Skip to comments.Iraq vows to resist U.S. military action (Read it for a good laugh)
Posted on 07/31/2002 4:27:21 PM PDT by knighthawk
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq says Baghdad will resist any U.S. military campaign and will "kick the United States out of the region" if attacked.
In an interview with Reuters, Iraq's Trade Minister Mohammed Mehdi Saleh said Baghdad would also take punitive economic measures against countries which backed a possible U.S. strike.
Washington has made no secret of its wish to topple President Saddam Hussein's government, having branded Iraq part of an "axis of evil" supporting terrorism and developing weapons of mass destruction.
"The United States will be defeated and it will be kicked out of the region if it attacks Iraq," Saleh said. "It will be the end of the United States in the region."
U.S. President George W. Bush said this month his administration would use all tools at its disposal to topple Saddam, Iraq's leader since 1979.
The official Iraqi News Agency (INA) on Wednesday quoted the Commander of Iraq's Air Force Hamid Rija Shlah saying his forces were ready to respond to an attack.
"They are highly prepared to inflict stern punishment on (attacking forces) if they tried to get near our borders or people," Shlah was quoted as saying in a meeting with Saddam.
In Washington, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on Tuesday he did not expect the Bush administration to strike Iraq before early next year.
Saleh, whose ministry is responsible for making sure Iraq's 23 million people have enough food under a U.N.-administered oil-for-food deal, added there would be no food problem in Iraq if the U.S. attacked.
"We will take necessary measures whenever required," Saleh said.
Iraqis have been hit hard by U.N. sanctions imposed for Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Baghdad says more than 180,000 people, including about 80,000 children under five years of age, died in 2001 of diseases blamed on the sanctions.
The desert state, which has the world's second largest oil reserves behind Saudi Arabia, has been allowed to sell oil to buy food, medicine and other civilian goods under U.N. supervision since 1996.
Saleh said Baghdad was ready to take punitive action against countries which backed U.S. military campaign.
"We will not tolerate any country which has an aggressive attitude toward Iraq," he said.
"We definitely will decrease and hold our economic and trade relationship with those countries who support an aggression against Iraq," he said, adding: "We will promote trade relationship with those who support the lifting of sanctions."
Last week, Baghdad said it would halve its $8.5 million worth of annual wheat purchases from Australia to retaliate after Canberra voiced support for Washington's right to launch pre-emptive strikes against nations like Iraq in the aftermath of the events of September 11.
Saleh said if Australia did not change its position, Baghdad would buy its wheat needs from "European, Asian and Arab countries".
I don't want to dissapoint him by not giving him a chance to back his words up, so let's roll!
Brilliant! Does he really think it or is he packing as we post.So little time so much to do.The clock is ticking and maybe they are more than a little nervous.
His troops are run ragged setting up defenses after every "leak" in the New York Times.
This time he'll be gone about a minute after it all starts.
Watch your back Saddam! The enemy has already landed and started your downfall!
Sounds like whistling past the cemetery to me. Or maybe its bravado, Hussein sytle.
Funny thing about Air Force assets, if they are not used daily and realistically, they are not worth a spit in the sand.
The question I'd like answered is, when was the last time one Hamid's IAF fighters made a max-performance takeoff, loaded for combat? 1991 you say, Hamid? Whoo, boy! IAF is headed east for Iran just like last time!
I'll bet we could get more ordnance airborne on that one bird that the AIF could on it's entire so-called Air Force!
A-10's are so ugly, they are almost cute!
I'm running a serious risk of getting flamed by the "No Women In Combat" brigade, but I hope LtCol McSally (believe thats her name) flies lead aircraft on that mission! Poetic justice!
OH NO!!! Not "stern punishment, anything but that.
European and Asian countries maybe but considering that the bulk of "Arab" wheat is grown in Turkey and Iran, not bloody likely (source).
Saddam must have heard about Clinton's promise to go into the trenches and fight in person. If Billzo were a typical example of our troops, we would have gotten kicked out of Grenada, much less Iraq.