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Moscow has bitterly condemned the U.S. anti-terror campaign as a “betrayal of the memory of those who died on Sept. 11” and asserted that “a number of countries” regard U.S. anti-terror efforts as a “spring” to achieve America’s “own geopolitical goals,” according to official Russian sources.
“The United States seems to have developed intoxication with success,” Moscow stated, which has dulled its capacity to “assess the [international] situation correctly.” Moscow once again lashed out against America’s willingness to attack identified bases of terrorism, alone if necessary, and noted the reluctance on the part of some U.S. allies to become involved in further military operations.
“Russia, along with America’s allies in NATO,” Moscow proclaimed, “rejects this arrogance.”
The statements were carried by the Voice of Russia World Service, the official broadcasting service of the Russian government.
Moscow again denounced President George W. Bush’s description of an international “axis of evil,” stating that “Washington is trying to appropriate the right to attack one of those countries.”
Bush defined the “axis of evil” to include Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Iraq is generally believed to be the next target of the U.S. anti-terror campaign.
The “axis of evil” has severe implications for Moscow, since the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin has eagerly pursued closer cooperation with Iraq, Iran and North Korea, including overt military ties with Tehran and Pyongyang.
Despite Moscow characterizing itself as “one of the leading allies of the United States in the campaign against terrorism,” Russia’s criticism of America’s leadership in that campaign has been pointed, and at times bitter.
Although Bush made clear from the outset that the war against terrorism would be long and costly, a month after Sept. 11, Moscow excoriated American corporations, politicians and the weapons that America would employ in the anti-terror campaign.
Moscow condemned U.S. corporations for making profits manufacturing the materials and supplies for the military effort in Afghanistan and assailed “Washington politicians connected with the [arms manufacturing] companies.”
The U.S. effort in Afghanistan required the use of many sophisticated and costly weapons, which would mean “more profit … to the weapons producing companies,” Moscow explained.
“Doesn’t that explain why Washington politicians connected with the companies now are [advocating] … a long war against terrorists?” Moscow rhetorically asked.
Moscow connected the profits made in arms manufacturing with a purported American disdain for the possibility of civilian casualties connected with the use of modern weaponry in Afghanistan.
“Weapons manufacturers will get billions in profits. As for civilian casualties the use of new weapons will entail … Washington has chosen not to discuss it,” Moscow declared.
Moscow has continually condemned American determination to press its campaign against identified bases of terrorist support, even without assistance of its allies, as “arrogance” and evidence of a U.S. desire to further its own international objectives. At one point, Moscow asserted that the U.S. anti-terror campaign “smacks of the Cold War period.”
The United Nations, Moscow asserts, is the only proper forum for international action.
The Russian government’s continual criticism of U.S. actions is reflected in a sharp increase in anti-Americanism in Russia. According to a recent report from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, a March 2 poll conducted by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion found that 71 percent of Russians do not consider the U.S. as a “friendly nation.”
While pollsters attribute the sharp rise to controversies over the Winter Olympics, the poll also reports substantial Russian suspicion toward NATO and a willingness to “take advantage” of any conflict that might develop should the U.S. attack identified bases of terrorism.