Rather: I want to ask questions in two categories, please. Category
one would be those questions that I think many, if not most, of
Americans would like to have answered about the news of right now. And
in category two, more philosophical questions.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: The news are with you. News are almost
(UNINTEL) (Editor's Note: "UNINTEL" refers to a sound or word that the
transcriber finds unintelligible.) different way. But the facts news
are there, with you.
Rather: Mr. President, do you intend to destroy the Al-Samoud missiles
that the United Nations prohibits? Will you destroy those missiles?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: We have committed ourselves to
Resolution. We're implementing that resolution in accordance with what
the United Nations wants us to do. It is on this basis that we have
conducted ourselves, and it is on this basis that we will continue to
behave. As you know, it a-- is allowed to produce - r- r- land-land
rockets, with a range of up to 150 kilometers. And we are committed to
Rather: I want to make sure that I understand, Mr. President. So, you
do not intend to destroy these missiles?
(SKIP IN TAPE)
Rather: Mr. President, I do appreciate your agreeing to spend an hour,
because I want to ask questions in two categories, please.
Rather: So, you do not intend to destroy these missiles?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Which is that? Which missiles are you
talking about? We do not have missiles that go beyond the prescribed
ranges, by the...U.N. The inspection teams have been here. They have
inspected every place. And if there is a question to that effect, I
think the question should be addressed to them.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: I think the United States and the world
also knows that there is - I think the U.S. and the world know that
Iraq is - no longer has the (UNINTEL)-- weapons. And--
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: You have started your questions with
the sort of (UNINTEL) and (UNINTEL), but not with the - However,
you're free to (UNINTEL) whichever way you'd like.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: May I translate?
Rather: Yes, please.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Thank you. The President says, the
United States - the world - knows that there is nothing in Iraq of...
whatever the noise has been made about. And I believe that that noise
and the fleets that have been brought around and the mobilization
that's been done were, in fact, done partly to cover the huge lie that
was being waged against Iraq about chemical, biological and nuclear
And it was on that basis that Iraq actually accepted Resolution -
accepted it, even though Iraq was absolutely certain that what it had
said, what the Iraqi officials...had kept saying, that... Iraq was
empty, was void of any such weapons, was the case. But Iraq accepted
that resolution... in order not to allow any misinterpretation of its
And, indeed, in order to make the case absolutely clear that Iraq was
no longer in possession of any such...weapons. Iraq accepted to agree
to deal with that resolution. That is why, when you talk about such
missiles, these missiles have been destroyed. There are no missiles
that are contrary to the prescription of the United Nations in Iraq.
These missiles were des - missiles that were proscribed - have been
destroyed and are no longer there.
Rather: What do you consider to be the core issues? You said that I
had started - and indeed, I started with the news of the day. But what
do you consider to be the core issue, the basic issue?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: In all divine religions, god, the
Almighty, has reiterated to man in all his Holy Books and to humanity,
in general, that there are two basic, most important things in life,
that is, after the issue of the creation and of the issue of faith.
These two important things are food and peace. This is in Islam, this
is also in Christianity and in all the other religions. So, the most
important thing for man in his life and the preservation of his life
and preservation of the lives of others is to establish peace and
security for himself and, through that, his right to life.
Not only to obtain food, but also to obtain - to insure peace, and so
that man can exercise his right in life and exercise his role towards
others in the same way as he would like others to exercise their
Rather: Mr. President, do you expect to be attacked by an American-led
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: We hope that the attack will not take
place. But we are bracing ourselves to meet such an attack, to face
it. I'm sure you've observed the general life in Iraq. You've been
here for a few days now. We hope that such a possibility doesn't take
place, but you've been here. You've been here for a few days, and
you've seen how the people live. They live normally. They get married.
They establish relationships. They visit each other. They visit their
They travel around Iraq. They are enjoying life in the manner that
life is provided. But at the same time, they also hear the
news...because the officials in the United States keep talking about
attacking Iraq, about the possibility of attacking Iraq, which is why
the people are in Iraq, which is only natural - that they get prepared
for such a possibility.
Even though, God Almighty invites us...and we hope that -- we pray to
him that -- the Americans will refrain from such an eventuality -- to
avoid both the Americans -- to spare the Americans from committing
such a mistake -- and also to spare Iraq and the Iraqi people from
being involved in such an experience. And those who would like to ride
the bandwagon of evil, it's up to them.
