TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY: PRAVDA.RU ARTICLE PROVOKES REACTION OF FURY FROM CONDOLEEZA RICE

PRAVDA.Ru published my article “USA National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice speaks out against Russia in interview to Figaro Magazine”.Three days later came a bewildering publication in Newsmax, an American site, with the official reaction of the US National Security Advisor’s office. PRAVDA.Ru had, as is the norm, quoted the source from where the interview was taken: last Saturday’s Figaro Magazine. In this interview, Condoleeza Rice had made some bombastic statements, reminiscent of Cold War days, one of which was blatantly provocative: “I believe that Russia is a threat to the West and to our European allies in particular”. Having translated the excerpts from the French, PRAVDA.Ru was careful to include the expression “sic” after the translation of her statements. Obviously hurt, the reply from the Americans was terse and tense but unfortunately reads like an extract from a cowboy comic. The first thought that this reply brings to mind is a “Desperate Dan” story. For a start, they quote the Pravda.Ru article as having come from EL Figaro, a magazine which does not exist. “El” is the Spanish definite article, in French it is “Le” but well, they probably do not know the difference anyway. They repeat the mistaken name for a non-existent publication no fewer than five times. Secondly, Dr. Rice’s office strongly denies that any interview was given to this publication. It is claimed she gave the interview to another publication a year ago. But I have in my hands at this very moment the Le Figaro Magazine, Nr. 1059, Saturday 10th February, 2001, International Edition. Whether or not Dr. Rice gave the interview to Le Figaro or not, it is here in their pages and it is these pages that we referred to, loud and clear. Anyway the point is not which publication she gave the interview to. The point is that she admits she gave the interview which we reported on. Whether it was a year ago or not is immaterial. Or has the lady undergone a such a dramatic in the last year that she no longer claims responsibility for what she said? All we need to discover now to complete the picture is that she is a trans-sexual… Thirdly, the NSA office denies that she ever made the statement accusing Russia of being a threat to the West. How then does it appear in the interview? It is totally inconceivable that a publication with the history and prestige of Le Figaro should make up a statement like that and insert it in the middle of an interview. The question raised here is unfortunately whether one can believe a single word anyone connected to the USA, or indeed NATO, utters these days. Look for example at the sickening example of the tragedy caused again by a US nuclear submarine this week, gallivanting around in the Pacific Ocean with a lethal piece of equipment, not using sonar to not give away the position of the vessel, and then allowing civilians to make an emergency surfacing, provoking the deaths of 9 Japanese monitors and students. The National Security Advisor’s first reaction was to deny that the vessel had broken any laws, or does she want to disclaim that one too? Why also did the USA not inform all NATO partners that uranium and plutonium weapons were being deployed in the Balkans? Why do we only find out now about human tragedy in Iraq caused by the same weapons? Meanwhile the USA sits high and mighty on its self-proclaimed pedestal, shrouded in ignorance and arrogance, committing acts of international piracy and murder, hiding behind a sickening and infuriating smugness while proclaiming itself to be the guardian of decency and human rights. Then they complain they have enemies. It was not Russia who started this war of words and Pravda.Ru is certainly not prepared to stand by and watch our proud legacy humiliated and belittled. Let one thing be crystal clear from now on: PRAVDA.Ru will respond to every provocation swiftly and effectively. The remedy to diffuse the situation is simple: let the US Administration adopt measures more fitting with the status quo in the world today, let them learn to use a more appropriate attidude and they will lose their enemies, make friends and then we can all work together to address the next frontier: space. However, with a National Security Advisor living in a fantasy world in which her brain has stagnated and a President who is unfortunately proving our worst fears, maybe we will have to wait four years. Come back, Bill, all is forgiven! TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY, PRAVDA.RU