Saddam says for the US to get out of Iraq
Saddam calls on people to unite and oust invaders
Michael Howard in Sulaimaniya
Monday October 16, 2006
Saddam Hussein in court. Photograph: Erik de Castro/AP
In a three-page open letter dictated to his lawyers on Saturday and made public yesterday, the former Iraqi dictator said resistance against the US-led occupation forces was "a right and a duty" and that "victory is certain". But he said: "Do not forget that your goal is to liberate your country from the invaders and their followers and is not a settling of accounts outside this goal."
Since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, tens of thousands of Iraqis have lost their lives as a result of attacks by multinational forces and growing insurgent and sectarian violence, which is pushing the country towards all-out civil war. In his message, Saddam wrote: "I urge the brothers in the noble resistance and the great Iraqi people to be just and fair," adding that they should "keep the door of forgiveness open until the last minute that precedes the hour of liberation".
He also called on Iraqis "to forgive those who shed the blood of your sons and brothers, including the sons of Saddam Hussein". Uday and Qusay Hussein were killed in a US raid in Mosul in 2003 after a tip-off by an Iraqi man who was sheltering them.
Government officials in Baghdad dismissed the letter. "It is surprising, not to say strange, that the man who has done more to sow division and bloodshed in Iraq than any other human being is now talking of unity and forgiveness," a spokesman said.
Saddam said his missive was to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. But it was also seen as a sign of frustration at his failure to exploit his appearances in court for political ends. Frequent outbursts during proceedings have resulted in his microphone being turned off and his ejection from the courtroom.
The former president and seven co-defendants are on trial for allegedly ordering the killing of 148 Shia Muslims from the village of Dujail after an assassination attempt against Saddam in 1982. Saddam is also facing genocide charges relating to the Anfal campaign against the Kurds in the late 1980s in which more than 100,000 people are said to have been killed.
The Iraqi high tribunal was originally due to announce a verdict in the Dujail case yesterday, but the court said it needed more time to review evidence. "Right now they are checking some testimonies and details. If they finish by then, then they will definitely announce the verdict on November 5," said Jaafar al Moussawi, the chief prosecutor. If found guilty, Saddam faces the death penalty.The above found here on the web
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