Sergei Kazennov, section head at IMEMO of the Russian Academy of Sciences:
"America does not give a damn about Iraq, all they need is a face-saving move to pull out troops in more or less decent manner by the next election. That is why Bush acknowledged that they had not had enough intelligence for invading Iraq. As a result, public support ratings for Bush jumped 6 percent after that repentant statement.And who said that Jack Murtha was out on his own on this one?
The election in Iraq largely has a destabilizing impact, as far as I am concerned. The Americans had hoped to win some support of the Shi'ite majority, it did not happen. Now the rumor has it that they are set to deal with Iran next March. They might as well use Israel as a main striking force.
The Americans are stuck in a quagmire over there. Consequently, they might stop playing the world police in other parts of the globe. On the whole, I do not think that the situation is going to change for the better after the election. Some countries pledged their support and cooperation to America in Iraq. However, the only thing they can do under the circumstances is speak out in support of U.S. policy.
The Americans are going to pull out of Iraq shortly, and they are going to do it quietly. But there's no way they can do it quietly and smoothly. They wanted to pull out of Vietnam quietly and look what happened. It is likely to look like an avalanche this time around, loud and messy. Britain is on the way out. Italy is leaving Iraq. A vacuum is being created. What is going to fill it is a very sensitive issue. It might as well be a bridgehead of the world terrorist organizations.
A conference on the Iraqi issues was held in Moscow. The participants concluded that Iraq needed a new secular dictator, a new Saddam. Where can we find a new Hussein? Shall we reinstate the original one? From my point of view, it does not seem that improbable. He might be cleared and some local officials would be held responsible for the massacre in Kurdistan. Any options can be considered now including those with Saddam on board. The Americans can not just leave. Right now they are in a situation where every new step can only make things worse."