Rather: Are you afraid of being killed or captured?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Whatever Allah decides. We are
believers. We believe in what he decides. There is no value for any
life without imam, without faith. The believers, while taking caution
and care and trying to veer out and avoid any dangers and any traps
that may be prepared by his enemies, in order not to fall on them, the
believer still believes that what God decides is acceptable.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: When we were--
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Bear with me. I - my - my answers are
Rather: Mr. President, I have all night. (LAUGHTER)
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: When we were young, ordinary people
in... Iraq, before, the Iraqi people had suffered a lot of deprivation
and backwardness. People did not even find - many people did not even
Männliche Stimme: Are you satisfied with translation?
Rather: Yes, no, the translation is excellent. It's superb.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Did you - people - generally did not
even find - shoes to wear, in those days. And - people in the
countryside were deprived of most essential things in life. And people
even in the city were deprived of the most basic - requirements for a
decent life. For a simple life.
We, those days, decided to place ourselves to the service of our
people, and I'm not going to indulge in a story about what we did for
our people and the sacrifices that we made and the dangers that we
went through in order to insure for our people the dignity that our
people deserve, because this is a story well known, and I am not going
to indulge into that.
But in those days, we did not ask the question whether we were going
to live or die, but we simply relied on Allah and we moved ahead. We
relied on God because we decided that what Allah brought will be
The important thing, the basic thing, is that whatever Allah accepts
will be in the service of the people and now, after having achieved
all this march, having reached what we have reached, now we've become
leaders of the country. Some of my comrades are ministers and vice
presidents and the rest. We're not going to ask ourselves now whether
we should change our course or whether we should ask about life and
MALE VOICE: It's morally unacceptable to ask such a question.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: How could we ask such a question when
we, basically, as freedom fighters, did not ask it at the beginning?
The people accepted us and accepted the fact of our revolution and the
principles of our revolution, and they have committed themselves to
them. And I do not believe that any officials in this place now should
ask a question whether he's going to live or die.
The question should be how deeply in strength he remains to his
commitment to the people, to the basic principles from which we
proceeded. And whatever the will of God is, then the will of God will
be there. Nothing is going to change the will of God.
Männliche Stimme: (UNINTEL) to- to the - Iraqi people, and humanity in
Rather: I understand. Mr. President, Americans are very much concerned
about anyone's connections to Osama bin Laden. Do you have, have you
had, any connections to Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Is this the basis of the anxiety in the
minds of U.S. officials? Or is it the basis of anxiety in the minds of
the people of the United States?
Rather: Mr. President, I believe I can report accurately that it's a
major concern in the minds of the people in the United States.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: This issue, this topic did not
appear...amongst the concerns of U.S. officials until - that is, about
any relationship between Iraq and Osama bin Laden -- until recently.
That is when they realized that what they had been saying about Iraq
-- that Iraq was probably in possession of proscribed weapons of mass
destruction -- or that Iraq might have manufactured some of those
weapons after ....If that was the case, then that would be an
embarrassment to the United Nations.
Then they began talking about the possibility of Iraq having relations
with Osama bin Laden. Mr. Tony B- (GLITCH) actually asked me the same
question, when I (UNINTEL). And I answered him, and I will answer you
now very clearly. We have never had any relationship with Mr. Osama
bin Laden, and Iraq has never had any relationship with Al Qaeda. And
I think that Mr. Bin Laden himself has recently, in one of his
speeches, given such an answer -- that we have no relation with him.
Rather: Do you or do you not agree, in principle, with the attack of
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Let me tell you absolutely clearly: Our
principles are not just national or pan-Arab, but they are humane
principles. We believe in humanity. We believe that the world must
seek to find opportunities for peace, not opportunities for war or
opportunities for fighting or opportunities for venting or harming
others. These are principles in which we believed before we came to
power. And we started living on those principles and the message and
with our people when came to power. But we believe, in accordance with
what Allah has -- the Almighty, God Almighty -- has taught us, in the
same way that God has taught humanity as a whole -- and whatever
religion they may believe in -- that there must be a law governing
humanity and governing relations in humanity, that there should not be
an aggressor while others are silent about the aggression. There
should not be a killer while those who watch and applaud the killing.
