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Last Updated:  Friday, 21 March, 2003, 14:12 GMT
Iraqi media defiant despite onslaught

Broadcasting by Iraqi radio and TV on the second day of the war reflects continuing defiance in the face of the onslaught against the government of Saddam Hussein.

Iraqi satellite TV, which can be received around the world, carried a news conference by Trade Minister Muhammad Mahdi Salih in which he invoked the deaths of British troops in the 1920s as a warning to the current attackers.

The aggressors will be accursed. They will learn that the will of Iraq will not be dented.
Trade Minister Muhammad Mahdi Salih

"In 1920, the British Army was the most powerful army in the world. One hundred thousand soldiers of the British Army were killed then. Their tombs are in Baghdad and other Iraqi governorates. The Iraqis achieved this victory through the use of primitive weapons," Mr Salih said in Arabic.

"They resisted the invaders and triumphed over them by using sticks and clubs. Using sticks and rifles, they triumphed over the British Army's will in 1920 when the latter used guns, aircraft, and tanks."

'We are ready'

The minister pledged to foil the current aggression "regardless of the weapons they are threatening to use, regardless of the impact of these weapons, and regardless of the extensive scope of the military aggression that they are threatening us with."

"We are ready, we will foil it thanks to the Iraqis' will and steadfastness behind their leadership and their warrior leader Saddam Hussein," he continued.

"The aggressors will be accursed. They will learn that the will of Iraq will not be dented at all. For the Iraqi people are free and great."

God promised us the power to inflict disgrace on the criminals.
Saddam Hussein on Iraq TV

Earlier, Iraqi terrestrial TV broadcast what it said was a new statement from Saddam Hussein claiming God was backing the Iraqis.

"God promised us the power to stand fast and resist in defence of right and justice," said the announcer-read statement. "God promised us and the mujahideen the power to hold on to right against falsehood, to inflict disgrace on the criminals."

"What will you tell your people and humanity after all the crimes you have committed and those you intend to commit? What is more important is how will you face your people?"

'Stupidity and insanity'

"May you be accursed and may your actions fail. God is greater, God is greater, and may the lowly ones be accursed.

"O God, turn fire into cold and peace for the Iraqis, just as You turned it into cold and peace for Abraham," Saddam said, in the statement broadcast by Iraqi TV.

An editorial in the daily Al-Iraq asks: "Is it stupidity, insanity and tyranny or Satan that are pushing evil Bush to launch his sinful aggression against our noble people and proud Iraq."

"He fantasises about invading Iraq and implementing the illusions of his Jewish Zionist masters, shame on them!"

Bush is blindfolded with stupidity and high handedness, he is crawling towards an unfathomable abyss.

"Aggression is buried, and so will be all those who have sided with Bush, Blair and the treacherous rulers of Kuwait," the editorial continues.

"Bush is blindfolded with stupidity and high-handedness, he is crawling towards an unfathomable abyss.

War criminals

"Now that the evil American Administration has dared launch the aggression, America has fallen and the fig leaf has been removed from its fallacies and lies. God willing it will collapse and be defeated."

An editorial in another daily, Al-Thawrah, calls on the world community to act to stop the war and take action against "the two war criminals, Bush and Blair".

"It is not enough to express concern, regret or sadness," or to "surrender to the will of the evil US and UK administrations and their drive to dominate the world".

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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