Last Friday, I received an e-mail from Reuters’ correspondent Bruce Kettelle. To avoid superfluous details, I would like just quote the letter and present a small comment of mine. Much of what you wrote in your column of the United States' position on Iraq would be laughable...if the middle east situation were not so serious.
For you to imply that Saddam Hussein does not sponsor terrorism is absurd. He has never ceased fighting the war of ten years ago. His sole effort has been to reestablish Iraq as a military power while preventing inspectors into his country to observe his actions. Meanwhile, he continues to finance and train terrorists. (See the Reuters story today)
Iraq's goal is to dominate the middle east militarily. That has always been Hussein's goal. The US is the only country with the means to stop him. However, we can't do it alone. A coalition of many countries is necessary for two reasons; 1. Politically, it would be a signal to Saddam that he has overestimated his allies in the middle east; 2. Every country in the region should have a role in helping to stop Saddam's drive toward domination. After all, those countries have a larger stake than we do since they are there.
Of course oil is a factor in the US's efforts to prevent terrorists and the mentally ill to dominate the middle east. Are you implying that Russia wouldn't do the same if you had no reserves of your own? Get with it, Mr Litvinovich. You're on the wrong side of this issue. Saddam will be stopped, probably killed. Terrorists will not have any rest, even if the US has to take the fight to them alone. And that's simply not going to happen.
Your positions are ridiculous in light of actual events. Maybe you need to be aboard an airliner flying at 400 MPH toward a building in Moscow to get the message. Bruce Kettelle USA
Answer to Reuters agency
Mr. Kettelle, I respect your sentiments and even share them, though with a small reserve: I have never had any warm feelings for Saddam Hussain, but for me to associate Hussain with terrorism would be strange. Solely, a court could determine Saddam Hussain’s guilt; therefore, before it his guilt is determined, let us avoid pinning labels. If the United States has serious proof of Saddam Hussain’s implication in terrorist organizations’ activities, let the proof be presented to public to be broadly discussed. Recent accusations against the Iraqi leader of spreading the anthrax virus over US territory in this situation could be regarded as a reason to bomb Iraq. If America considers Hussain to be a terrorist, why does it then receive another terrorist on its soil. I mean Palestine Liberation Organization’s leader Yassir Arrafat. Or you do not regard him as a terrorist?
As I read in the program documents of this organization, there is still a paragraph about the fight against world imperialism, and first of all, against the USA. You accuse Iraq of the wish to achieve predominance in the Middle East, but you try to pull out the mote that is in another person’s eye, while beholding not the beam that is in your own eye. The US does not need a destabilizing factor in the Middle East in Iraq’s person. After removing it, the US will completely take the region under its control. Are these not imperial ambitions? All the more, other Middle-Eastern countries’ interests hardly will be taken into account. The US president has said that the US has interests in any region.
You say that if Russia did not possess big reserves of hydrocarbon, it would do what the United States is doing. I am not a politician, so I cannot account for great persons of this world. However, I know very well that Russia would never allow this. According to great Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevski, “All earthly blessings are not worth a child’s tear-drop”. And we speak now not about childrens’ tears but about their deaths. The UN sanctions against Iraq kill hundreds of children every day. All the while, the United States has many times spoken in support of harder sanctions against Iraq. That is your greatly praised justice!
In conclusion, I would like to thank you for the invitation to make a flight to Moscow.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/11/10/33659.html