There should not be an occupier of the land belonging to others while
there are those who keep quiet and never move to remove the
In brief, to sum up: We believe in the charter of the United States
(Editor's note: although the transcription says "United States," the
context suggests that Saddam, or the translator, may have meant to say
"United Nations".) and that gives us the right to say that when we are
aggressed. When we are aggressed against, it is our right to face up
to the aggression, to confront the aggression. And the charter of the
United Nations was not actually drafted by Muslims or the Muslim
nation. It was drafted by Christian nations, even though we believe in
it and we accept it and we go by its articles.
Rather: Mr. President, have you been offered asylum anywhere? And
would you, under any circumstances, consider going into exile to save
your people death and destruction?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: I can understand the motive behind your
question, which is excitement. This is a very American style, and...
it may not be liked by some, but I can understand. However, I will
answer your question. Thank you. I was born here in Iraq. And I was
born as a genuine (UNINTEL) believer.
I am proud to have been born fearing God, and I have taught my
children the value of history and the value of human stands - the
stands that are taken on the basis of imam, taken by men, taken by
everyone. The whole community, men and women.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: His Excellency also said that I have
been teaching my children the importance of -- he's proud to have been
born here and he taught his children the importance of -- extreme
importance of -- imam and that the part of our - her - imam heritage:
That we must maintain the honor of nationalism and pan-Arabism. The
importance of that is essential to the nation and to the Arab nation.
And now, I am also teaching this to my grandchildren....I have always
talked to the Iraqi people in this sense, since the days of our
underground freedom fighting. I believe that any official who talks to
his people and to others -- indeed, to humanity, in general, about
principles and being honest and genuine in what he says about -- will
not be -- will be very strange for him, once he's become in power, to
change his stand.
And then we can talk about how to protect himself. We do not change
our position. Our position is basic. We have been born in Iraq. This
is part of a glorious nation, a great Arab nation, and we have lived
here. God has blessed us with -- through the Iraqi people - with a
task and the responsibility that has brought us to this position and
that we will not change. As for those who talk about asylum--
Männliche Stimme: This is why we will also die in Iraq. Or, within the--
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: That is why, talking about asylum, we
will -- whoever decides to forsake his nation from whoever requests is
not true to the principles. We will die here. We will die in this
country, and we will maintain our honor, the honor that is required of
-- in front of our people.
You may have asked questions that maybe attribute to some excitement
to the press. But, let me ask you another exciting question. Let me
say something also exciting. I believe that whoever asks Saddam to -
or offers Saddam asylum in his own country - is, in fact, a person
without morals, because he will be directing an insult to the Iraqi
people, the Iraqi people who have chosen Saddam Hussein, unanimously,
to continue to lead the people of Iraq, and because he will be saying
to the people of Iraq, 'Let Saddam leave and leave you without
leadership.' Whoever offers such asylum.
And, after all, you talk and I understand, as a journalist, this may
be important for television. You talk, you ask such a question and, of
course, naturally, you seek an answer. But whoever believes in faith,
and faith that should not be manufactured by a foreign country...
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: (??)...It's mistaken. Fate is not made
by a foreign country. We believe in Allah, and Allah alone decides
what fate is going to be. However strong a country may be, however
powerful, they cannot change the will of other people. They cannot
destroy or direct the will of other people. I live here and we will
continue to defend our freedom. We live here in freedom, and our
people will continue to defend their freedom, their sanctity, their
honor and their country.
Rather: Again, I have plenty of time, Mr. President.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: You remember that in , when Mr. Tariq
Aziz, as Foreign Minister, had a meeting with Secretary James Baker --
that was in January in Geneva. Baker threatened Tariq Aziz with
something that he hoped that Tariq Aziz would bring back to...the
government of Iraq.
And the fact that was the United States was going to push Iraq back
into the pre-industrial age. And you remember that, I'm sure. The
American onslaught on Iraq continued for more than a month and a half,
using , warplanes with, of course, the Tomahawks hitting Iraq from
everywhere including the Naval, you know, naval ships and naval
And they used more than , helicopters, even though they did not
destroy Iraq. They did not push Iraq, as they have threatened, to the
They destroyed bridges, they destroyed churches, mosques, colleges,
buildings, plants. They destroyed places, houses, palaces. They killed
people, and elderly, but they did not push Iraq back into the
The Iraqis have subsequently reconstructed everything in determination
and having relied on Allah, the Almighty. And then they began, after
that, talking about Iraq having -- that is, after UNSCOM had been
withdrawn from Iraq on instruction from the U.S. government, they
began talking about Iraq...
