end it is necessary to hinder the creation of a counterweight to the strengthening of US hegemony in the world, a counterweight in the shape of those two countries and Russia. As you know, they are already Russia's strategic partners.

But if oil prices on the world market fall to 10 dollars a barrel, Russia will return to the 1998 situation and it will have no time for strategic partners. The American strategists are most likely not thinking about what might then happen in Russia, which is packed with nuclear weapons. But things are unlikely to go as smoothly as in 1998.

Only the implementation of this tempting scenario, if it really is what Washington is aiming for, will provoke such resistance among the world community that it will be too much even for such a powerful country as United States. The situation in the world, at least in recent times, has never developed according to the scenarios created by the forces that have planned to reshape the world to suit themselves. We all know examples of this.

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