According to official Russian sources, following the Sept. 11 terrorist bombings in New York City and Washington, D.C., “top U.S. officials” demonstrated “confusion,” and the “stupefaction” President George W. Bush felt after the attacks could cause America to lead the world into “chaos and instability.”
“It would be opportune,” Moscow declared in a broadcast directed to the U.S., “that Americans pay attention to the fact that President Bush, when briefed on the tragedy, first left Florida for the Air Force bases in Louisiana and Nebraska, and only after that turned up in Washington.”
The remarks were carried by the Voice of Russia World Service, the official broadcasting service of the Russian government. VOR, which was called Radio Moscow until October 1994, transmits around the world to some 130 nations.
In its broadcast, VOR cited a report it stated came from Britain’s Daily Telegraph – without giving title, author, or date – and referred to Bush’s “panic” at the news of the attack, while speculating that Bush’s supposed lack of control could produce a retaliation leading the world to “chaos and instability.”
“There is no room … for a belligerent mood, uncertainty or panic,” Moscow opined.
Russia advised the United States against responding to the atrocities without first attaining “perfect unity of understanding” among “all civilized nations” that will lead to “unity of action.” Without “perfect unity of understanding … the world may come to face a very real world catastrophe,” Moscow stated.
A Daily Telegraph report filed by Toby Harnden Sept. 14 entitled, “Father defends Bush’s flight from danger,” did carry remarks critical of Bush’s decision not to immediately return to Washington, D.C., but the report also carried a rebuttal that cited the security concerns prompting the decision to delay his return to the capital.
Several reports have appeared indicating that both Air Force One and the White House were also targets of suicide bombers, while most observers noted that key members of the Bush administration took measures appropriate to the emergency.
In an earlier report in the Daily Telegraph (“Bush shows strength in a crisis,” Sept. 12), Harnden praised Bush’s first remarks made after learning of the attack in New York City as “carefully chosen but devoid of emotion or rhetorical flourish.”
Most Americans appear to support the view Harnden expressed in his earlier article regarding Bush, with opinion polls giving the president a very wide margin of support thus far.
The “perfect unity” Moscow claims the United States should achieve before reacting to the murder of thousands of civilians on its own soil is probably impossible to achieve.
Since the attack, Israel has refused American appeals for a cease-fire with the Palestinians; various NATO allies, including Germany, have refused to join the U.S. in an anti-terrorism campaign; and the Russian Federation itself has refused to provide the U.S. with bases useful in operations against Osama bin Laden’s camps in Afghanistan.
Moscow’s call for “perfect unity” rings particularly hollow in view of its support for nations often cited for their support of terrorism.
Iraq, which usually tops the list of nations supporting the terrorism and bin Laden – as well as amassing terror weapons of its own – is a particularly good friend of Russia.
In an April 2001 meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and one of the two vice presidents of Iraq, Taha Yasin Ramadan, Russia reaffirmed its friendship with its “long-time partner” and expressed its intention to “establish a high level of cooperation with Baghdad.”
Ramadan delivered a message to the Russian government from Iraqi president Saddam Hussein seeking to develop a “strategic relationship” with Moscow. Hussein’s request should find warm acceptance since the power elite in Moscow has consistently supported Iraq both before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Iraq’s capacity to construct an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction continues to grow. A report from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty stated that Iraq is acquiring a wide range of materials necessary for its chemical, biological, and atomic weapons programs from Russia, Belarus – Russia’s partner in the Union State of Russia/Belarus – Ukraine – a possible future member of the Union State – as well as from Romania.
While Iraq has acquired highly valuable assistance from corporations in some Western nations, the governments of those countries do not support the Iraqi regime.
In vivid contrast, both Russia and Belarus have been eager to assist and grow closer to Saddam Hussein’s pro-terrorist regime.