Bush says army is ready; Aziz: Iraq has no means to attack Israel
U.S. President Bush told troops on Thursday he was confident they were ready to win a potential war with Iraq and urged the United Nations to ensure its credibility by enforcing demands that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein disarm.
If war comes, "America will act deliberately, America will act decisively, and America will act victoriously with the world's greatest military," Bush said at the naval base near Jacksonville, Florida.
Bush said he was optimistic that "free nations will show backbone and courage." "Now the world's most important multilateral body faces a decision," Bush said. "The decision is this for the United Nations: When you say something, does it mean anything? You've got to decide."
Bush said the U.N. Security Council can now decide whether it has the resolve to enforce its resolutions. "I believe when it's all said and done, free nations will not allow the United Nations to fade into history as an ineffective, irrelevant, debating society," Bush said.
"I am proud to report today, on behalf of all our sailors and Marines and all our military men and women, we are ready now," he said.
"Great tasks lie ahead for the Navy and for the United States military and I know we can depend on you because the United States military is second to none," Bush said.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz said on Thursday his country lacked the means to attack Israel in the event of a U.S.-led war on his country.
Asked if Iraq would turn on Israel if the United States attacked, Aziz said: "We don't have the means to attack Israel. We had the (means) in 1991, we don't have them today."
"We can't talk of reprisals when we don't have the means," he added, in an interview with French television station France 2.
"All our long-distance missiles have been destroyed," he stated.
Saddam Hussein would not go into exile, Aziz added. "President Saddam Hussein was born in Iraq, we were born in Iraq, we will stay in Iraq until the last minute of our life, of our existence," he said.
"If we are attacked, we will fight up until the last minute of our existence." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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