Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'We Will Kill the British Soldiers Five Times Over'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'We Will Kill the British Soldiers Five Times Over'

Article excerpt

Byline: SAM KILEY

By Sam Kiley in Baghdad

BAGHDAD and Washington continued to trade allegations over whether Saddam Hussein poses a threat to world peace today as one of the Iraqi president's top advisers singled out British troops for particularly bloodthirsty treatment in the event of war.

The threats from Dr AK al Hashemi, head of Iraq's Organisation for Friendship, Peace and Solidarity, came as the propaganda war intensified between the Bush administration, ally Tony Blair, and Saddam's regime. In the latest allegations Saddam is said to have met with Osama bin Laden twice and to have tried to get his eldest son, Uday, killed.

Dr al Hashemi said: "Everyone in Iraq knows why the Americans want to come here.

They want our oil and the Bush family has a hang up about our president.

But what is in it for the British?

"It's just stupid for the British to attack Iraq and not in their wider interests. So the Iraqi people will make sure that if they shoot an American soldier three times, a Brit will get killed five times over. The British have no business coming here - but we are waiting for them if they do".

While a good deal of criticism of the Bush and Blair policy of deposing Saddam has focused on who would replace him and in what kind of regime, many Iraqis are incredulous that the US and Britain appear to assume that a victory would be swift, and bloodless for the allies.

"This fight would not be over Kuwait. This will be an opportunity for the Iraqi people to release the hate they have built up over the last 12 years.

Baghdad is a city of seven million people - do they expect to take it in a few days?" Dr Hashemi said.

Yesterday the Iraqi vice president, Yassin Ramadan Taha, dismissed the latest allegations from Dick Cheney, the US vice president, that Saddam was developing a nuclear bomb. The denial was expected to be followed up with a trip for the foreign media to an alleged nuclear site close to Baghdad today - although United Nations weapons inspectors remain banned from Iraq. …

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