PRAVDA.Ru reporter accompanied a group of Russian State Duma deputies in a trip to Iraq
The speaker of the Iraqi parliament asked a question to Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation: “What position will Russia take during the next voting to the UN Security Council?” There was not even a sound produced in the hall after that question, until someone in the second row said: “This is a good question. It hits the nail, and we have nothing to say about it.”
Numerous actions of protest took place all over the world last weekend. People protested the war on Iraq. The largest demonstration took place in Rome: about one million people came out in the streets to set out their protest. About 30 thousand people went out in the streets of Los Angeles, up to 100 thousand New Yorkers protested the Iraqi campaign too. There were no actions like that in Russia: everything was limited to a couple of meetings in various cities of the country. Russian protesters did not make up even a hundredth part of what was going on in Europe and in the United States. There are several reasons to explain that: it is winter in Russia, it’s cold, Russian people celebrated St.Valentine’s Day, which became a people’s holiday in the country. More importantly, Iraq is not Belgrade: there are no Slavic people in the Persian Gulf. Everyone feels very sorry for them, of course, but this feeling is the end of the Russian story. State Duma deputies decided to correct the situation. It goes without saying that Russian deputies’ official visit to Iraq will convince the doubtful that the Russian stand regarding Iraq has not been changed. A group of Russian deputies left for Iraq on February 17th.
I would like to mention here that the article will not reflect my personal impressions of a trip to Iraq. There will be a separate article about it published on the site later, in the beginning of the next week.
Russian deputies were welcomed in Iraq in a very hospitable way. The deputies stayed in the country only for three days, although they managed to talk to the deputies of the Iraqi national council and to have a meeting with Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan. Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of the Russian Communist Party, as well as two other deputies, talked to Saddam Hussein in private. The Iraqi president has not had frequent official meetings lately, only few people know his whereabouts. That is why the meeting with Saddam Hussein was a token of special respect to the Russian official delegation.
I would like to say one more thing before I write about the official part of the visit: A group of Russian parliamentarians represented the whole political range of the present Russian parliament (Communist Party, Unity, Fatherland-All Russia, People’s Deputy and so on). Since the communist leader arrived in Iraq himself (rather a charismatic personality in Russian politics), he automatically became the leader of the delegation.
The meeting with Iraqi deputies
Gennady Zyuganov: “Our delegation, which represents six groups and factions of the Russian State Duma, realizes, that the world has to deal with a very dangerous situation at the moment. We can sense that perfectly, because the peoples of our countries spent 700 years of our 1000-year history in battles and wars, standing up for freedom and independence. Me and my colleagues, we will do our best not to let the war start. I am perfectly aware of the things, that it might lead to.”
Then the leader of the communist party, who has recently published a book entitled “Globalization and the Fate of Humanity,” started dwelling upon geopolitical issues. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to read the book, although something told me inside that Mr. Zyuganov quoted some of his book in his speech.
G.Zyuganov: “There are three scenarios of the world politics and they are already evident. The first one of them is the dictatorship of the United States. America set a goal to obtain the control of all resources, energetic resources, first and foremost, as well as financial and informational ones. This way America will dictate its will to the whole world. The courageous will of the Iraqi people is an obstacle for this scenario to become real. The people of Iraq do not want to sacrifice their resources to American monopolies. An attempt to unleash the war on Iraq is an attempt against the entire Muslim and Arab world, against the European Union and against Russia too. The second scenario is chaos and perturbation. The third one implies a compromise of interests.”
There can be one conclusion made about this: the new world order of the United States will corrupt global institutions, the United Nations Organization, first and foremost. For Russia it means that one could arrange a collapse of the budgetary system in a couple of months, which will lead to another default to paralyze all industries, including business undertakings. For the huge Middle East region, it means that all the situation from Kashmir to Tel Aviv will be destabilized completely. If Americans got Iraqi oil fields in their possessions, they will sell gas to Europe on cards. This also means that China, Japan and many other Asian countries will have to experience really hard times, suffering from the energetic crisis.
“No missiles, no aircraft will guarantee any security to any nation. Horrible acts of terrorism took place in America, and a powerful country had nothing to oppose to that, but to unleash another war in Afghanistan. That is why, there is one way out: to establish the multipolar world, in which every nation and each civilization will have a right for the fate, religion and culture of its own. Otherwise, the world will turn chaotic, and no one will have the guarantee of security. There are good will forces on the planet, the Iraqi nation has a lot of friends and the visit of our delegation during this hard period of time is another evidence to prove that Russia as at one with you,” Gennady Zyuganov said in conclusion.
Spokesmen for other deputy factions and groups made their speeches after that. The point of their speeches was basically the same, although there was more of emotional expression in them. Deputy Kurgunov from People’s Deputy group said: “The common sense of the whole humanity is supposed to win. This opposition touches upon the whole globe, not only several countries.” Deputy Makhachev (People’s Deputy): “Americans will find their graveyard here, and I would like the American people to drop George Bush with a parachute instead of bombs here.”
Then it was the turn for the Iraqi side to talk. The speaker of the Iraqi parliament thanked Russia for support. After that he stressed out that there were no mass destruction weapons in Iraq. Then he held American imperialists up to shame. At the end of his speech he asked the question, the answer to which is very important to Iraq: “What position will Russia take during the next voting to the UN Security Council?” There was not even a sound produced in the hall after that question, until someone in the second row said: “This is a good question. It hits the nail and we have nothing to say about it.”
The meeting with Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan
As a matter of fact, the meeting with the Iraqi vice president was of the same scenario like the one with the deputies of the Iraqi parliament. The venue was different, though: it took place in one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces. The rest of the meeting was basically the same: the speech from the vice president, the speech from Gennady Zyuganov. “We are at one with you,” “three variants of the future.” The meeting was over with presents: books and watches.
Vice president of Iraq: “We would like Russia’s position regarding the protection of Iraq to be ahead of France’s and Germany’s position.” Conclusion: Iraq is in need of more intense and precise policy on Russia’s part. The vice president continued: “I would like to assure Russian diplomats that there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I would like to stress out that the present of UN international inspectors in Iraq without any time limit implies the economic suppression of Iraq. In addition to that, it is a source of provocation. Iraq’s counteraction will most likely be used by America as a reason to launch its aggression against Iraq. If you found nothing, then go back home and tell everyone about it, withdraw sanctions. The current situation can not last forever,” the Iraqi vice president said.
The meeting between Gennady Zyuganov and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
The meeting was not planned in advance. However, Russian deputies hoped all the time that Saddam Hussein would agree to meet them. The meeting eventually took place, although there were only three Russian deputies, including Gennady Zyuganov, to meet Saddam. Everything was kept secret about it, deputies had to change three cars until they got to the place, where the Iraqi president met them. In the words from Gennady Zyuganov, Saddam did not look frightened. He was robust and fresh. Hussein thanked Russia for its “precise position on the Iraqi issue.” “The Iraqi people do not want a war to happen. However, if the USA attempts to launch it, America will see, what the people of Iraq will do in return,” said Saddam Hussein.
Dmitry Litvinovich Moscow-Baghdad-Moscow PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov