Iraq accuses Washington of 'bloodthirsty whims'
The Jerusalem Post

March 10, 2003

Iraq on Monday urged UN Security Council members to stand up to Washington's "bloodthirsty whims" and oppose US plans for a resolution giving Saddam Hussein a March 17 ultimatum to disarm or face war.

The influential daily Babil, owned by Saddam's son Odai, also warned that the administration of US President George W. Bush was pushing the world toward "stupidity with grave consequences."

The Babil editorial urged permanent Security Council members Russia, China and France to veto the US war resolution and said the entire world would be watching "peace-loving nations clinging to international law" when the draft is debated.

"The logic of justice and law should rule the Security Council, not bloodthirsty whims for a group of adventurers in Washington," it said.

The front-page editorial was published a day after a senior Iraqi official said he was convinced the United States planned to attack Iraq regardless of its efforts to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction.

Maj. Gen. Hossam Mohamed Amin, Iraq's chief liaison to UN weapons inspectors, said Iraq's cooperation with inspectors would strengthen opposition on the Security Council to US war plans.

"We are working hard to meet our obligations and to overcome any obstacles," he told reporters in Baghdad late Sunday. "Whether that takes a week, 10 days, or a month, we are doing everything we can. We are not interested in dates and times."

A senior Iraqi Information Ministry official, meanwhile, said Iraq on Monday was continuing to destroy banned Al Samoud 2 missiles, crushing six of them. As of Sunday, Iraq had destroyed 46 of the missiles, almost half of its original arsenal.

The United Nations ordered the rockets destroyed under its supervision because some tests indicated they could fly farther than the 150 kilometers (93 miles) allowed by the Security Council. Iraq began their destruction by the March 1 deadline it was given by the United Nations.

UN weapons inspectors also were back on the road Monday, visiting at least four suspect sites in and around the Iraqi capital, according to the official. He said they went to a tannery, a missiles factory, a location where they have been trying to verify Iraq's unilateral destruction in 1991 of aerial bombs filled with biological agents.

They also went to a site linked to Iraq's former nuclear program.

But the United States remains skeptical of Iraq's disarmament process and US diplomats, speaking in New York on condition of anonymity, said Washington would announce later Monday that it would seek a council vote for Tuesday or Wednesday.