WASHINGTON, June 12 (RIA Novosti) – A prominent US congressman calling for better bilateral ties with Russia has hit back at the Washington Post after the influential daily mocked his recent trip to Moscow and disputed his view that radical Islam is “at our throat” in both countries.
“History suggests, and the future will confirm, that The Post is wrong,” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, the Republican from California who recently led a US delegation to Russia as part of follow-up investigations of the Boston Marathon twin bomb attack allegedly carried out in April by suspects with family roots in Russia.
“Radical Islamic terrorists continue to commit acts of mayhem and murder against the people of the Western world, including the people of Russia,” Rohrabacher said in a letter published this week by the Washington Post, a newspaper well known for its hardline criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Rohrabacher rejected the Post’s claim that his appeal for closer ties with Moscow on shared security concerns was the same as a call to “look the other way” on charges of Russian rights violations – charges hotly disputed by Moscow but often reported by US media as fact.
“That is not the case,” he wrote. “I suggest that magnifying Russian government transgressions distorts the greater picture of what is happening in that part of the world.
“In contrast to my modest desire not to demonize and isolate Russian leaders, US leaders wine and dine the tyrannical Chinese Communist Party bosses and pay homage to terrorist-supporting elites in countries like Saudi Arabia,” the congressman wrote.
The Boston bombing suspects, brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, hailed originally from the North Caucasus region of southwest Russia, a turbulent and relatively poor part of the country and the scene of almost daily conflicts between Russian security forces and armed Islamist groups.
The congressional delegation led by Rohrabacher met with senior law enforcement officials in Russia who warned the United States about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s apparent radicalization more than a year before the bombing.