Monday, Feb 17, 2003
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By Vladimir Radyuhin
Mikhail Gorbachev thinks the standoff over Iraq has more to do with domestic crisis in the U.S. than with the Baghdad regime. Washington being hell-bent on attacking Iraq despite its readiness to cooperate, the former Soviet leader says, makes one wonder whether Iraq is not just a pretext for the U.S. to build "a new world order based on crude force rather than international law." "We do need a new world order but the U.S. administration seems to think that the world should be one big American backyard where U.S. interests would take priority and the interests of all other states would be ignored," Mr. Gorbachev said in a Russian Government newspaper. Mr. Gorbachev's harsh criticism of the country he tried so hard to befriend in the late 1980s amounts to a tacit admission that his policy of identifying Russia's interests with those of America was a fatal mistake.
Now, Mr. Gorbachev says it is the U.S., which is committing the fatal mistake of trying to build Pax Americana. "The world will reject this `order' and instead of greater security, the U.S. will face more threats," the former Soviet President wrote in the weekend issue of Rossiiskaya Gazeta. "It is not my intention to draw apocalyptic scenarios but all of us, including Americans, cannot help feeling alarmed by a deep rift (in the world) that may lead to the destruction of all present institutes of international cooperation". "This policy will not change until the U.S. rethinks its model of economic and social development and makes an effort to take a more realistic view of the world. In other words, America needs in-depth perestroika."
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