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By Grigory Yavlinsky

A War with a Whole Nation Can Never be Victorious

Novaya Gazeta, October 1, 2001

There can be no justification to events in the United States. It does not matter whether political or religious goals, revenge or other motives formed the basis for this action. The destruction of a vast number of innocent absolutely defenceless people has no explanation and cannot have any justification.

Such an understanding must become a universal platform in the discussion of Russia’s participation in the fight with international terrorism. There are different points of view on the forms of participation of our country in this struggle. But we should clearly realise that today the attitude of the whole world towards us depends to a large extent on our position on this issue. Our indecisiveness, hesitation and ambiguity may stimulate further terrorist actions.

International terrorism must be met by international condemnation. There are no other ways of combating it. There is no place for the relics of the cold war on this issue. Therefore, we support the declaration of the President of Russia of September 11, 2001, and his consultations with the leaders of European states.

I am certain that neither Russia nor the United States should be driven by revenge in the development of the anti-terrorist programme of action. What can serve as the criteria here? The national interests of both countries. In terms of combating international terrorism they coincide.

For Russia the goal is destruction of terrorists, wherever they may be, especially inside or in direct proximity to our country. It is also in our interests here that anti-terrorist actions do not lead to destabilisation at our borders or in countries that are our allies. Our sad experience of treacherous silence today, despite the almost daily occurrence of such tragedies in our country, demonstrates that broad-scale military operations are ineffective in combatting terrorism. They do not oppose terror. A war with a whole nation has the opposite result. This should be the starting point for the international anti-terrorist operation.

We should not accord blame for the events in the USA to either Arab countries in general or Muslim states. Moreover, the participation of the Arab states in the international anti-terrorist coalition is especially important.

Russia should participate in the development of a plan to fight terrorism in strict accordance with international treaties and procedures, to prepare the co-ordination of the activities of Russia’s secret services. I think that this may spare us the adoption of hasty decisions with unpredictable consequences. We should not wait for some plan to be sent to us.

Many people say that terrorism is an invisible enemy. But they see us very well. Terrorism has cells all over the world, a system of communication, shipment of weapons and financial resources – it is a very complex network. And it is extremely difficult to fight such an enemy.

Terrorists have no moral restrictions, they have only technical restrictions; whereas we in our fight with terrorism must remain human, individuals with democratic ideas, people for whom respect for human life is the supreme value, people defending liberties. Only then can we increase the number of our supporters and thereby conduct a real war with the system of terror.

Today it is not the State Duma and unfortunately not even Russia that takes the decisions. However, the Yabloko faction proposes that the State Duma adopt as soon as possible a decision on the immediate allocation of resources within the budget for the current year to consolidate the borders with the Caucasus, reinforce borders in Central Asia, increase the security of nuclear objects and nuclear power stations and safety of air flights. Our calculations prove that today

our state can allocate up to one billion dollars to this goal. This is a concrete task.

And terrorist-fanatics should realise: we will protect the lives of our citizens and our values, as they protect theirs.

See also:

Acts of terror in the US

Novaya Gazeta, October 1, 2001

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