Russian Orthodox church objects against military operations in Iraq
Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchy department of church exterior relations, Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad gave a detailed interview concerning the situation in Iraq and possible consequences of US’s intrusion into the country.
The Metropolitan thinks that a massive military attack the USA plans in Iraq won’t solve the problem, but will even aggravate the crisis. The problem must be settled only with peaceful diplomatic methods, in accordance with the international law and resolutions of the US Security Council.
Americans blame Iraq for development of weapons of mass destruction, however this fact hasn't been yet proven. On the whole, the problem is not that simple as Washington strategists may think. The Metropolitan mentioned that “the terrorists who attacked the WTC buildings were not equipped with nuclear warheads, chemical or bacteriological weapons, they committed the terrorism attacks with the help of ordinary air liners.”
Metropolitan Kirill says that “nobody can predict all consequences of this war. This especially concerns such region as the Middle East. Consequences of this war in Iraq will affect the whole of the world as a blast wave and will shatter the economic systems of many countries.” Besides, the clergyman is sure that “a military conflict will cause numerous sufferings of the civil population, even if only spot blows are planned to be delivered. The recent NATO bombing in Yugoslavia only confirm the seriousness of this threat. In fact, although all modern weapons are formally not rated among weapons of mass destruction, they are all the same extremely destructive. Military operations will seriously aggravate the critical economic situation of the Iraqi people, will entail further impoverishment of the Iraqi population; this war may be very humiliating for the Iraqi nation that usually provokes conflicts, hostility and intolerance. If the situation develops so, we may hope to restore fair and peaceful life in the Middle East only in the remotest future.”
He adds that American adventurism may make for “a strong wave of violence, that will reach outside the limits of the Arab nations.” Metropolitan Kirill also strictly criticized the US and NATO policies of double standards. Why does the USA support some countries not belonging to the “nuclear five”, but unofficially holding nuclear weapons, while Iraq, that is just suspected of developing nuclear weapons, has been suffering from an economic blockade and sanctions for many years already?
Last year a delegation of the Moscow Patriarchy visited Iraq, where they met with Tariq Aziz, ministers of the Iraqi government and with religious activists. Metropolitan Kirill says that the visit convinced him even more that any attempts to settle the conflict with force may entail catastrophic consequences. At the same very period the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church offered the EU and NATO leadership “to study the causes of conflicts in Europe and in the world deeply, to try and prevent such conflicts and stick more to the policy of appeasement.”
Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://society.pravda.ru/society/2003/8/26/80/5496_mitropolit.html
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