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: They began talking about Iraq possibly
having produced WMD, weapons of mass destruction, after and that they
have information or data to that effect. We have said that Iraq has
not produced any such weapons. What does that mean? It means that what
they had threatened with -- pushing Iraq back into the pre-industrial
age - had not actually taken place, that they could not do that to
Iraq, what they had threatened Iraq with in - through Baker in - had
not taken place. So nobody can metamorphosis. Nobody can sort of take
Iraq apart. That is not fair to the will of Allah, and it's not fair
to the people of Iraq who are facing the difficulties in resolve and
through serious work and through creativity.
We hope that war will not take place, but if war is forced upon us,
then Iraq will continue to be here, will continue to be there. This
country, with a history of over , years, this country, the cradle of
the first civilizations for humanity, will not finish just like that,
even though a huge power may want it to be like that.
Nobody should accept that Iraq will finish in such a way despite the
will of the (UNINTEL).
Rather: Mr. President, you're being very patient with your time, and I
want you to know I consider this a solemn moment in history, and, if I
may, take time to have you speak to the American people about
questions that I know are on their minds. I just want you to know that
I appreciate your patience here.
Question: You mentioned, and 'and the Gulf War.' You fought the
father, George Bush the first. He and the forces he led prevailed on
the battlefield. Now you face the son who has an even greater, even
more modern, even more lethal military force aimed directly at your
(UNINTEL). Why would you think that you could prevail this time on the
battlefield? Or do you?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: You know that in both situations, then
and now, we have not crossed our borders and gone across the Atlantic
to commit aggression against the United States, neither by air or by
land or by sea. We are (UNINTEL) people and officials in Iraq -
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: The officials of the United States have
themselves spoken about their intentions to commit aggression against
Iraq. Isn't it part of our responsibility and our actions and our
morality and, in fact, the basic meanings of faith that we should say
to the aggressor that once you commit aggression against us, we are
not going to succumb. And if we were to reverse the question and ask
any American, any American citizens, any good, honest American citizen
in his own country, including Mr. Rather himself, and we say to him,
in any subsequent period or state, if another power, another force
were to come across the Atlantic to commit a great aggression against
the United States, will you do nothing?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Let me answer.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: I say to the honest Americans that if
such a thing happens, do not capitulate, do not give in. You have to
defend your country, defend your family and your honor. Do not commit
aggression against us. And, as you know, we have not committed any
aggression against the United States. The United States intelligence
(UNINITEL) against our country, our people, our children.
I am speaking now with you, and maybe airplanes, warplanes, American
warplanes, are flying over Iraqi air space, over south or north, and
dropping ammunition, weapons that...are destroying property, property
belonging to our citizens, our population -- either private property
or public property, because public property also belongs to the
people. This is happening daily.
So when such a law is wished to prevail in the world, to govern the
world, whether it's in possession of huge powers and has the right to
destroy others or to control others and then you have to accept their
control or their domination, such a law does not possess the basics,
the most basic elements or ingredients of morality and the most basic
ingredients of faith, whichever this power might be. Regardless of
this power, this state of affairs will be the law of the jungle, and
we are people who believe in our destiny and we will not accept any
law of the jungle. It is our duty, it is our responsibility to defend
our country, to defend our children, to defend our people, and we are
not going to succumb, neither to the United States nor to any other
Even if such a power, however strong as you describe it, even if this
power is multiplied by whatever amount or size more than it is now,
then we will continue to defend ourselves, to fight such a power if
they attack because defeat comes only from God Almighty.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: With one exception. Might be important
to you and the American people. In 1991 Iraq was not defeated. In
fact, our Army withdrew from Kuwait according to a decision taken by
us. Yes, it withdrew and -But when we were back within our boundaries,
the boundaries of Iraq, the Iraqi Army was not defeated. Nor was the
people of Iraq.
Iraq was not defeated in 1991. And you will remember that the
(UNINTEL) were published, talking about the battles, especially the
tank battles that took place in the south, near Basra., and how Bush,
the father, came out on a - Mr. Bush. Mr. Bush.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: I actually want to take time to explain
to you that we're always gentle, we refer to people as gentle.
