Saddam warns Iraqi people of major war, but promises to spill U.S. blood
Saddam Hussein was sworn in for seven more years as Iraqi president after an official 100 percent referendum victory.
"I swear by almighty God, my honour and my belief to preserve Iraq's independence and territorial integrity, and to safeguard the republican system and principles of the great July 17 revolution," Saddam said in a ceremony broadcast on Iraqi state television.
The regime's number two Ezzat Ibrahim congratulated the president before the country's political elite.
Saddam went on to make a speech in the packed auditorium in Baghdad. The Iraqi leader accused the US administration of being in thrall of the Zionist lobby.
Saddam urged Iraqis to fight hard if the United States attacked, warning that any invasion would lead to the spilling of American blood.
He added: "The road of blood takes you to more blood and he who tries to shed the blood of others must expect his blood to be spilled."
Saddam told Iraqis that they might find themselves soon faced with a major war. "If God Almighty...decides to put you again to the test in a situation of fighting on a large scale, then the Almighty, the nation and history will expect you to deliver an effective stand...in defense of the homeland...," he said.
"Afterwards, the enemy will fall on its face, despised, condemned and defeated," Saddam said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)