"First of all, I would like to thank you for the warm welcome. Being here I feel among friends. I am perfectly acquainted with Russia's Union of Writers as I translated many of the Russian writers before. That was my tribute to the famous Russian writers Leo Tolstoy, Maxim Gorky and Mikhail Sholokhov. The cultures of Russia and Iraq are similar, they are both humane. Once Iraqi poets gathered in a literary society in Baghdad to recite poems about the Stalingrad glory. And now the history is repeating. I'm among the Russian writers and perfectly confident of the solidarity of the Russian people with the Iraqis. And this is not only solidarity on an official level demonstrated by President Putin when he declared Russia's position concerning the US aggression.
President Bush launched the US aggression against my country with a view to propagate democracy there. It makes me indignant that the USA is trying to engraft democracy by sending cruise missiles against Iraq, with B-52 bombing, cluster and electronic bombs, by shedding the blood of Iraqi civilians.
Dear friends, we had been told by Americans before the war that the Iraqi army would surrender to the US divisions, that we would be destroyed within 2-3 days and the Iraqi people would greet American soldiers with smiles and flowers. American politicians staked on the Divide et Empere principle, and they still keep it in mind. Majority of the southern Iraqi population are Shiites. And as long as Saddam Hussein is a Sunite, Americans expected Shiites would rebel against the president, but the expectations failed. The Iraqi people got united in front of the aggression, and despite the coalition's power advantage, the invasion stalled.
The Iraqi people have raised a club of people's war against the interventionists. What does it mean? It means, the USA and Great Britain are fighting not against Saddam's regime but against the Iraqi people. And this fact caught them unawares. At present, the US/UK forces declare that many war planes and tanks were put out of action by the coalition fire. This is the first cause. The second cause is that technical failures have become too frequent in the US/UK armed forces. Weather is another enemy. You know, we believe in God, and Allah and we have no bad weather. In addition, they say they haven't enough financing for the war. In fact, all problems of the interventionists arise from the strong resistance of the Iraqi people.
Many countries expected that Iraqi refugees would immediately flood to other states. A camp for refugees was set up with the help of Americans and the British in Jordan near the Iraq-Jordan borders. But within the first seven days of the war not a single refugee came there. On the contrary, 5,000 Iraqis got back home before yesterday. They got back to fight against the aggressors.
I told Russia's EMERCOM Minister Sergey Shoigu who is sending Russian planes with goods for Iraqi refugees in Iran: "You should spare money of the Russian budget and get the goods back. They will be useful in this country during floods or some other emergency situations, but not for the Iraqi people." Russians and Iraqis are of similar characters: we are patient, persistent and brave. For the sake of our honor we are ready to die standing. And the time will prove it. Now we see that the bombing still continues, but Iraqi people are getting back home. In addition, I would like to say that the refugee camp in Jordan was destroyed with weather conditions. If Sergey Shoigu were a humane person and a real Russian man he would have sent the goods not to Iran but to Iraq. 97% of the killed and the wounded make up civilians.
Americans have never taken part in a real fight. All of their wars were dirty: Beirut, Korea, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Vietnam, Grenada, Afghanistan. And until now, they have failed to achieve any success in Afghanistan. How can they do away with us? And one thing more, pay attention: they have already lost a diplomatic war, political and information wars. On the very first days of the war they declared they managed to seize the port of Umm Qasr. I would like to tell you what Umm Qasr looks like now, it has been turned into the Brest Fortress. There are two streets in the place where 500,000 people live. It's of the size of a Russian provincial center. The coalition forces managed to seize only the berth, the northern part of the city is still ours. Iraqi soldiers who fight all alone are now a nightmare for Americans.
You see, the US propaganda policy is absurd. Every day they are busy with guess-works whether it was Saddam who appeared on TV or his double. They don't know that the Iraqi army and 25 million of Iraqis are Hussein's doubles.
I assure you that Americans have made a Saddam Hussein of each of us. At present, Iraq is the only country defending the honor of the international law, the honor of all honest people in the world. The Iraqi people is not numerous but we have deep and heroic roots in the history which is over 5 thousand years. I have no propaganda machine in the Embassy in Moscow as I have no money for propaganda. But me, as well as other officials in the Embassy have been turned into enemies to the USA. Each of us is treated like Saddam Hussein. The US Department of State asked the Russian Foreign Ministry to evict me from Russia. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and President Vladimir Putin got letters saying that the Iraqi ambassador to Moscow posed a real threat to the US's national security. I think that launching of the war against Iraq is a step toward America's political death.
Now, Iraq is a real nightmare for the USA, and this is not because of Saddam Hussein only. He is a democrat, a tyrant, a republican, a religious figure, but it's a very important fact is that the Iraqi people are behind him.
Tank columns of the aggressor are coming to the country since the very first day of the war. The fact that Iraq had American prisoners of war wasn't admitted by the coalition forces at first, they didn't say that Iraq brought their planes down. It was reported, several helicopters were missing. How could it be possible? They were operated by experienced pilots, not babies. As the US troops approach the cities they face strong resistance of our troops. And combat of the regular army is reinforced by a partisan war. They have gone mad, they don't sleep at night. It means they cannot think sane.
Probably, I sound too emotional, sorry. Please understand, I don’t have any anti-American hysteria. America by itself is no absolute evil for us. Tomorrow or next day we will establish any kind of normal relationship with Americans as well as with any other country if evil powers withdraw from the US authority. If the incumbent authority of the USA continues the aggression, they can use weapons of mass destruction as it will be a great problem to explain immense war spending to the American people. They say that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction. They have no evidence, only their confidence. So, it's not a problem for Americans at all to use weapons of mass destruction with a view to prove their confidence.
The Iraqi people are suffering now, they see blood and tears everywhere. I feel a lump in my throat when I see sufferings of my people on TV. Thousands of Russians come to the Iraqi Embassy in Moscow every day to express their sympathy and support to Iraq. I say that we feel confidence. I have never had such pride for my country as I do now. I consider myself quite a different man now, I feel myself more significant.
Thank you very much, I wish success and good health to Russian writers. Recently, the Iraqi people feel shortage of works by Russian writers for several reasons. But I believe that better times comes, and our countries will be able to establish cultural relationship on a proper level."
Doctor Abbas Khalaf Iraq Ambassador to Russia
At the meeting in Russia's Union of Writers, chairman of the Union Valery Ganichev said that "the Iraqi people have already won a victory; this is a moral triumph that has won them sympathy of most part of the planet." Valentin Rasputin, the classical author of the modern Russian literature said: "It was God himself who chose the Iraqi people, and you must be proud you've been selected, carry out the rescue mission for the whole of humanity."
Russian writers spoke in support of the demand to bring an action against the presidents of the USA and Great Britain in the International court in the Hague. As the official website of Russia's Union of Writers informs, the idea is being currently considered.
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://accidents.pravda.ru/accidents/2003/10/35/285/9368_Abbas.html
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov announced a possible move that Russia can take in response to new US sanctions
The Central Bank of Turkey announced measures to protect the financial market of Turkey against the background of the collapse of the Turkish lira and conflict of interests with the United States of America