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Sunday 30 April

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Speech of Ashot Ayrapetyan in the State Department of the US 30th January 2003

The UN World Conference Against Racism and Discrimination, held in Durban in September 2001, showed that in contrast to the twentieth century, in the new century standoff between the countries are not there because of ideological reasons, but because of economic ones. According to economic criteria the modern world consists of rich and poor nations. And poor states tend to believe that they are poor because they were subject to oppression and exploitation by rich nations. In this case the United States as the richest and most powerful country, having dictated fashion in world politics, enjoys a special "dislike". This phenomenon is more psychological. If rich people feel that they are rich because of his intelligence, talent and hard work, and thanks to these qualities of their relatives, the poor people tend to believe that the cause of their bad lives are the rich people who live well at the expense of the poor. The fact that rich countries tend to profess Christianity, and the poor ones the Islam, gives rise to radical Islamists to assess efforts by the U.S. against Iraq as a new crusade.

Unlike Afghanistan, where the US won the ground operation thanks to the Northern Alliance, in Iraq is not such a powerful military ally. Ground-based military operation against Iraq could last for months. Bombing from the air will lead to many casualties among the civilian population. As a result, resentment against the United States will increase sharply in Muslim countries. And then the events may develop on the "Chechen scenario" where the only effective resistance becomes a guerrilla war, and in some cases simply open terror. The experience of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict shows that modern society is not protected against suicide bombers.

Thus, the war with Iraq may have significant negative consequences for U.S. citizens. Hussein is a dictator and not a good man. But the U.S. should not be because of him so badly to spoil relations with the Muslim world. And not only with them.