Posted by Jeff from d53-106-196.try.wideopenwest.com (188.8.131.52) on Sunday, December 15, 2002 at 3:37PM :
Iraq's Aziz Brands Bush a 'Hypocrite'
Sun Dec 15,10:53 AM ET
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By Lori Santos
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz branded President Bush (news - web sites) a hypocrite on Sunday for pursuing war and predicted there would be "a great amount" of American casualties should the United States invade his country.
Appearing on the "Fox News Sunday" program, Aziz said Bush was "driving America to a hostile imperialist policy" that was dangerous both for the United States and the world.
"He's a hypocrite because a true Christian would not be a war monger, would not push for the destruction of a country and its people," Aziz said.
The key assistant to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) said the Iraqis were hopeful the drive to war would be halted once U.N. inspectors find there are no weapons of mass destruction in his country, as the United States has alleged.
"They will not find any weapons of mass destruction because simply, we don't have them," he said.
Answering American charges, including from Bush, that Iraq was not telling the truth in making such claims, Aziz said, "When you speak about lying, the big liars in this world are (in) the United States of America."
Aziz spoke on the U.S. television talk show as U.N. inspectors continued their searches on Sunday for evidence of the banned weapons programs. The inspectors returned to Iraq last month after a four-year absence to look for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.
Aziz said scientists in his country who once worked on such programs, who the United Nations (news - web sites) now want interviewed as part of the disarmament effort, were pursuing unspecified projects "in the civilian area."
And he urged the American people to realize a U.S. invasion of Iraq would not serve their long-term interests.
"America will face strong resistance in Iraq. There will be a great amount of casualties among Americans," he said.
"Don't fool yourself. The Iraqis are not going to receive the Americans with flowers. The Iraqis are going to receive the Americans with bullets."
If there is an invasion, he added, "We will fight it very capably and fiercely."
He also said he was hopeful Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally in the region, would not support such a war effort, though he acknowledged the United States was "very strong."
"Maybe, maybe. I hope they won't," he said.
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