Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

America Leaving Unstable Iraq to Wolves, Says Saddam Henchman

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

America Leaving Unstable Iraq to Wolves, Says Saddam Henchman

Article excerpt

Byline: Rashid Razaq

THE former deputy prime minister of Iraq, Tariq Aziz, has compared Saddam Hussein to Winston Churchill and said his country was better off under the late dictator.

In the first interview since his capture seven years ago, Aziz criticised America and Britain for "leaving Iraq to the wolves" and was unrepentant for his role in a regime which killed thousands of its own people.

Aziz, 74, speaking from a Baghdad prison where he is serving a 15-year sentence for crimes against humanity, also accused President Barack Obama of being a hypocrite for withdrawing US troops while the country was still unstable.

He told the Guardian: "We are all victims of America and Britain. They killed our country in many ways. When you make a mistake you need to correct a mistake, not leave Iraq to its death.

"For 30 years Saddam built Iraq and now it is destroyed. There are more sick than before, more hungry. The people don't have services. People are being killed every day in the tens, if not hundreds. I was encouraged when [Obama] was elected president because I thought he was going to correct some of the mistakes of Bush. But Obama is a hypocrite. He is leaving Iraq to the wolves."

Aziz, who was the only Christian in Saddam's inner circle and a well-known face in the West as the country's foreign minister, defended his former leader, who was executed in 2006.

He said: "Wars are wars, and there are reasons for them. …

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