In a 1,200-word essay written on death row, Timothy McVeigh compares the Oklahoma City bombing to U.S. military actions against Iraq and blasts the United States for what he calls a hypocritical foreign policy.

McVeigh, in the June issue of the alternative magazine Media Bypass, says the United States has "set the standard when it comes to the stockpiling and use of weapons of mass destruction."McVeigh cites several examples of what he considered a double standard in policy, including the U.S. government referring to any day care center in an Iraqi government building as "a shield" while saying a day care center was in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building for "family convenience."

"Think about it," McVeigh wrote.

"Actually, there is a difference here," he said in a parenthetical aside. "The administration has admitted to knowledge of the presence of children in or near Iraqi government buildings, yet they still proceed with their plans to bomb - saying they cannot be held responsible if children die. There is no such proof, however, that knowledge of the presence of children existed in relation to the Oklahoma City bombing."

He then asks: "Who are the true barbarians?"

McVeigh was sentenced to death for the April 19, 1995 bombing that killed 168 people, including 19 children in the federal building's day care center. More than 500 other people were injured.

McVeigh also wrote that the bombing was similar to U.S. military actions against foreign gov-ern-ments.

"Whether you wish to admit it or not, when you approve, morally, of the bombing of foreign targets by the U.S. military, you are approving of acts morally equivalent to the bombing in Oklahoma City," McVeigh wrote.

Rich Azar of Media Bypass said the handwritten essay, dated March 1998, arrived unsolicited with markings from the maximum security federal prison in Florence, Colo., where McVeigh is on death row.

"It came as a jolt out of the blue," Azar said Thursday.

Rob Nigh, McVeigh's attorney in Tulsa, Okla., said he could not confirm that McVeigh wrote the essay, citing attorney-client privilege. But Luis Winn, executive assistant to the prison warden, said McVeigh was shown a faxed copy of the article Thursday and told him he wrote it.

Azar said the magazine confirmed the essay's authenticity by mail with McVeigh and by comparing it with a known sample of McVeigh's handwriting from U.S. military records the magazine obtained during a 1996 interview.