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Conservative: `Dirty Campaign'

THE following are excerpts from an article in the September issue of the conservative journal Molodaya Gvardia, written by Col. Gen. Igor Rodionov, a prominent spokesman for conservative forces in the military. He commanded the forces that carried out a bloody suppression of nationalist demonstrators in Georgia in April 1989 and currently heads the Military Academy of the General Staff.

Anyone seeking to destroy the state to its bottom would begin by defaming the armed forces. The idea expressed by [Karl von] Clausewitz that the people who do not respect their army are destined to feed a foreign army is still valid....

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Like in the old days, today the press is trying to convince the public that nobody is going to attack the country and that the Army is an expensive remnant of the past; that there will be no war because all countries are economically integrated; and that it's only generals who need war and there are too many of them. In other words, the people are indoctrinated with the same stupid pack of semi-truths....

The most important and dangerous thing is that anti-Army propaganda conceals the most malicious Russophobia. Enemies of the state know that to destroy the ``unbreakable Union'' they have to weaken and slander all historic values of Russians, Ukrainians, and Byelorussians in the first place.

The Army is the most socially unprotected structure of society. It is most vulnerable to victimization. It covered the death-breathing nuclear reactors of Chernobyl with the bodies of its servicemen. Army men were dying behind the Hindu Kush [Mountains of Afghanistan] and in Karabakh....

The people and the Army have sent a demanding bill to the press. In 1988, only one commissioned officer was killed in the country. [Since then], counting Karabakh, the Baltic republics, and Fergana, 59 officers were killed right in their home country. Killed treacherously and on purpose....

The blood of these officers is on the hands of those who have deliberately conducted a dirty campaign over the past five years to disgrace the Army and Navy through mass destruction weapons led by TV ... and other media organs. It is owing to them that today many refuse to join the Army, many officers file discharge reports, the combat spirit of the Army and Navy diminishes, society decays, and the sense of patriotism in the younger generation weakens....

We all want to have a new nonviolent world soon. However, proceeding from common sense, one cannot but see that language of force has not become history yet. The US and its allies continue to carry out arms programs and do not hesitate to use force without consulting world opinion or our academicians and belligerent advocates of perestroika [restructuring]. Today we witness dangerous proliferation of nuclear weapons all over the world. Conflagrations of regional conflicts and wars near our borders are not rare.

The world is unpredictable - even Margaret Thatcher says that.... Germany approaches its unification. In the east, Japan has become the world's third military power.

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