#7 - JRL 7126
April 1, 2003,
IRINA KHAKAMADA: A COMPROMISE NEEDED
Author: Yevgeny Verlin
[from WPS Monitoring Agency, www.wps.ru/e_index.html]
AN INTERVIEW WITH IRINA KHAKAMADA.
IRINA KHAKAMADA, DUMA DEPUTY CHAIRWOMAN AND A CHAIRMAN OF THE UNION OF RIGHT FORCES, ABOUT THE POSITION SHE THINKS RUSSIA SHOULD TAKE IN THE ONGOING PROCESS OF WORLD REARRANGEMENT.
IRINA KHAKAMADA, DUMA DEPUTY CHAIRWOMAN AND A CHAIRMAN OF THE UNION OF RIGHT FORCES, ABOUT THE POSITION SHE THINKS RUSSIA SHOULD TAKE IN THE PROCESS OF REARRANGEMENT OF THE WORLD WHICH IS ALREADY THOUGHT TO BE UNDER WAY.
Question: Do you think that hypothetically speaking, Russia should have been with the leaders of the three countries that met on the Azores and sealed the fate of Iraq? After all, in the last 200 years the international security framework regularly collapsed every half a century or so, to be replaced by something new designed by the winning group. What if the Americans succeed, and Russia will find itself beyond the group of "founding fathers" of the brave new world?
Irina Khakamada: There is the position of winners and the position of the majority of the countries that do not think that anything goes. A consolidation of their efforts, even consolidation of Europe alone, may result in a compromise. This compromise will force the winners (even though they may consider it their triumph and get some new spheres of influence) to return into the usual course of international relations. It may be accomplished only through subtle diplomacy, through making it clear that all three winners (if that is what they) are will bear personal responsibility for all consequences. It is this reluctance of theirs to bear the responsibility that should be played on.
Question: Played on how?
Irina Khakamada: Russia should use its chance to initiate discussion of post-war reconstruction of Iraq and the measures to prevent future military operations, say, in Iran or elsewhere. At the same time it should initiate serious talks - first and foremost with the United States - over the new international security framework.
Question: But behavior of the United States makes it clear I think that Washington does not consider the new security framework necessary. That the situation being what it is - the split UN Security Council and all - it will benefit the United States to turn to the next target as soon as possible, be it North Korea or Iran.
Irina Khakamada: Washington may behave in this manner. Everything should be taken into account. In the first place, the military operation in Iraq is not so much messianic as it is ascribed to America's domestic economic problems. In the second, there is also the election to be reckoned with. On the one hand, two-thirds of Americans support Bush in this war, which is a corollary of the post-September 11th syndrome. On the other hand, the syndrome gradually disappears, giving way to pacifist tendencies. Moreover, pro and con propaganda is mounting. If American GIs and Iraqi noncombatants die, if dead children are shown on TV, Bush will find life hard. Even among Republicans there are the ones who think that even though America must protect its national interests, it should not shoulder responsibility for the whole world. This responsibility is their worst nightmare. It is from this position that they should be talked to.
Question: But the Americans are out to restrict the role played by the United Nations to secondary and humanitarian problems...
Irina Khakamada: I do not think that the Americans are out to legalize the new world order through the United Nations. What they want is legitimization post factum of the war on Iraq. This is what Russia must prevent no matter what it takes. No expulsion of Iraqi diplomats or arrests of bank accounts. Saddam Hussein is a dictator, not a terrorist. That is why humanitarian problems after the war are the top priority because they will reiterate the foremost role of the United Nations.
It does not take a genius to see that the United States is after a new international security framework, after something better answering its interests. When it wins the war, however, it will rush to the international community for establishment of this new structure. The United States will retain its clout in any case. And Russia will not regardless of whether it challenged the United States or not.
(Translated by A. Ignatkin)