Saddam Says U.S. To Be '\'Defeated'\'; EU May Oppose U.S. Striking on Iraq
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein vowed to resist any US "aggression", stressing that Washington was making so many enemies that it would ultimately be "defeated."
The United States "is making so many enemies that it will be defeated. The more aggressive it becomes and the more it pursues wicked policies, the closer it will draw to defeat," Saddam told visiting Vietnamese Vice President Nguyen Thi Binh.
"We may not be able to prevent a US aggression, but we can, God willing, resist such an aggression," Saddam said, quoted by the official INA news agency.
The United States "may be able to harm the people of Iraq by firing missiles and using its technological edge and dirty money ... but it will not be able to sap their will or subjugate them," Saddam said.
"America was defeated by the poor people of Vietnam ... Because they were right and it was wrong, the will of the people of Vietnam prevailed. "For this reason, we are confident that the will of the people of Palestine will prevail," he added.
"We (in Iraq) have no problem respecting international law. On the contrary, we urge everyone to uphold international law and to apply one standard and one measure," Saddam added. The Americans, far from complying with international law, "seek to impose their will on the world under the cover of international law," the Iraqi leader charged.
"Since big powers are unable to tell America to respect international law, it is time for small countries like Iraq ... to tell America that it should uphold international law before it is entitled to tell others to do that."
Meanwhile, EU leaders expressed Saturday night their reservations regarding any immediate action in Iraq by the US and Britain. However, the British prime minister Tony Blair played down reports of a rift at the EU summit in Barcelona.
The European anxiety over warlike US rhetoric was laid by Romano Prodi, the European Commission president. "My position is one of deep worry about a possible attack on Iraq because of the potential expansion of the conflict," he told BBC radio.
Asked if the EU might oppose US military action, Prodi said: "It is possible but we are not talking about possibilities."
Summit leaders carefully kept the possible war on Iraq on the sidelines to avoid a public row. Jacques Chirac, the French President, warned the Iraqis they would be "well-advised to take seriously the preoccupation of the UN Security Council".
Blair discussed Iraq with his German counterpart, Gerhard Schröder, but both leaders refused to speak publicly in any detail about the issue. The British leader said: "This issue has not been the dominant issue at this summit. We are not at the point of decision on this or near it. When we are, I have no doubt we will discuss things closely."
According to The Independent, there was no sign of any public support for the US, even if European leaders were careful not to rule out eventual backing for an American attack on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Some diplomats believe nations like France have concluded that the US has decided on a military course, and do not want to be in a position of opposing it. (Albawaba.com)
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