Skip to comments.Sahhaf says Saddam wouldn't go to avert war, but Iraq had no WMD
Posted on 09/18/2003 6:51:07 AM PDT by TexKat
DUBAI (AFP) - Former Iraqi information minister Mohammad Said as-Sahhaf said that Saddam Hussein never considered stepping down to avert war but maintained that Baghdad had scrapped its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) long before the United States invaded.
"I don't think" Saddam ever considered stepping down, Sahhaf told Abu Dhabi Television in the first of a series of interviews to be aired over the coming several weeks.
"No one dared tell him" to leave, he said in the interview, which was interspersed with footage in which the ousted Iraqi president described other Arab leaders as US stooges.
Saddam was shown speaking with aides after an Islamic summit held in Doha some two weeks before the United States launched the war on Iraq on March 20 that led to his overthrow the following month.
The summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) witnessed an acrimonious public spat between delegates from Iraq and Kuwait but did not discuss a proposal by the United Arab Emirates for Saddam to step down and go into exile.
Sahhaf said the proposal could have been debated among Arabs to test the United States, but he also pointed out that Washington appeared determined to go to war, noting that it had refused to talk to the Iraqi regime for years.
But the wartime information supremo maintained that Iraq had destroyed its weapons of mass destruction as far back as 1991, including its chemical weapons, nuclear program and missiles banned under UN resolutions pertaining to that year's Gulf War.
Former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said Wednesday that Iraq had probably got rid of its weapons of mass destruction 10 years ago but Saddam pretended otherwise to deter any attack.
"I'm certainly more and more to the conclusion that Iraq had, as they maintained, destroyed almost all of what they had in the summer of 1991," Blix told Australian national radio.
Abu Dhabi TV first interviewed Sahhaf on June 26, shortly after the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya news channel broadcast excerpts of an interview with him in Baghdad, which marked his first appearance since the Iraqi capital fell to US forces on April 9.
Sahhaf, who arrived in Abu Dhabi in July, shot to fame for his wildly inaccurate statements on the military situation in the run-up to Saddam's overthrow.
A new audiotape attributed to Saddam on Wednesday called on US President George W. Bush to pull his forces out of Iraq and urged Iraqis to step up resistance to US and British troops occupying their country.
The recording, aired by Al-Arabiya, was the eighth audiotape attributed to Saddam by Arab satellite TV stations since his ouster.
A US intelligence official said CIA (analysts were examining the audiotape but have not yet determined whether it is authentic.
US intelligence has deemed most previous tapes to be probably authentic at a time when the former strongman continues to elude US forces carrying out raids across Iraq in an attempt to capture him.
Bob on June 27th and today. What's the deal with the hair color?
Two days ago on Fox I could swear that it was reported that Baghdad Bob stated in his interview that Saddam was gathering WMDs even up to the end. Fox anchor also interviewed person from Abu Dhabi TV and asked why one should trust anything BB said now. The Abu Dhabi employee replied that he believed BB and that BB had nothing to lose at this point.
Then they should have had no problem with showing us accurate, up-to-date documentation proving it, instead of a ####-load dump of rubbish, fakes and old unrelated paperwork as they did. I guess Saddam thought that Bush was a Clinton who wouldn't do anything more than saber-rattle.
Boy, did you back the wrong horse!
- Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters 2
Hey, Saddam bluffed, we called it, he lost, Big Time.
Thus saith the stooge of Saddam.
The USA dared tell him to leave. As for the other Arab leaders being US stooges, since they haven't got the guts to go after a brutal dictator like Saddam themselves, they might as well be stooges of someone who does.
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