Valery Dorogin, Duma’s defense committee (the Russian Regions group)
I strictly criticize the barbaric aggression. No one has the right to dictate people what government they should have. Especially that, as far as I understand, the Iraqi people didn’t ask the USA for such “assistance”. As history reveals, people must elect or appoint a government themselves; authority appointed from the outside won’t be effective and will cause much harm to the country. Unfortunately, Russia wasn’t resolute enough with upholding its position concerning Iraq, the country that is Russia’s traditional ally. The position of France and Germany, for example, was even more radical than Russia’s.
Sergey Levchenko, deputy from the Agroindustrial group
Unfortunately, after the breakup of the USSR the USA started assuming a role of the world gendarme more actively. The USA is practically lonely in its eagerness to establish a new order, and this war may end like the Vietnam war ended for it. The armies of Iraq and Iran are rather strong, that is why Americans won’t be able to make a mess like in Grenada once again. In fact, the USA is provoking the whole of the Arab world. Remember that US’s closest allies, Saudi Arabia for example, haven’t yet made their official statements on the problem. Kuwait also has its own point of view on the issue.
It’s a pity that in this situation Russia is too gentle. Yesterday leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky suggested to stop the session of the State Duma to demonstrate protest, but majority of deputies didn’t support the initiative. It is highly likely that the war will be long and will bring many victims among the Iraqi population as well as in the anti-Iraq coalition; the result of this war will be Bush’s failure at the next presidential elections, the same way it was with president Johnson who had unleashed war in Vietnam. The Iraqi problem will come back to Bush like a boomerang.
Boris Reznik, deputy chairman of Duma’s committee for information policy (the Russian Regions group)
Any war causes pain, blood and disaster. The regime of Saddam Hussein is unpredictable. If he holds weapons of mass destruction, it is not clear at all what consequences this fact may entail. I hope, bombardment will be actually spot, and none of the civil population will suffer. Me opinion is that this won’t be a large-scale war.
Nikolay Shaklein, member of Duma’s committee for geopolitics
The USA is the only superpower. Consequences of the war campaign it has launched in Iraq may be even more serious than 9/11, as the Moslem world is closing ranks in front of the total threat. Against this background, position of the Russian president sounded rather weak. But nobody has a right to test new kinds of weapons on the territories of other sovereign countries like Americans do it now.
Mikhail Yemelyanov, deputy from Yabloko faction
Saddam Hussein gave George W. Bush no causes for aggression. One country is dictating the rest of the world how they must live! And position of Russia in this situation is passive so far.
Kostantin Zaitsev, Duma deputy (the Russian Regions group)
I take the situation extremely negatively. Why does the USA act without asking the rest of the world? It’s anarchism! This is not WWIII, it is going to be a short war, but this war will entail negative consequences for the whole of the world, including Russia. America’s ambitions are extremely dangerous.
Mikhail Grishankov, FSB lieutenant colonel, deputy chairman of the Duma committee for security
I think recent actions of the USA in Iraq disagree with the norms and principles of the international law. The USA broke the UN Security Council resolution 1441, as the resolution doesn’t allow to commit aggression. We are observing the world being turned from a bipolar world into a one-pole one. The USA itself is damaging its prestige on the international scene. It is an open secret that international inspectors headed by Hans Blix found nothing in Iraq that resembled weapons of mass destruction even slightly. My opinion is that the conflict will be lingering and will demand intervention of the US land forces. George W. Bush admitted the fact himself in his televised address. As a result, the whole of the Arab world may close ranks against the USA.
To be continued
The publication prepared by Sergey Yugov and Ilya Tarasov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva