BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: World: Monitoring: Media reports
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Tuesday, 18 September, 2001, 19:21 GMT 20:21 UK
Saddam tells West 'be wise'
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein sits during a meeting on Tuesday
Words of caution to an angry United States
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has addressed an open letter to Western leaders, counselling them to use wisdom before using force to avenge what he described as "the incident" last week.

In a long and rambling message read out on Iraqi TV on Tuesday, President Saddam accused "Zionist leaders" of seeking to start a war between Islam and Christianity, suggesting this was part of a Zionist plan to dominate the world, and "outsmart the sensible men in the West".

The United States needs to try wisdom after it has tried force over the last 50 years

The message, whose translation into English comprised about 2,800 words, queried how the US could take any action before getting conclusive proof of who was responsible for the attacks on New York and Washington, without mentioning the cities by name.

"We have said on previous occasions that the United States needs to try wisdom after it has tried force over the last 50 or more years," Mr Saddam's message said.

Premature

"The US has made the charge before verification, even before possessing the minimum evidence. It has not even availed itself of the opportunity to first verify things," the letter read.

"It is not yet known whether it was carried out by a foreign enemy or from inside."

The policy of power has found its opportunity to declare war ... the rulers of the United States have reached a final verdict: that it is the enemy of Arabs and Muslims

He accused Washington of "incitement and threats ... broadening the charges to include states, circles, and individuals".

"Afghanistan - Osama Bin Laden - the Islamic Al-Qa'idah organization - Syria - Yemen - Algeria - Iraq - Lebanon - and Palestine. The list may be curtailed or enlarged according to the pretexts of the policy of power, which has found its opportunity ... to declare war," he said.

Enemies

The USA "has made an assumption tantamount to a conclusive verdict; namely that Islam, with Arabs at the head of the Muslims, is an enemy of the United States. More precisely, the rulers of the United States have reached a final verdict: that it is the enemy of Arabs and Muslims."

"The incident presented an opportunity to declare a state of war," Mr Saddam said. "Have you ever heard or read in the recent or distant past of a state declaring war before defining who is its enemy?"


The Zionist leaders are working for a clash between Christianity and Islam on the assumption that this, and only this, could secure a chance to dominate the world

"Once again, we say that the US administration and those in the West who allied themselves with it against Arabs and Muslims ... are in need of finding the path of wisdom," he said.

Zionist plot

"The Zionist leaders are working for a clash between Christianity and Islam on the assumption that this, and only this, could secure a chance to dominate the world when new opportunities open up for its domination. Would the sensible men in the West be aware of that? Or would Zionism outsmart them to attain its aims?"

A separate letter has also been sent from the Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz to a US group campaigning against sanctions in Iraq.

In it he said Baghdad expressed its "sincere condolences" to the families affected by the attacks.

Iraq is on America's list of state sponsors of terrorism and a BBC correspondent in the region says Baghdad fears it may now be in the firing line. 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.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Caroline Hawley
"Iraq fears it may now be in the firing line"
See also:

18 Sep 01 | Americas
US terror threat remains
18 Sep 01 | Americas
US hunt closes in on plotters
14 Sep 01 | Americas
Nineteen hijack suspects named
14 Sep 01 | Americas
Islamic world deplores US losses
Links to more Media reports stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Media reports stories