Rather: I understand when he calls him Mr. Bush.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Yes.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: When Khomeini died, bless his soul, and
when I heard about his death, the Minister of Information at the time,
do not gloat over the death of Khomeini. It is the law of God. That is
the law of Allah. Let me tell you, in jest, I didn't used to say Mr.
Bush when I addressed him when he was in power. But when -- as soon as
he left power - I -- whenever I have referred to him, I refer to him
as Mr. Bush. And in any case - And in any case, the law of faith says
even your enemy, you have to respect his humanity. For that reason
that I refer to Mr. Bush.
Rather: I understand now.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: So when Mr. Bush came out--
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: The father came out in his dawn speech,
or his speech at dawn, declaring cease fire without preconditions -
except for the pre-conditions that if their forces are attacked, they
will respond in kind -- he-- it was his decision to -- to -
Rather: Cease fire.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: To stop the fighting. And,
consequently, Iraq was not defeated. Therefore, Iraq was not defeated.
Rather: Mr. President, respectfully, a lot of Americans are going to
hear that and say, what is this man talking about, as all of those
Iraqi tanks coming out of Kuwait with the turrets knocked out
indicated a beaten army on the battlefield. There's no joy in my
saying that. But the point is I'm asking you to explain what you mean
that you were not defeated in the - war, because I can report to you
with accuracy that, overwhelmingly, the American people believe that
that was a resounding defeat for you and for Iraq.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Let me answer this. You know the
(UNINTEL) of Mr. Bush's father, senior. You also know why he repeated
his attacks later on against us. I'll be happy to hear the President's
view as to why that was true. Why did Mr. Bush, the father, when he
was President of the United States - Why did he repeat his attacks on
us if we had been defeated? Totally defeated? When there is a military
conflict, there is forward and backward. You push forward--
When there is military conflict, you push forward and you retreat and
then we saw that when Bush the father and President (BREAK IN TAPE)
against us during (BREAKS IN TAPE) Once we saw that whole front
against us--(BREAKS IN TAPE) - a military operation against us on the
ground against our country, against our people, against our army, we
realized that we must take action to--
(BREAK IN TAPE)
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Twenty-eight armies against us. Losing
the confusion of (BREAK IN TAPE) When there is military conflict, you
push forward and you can retreat. And when we saw that Bush the
father, the President, had mobilized armies against us, using the
confusion of countries and that onslaught against us, once we saw that
whole front against us-
The whole, the whole world, in fact, collaborating in a military
operation against us on the ground, against our country, against our
people, against our army, we realized that we must take action to -
Until we took the decision to (UNINTEL) forces, and throughout a whole
month and a half of fierce fighting, we had not lost more than percent
-- that is the highest percentage of loss in any (UNINTEL) battlefield
concerning our units involved in this war.... So we withdrew our
forces inside Iraq in order that we may be able to continue fighting
inside our country.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: And we continued to fight.
(BREAK IN TAPE)
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: And the tanks that fought us around
Basra, near Basra were defeated. And this is confirmed in writing that
have been published by military people.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: And then we had - Then we had the
statement made by Mr. Bush, the statement about which he didn't
consult -- he hadn't consulted any of his allies, the coalition
involved in the fighting -- that the fighting, that the war had
achieved it's objective and that he was now stopping it.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Without pre-conditions. Without
pre-conditions. So we have not lost the war. And we were not defeated.
You know that the fighting that went on continued -- between us and
Iran -- continued for eight years. Iran lost battles to us and we lost
battles to them. But how do you calculate things? You measure things
by the final results.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: If I may continue.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: The United States can destroy - but the
question is, why should America destroy? And why should America
generate hostility - the hostility of the world -- towards the United
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Did the Americans obtain the weapons in
order to control and dominate the world? Or did those (UNINTEL) and
the taxpayers (UNINTEL). Did they do that in order to control the
world?... (UNINTEL) the USA. I believe that the scientists of the
United States and the people of the United States and the taxpayers of
the United States, when they paid that, when they supported that, that
was for the basic defense of the United States. Is it right? Is it
right? Is it acceptable that anybody, any official, anyone in power,
once he is in possession of a weapon, then he should go and take that
weapon to destroy other people?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: (UNINTEL) because those who are being
destroyed are saying that God is our-- Allah is our God, and that we
believe in that. And that we must defend ourselves, and defend our
right to dignity, and to live in peace and to live in dignity and
freedom. What did Iraq threaten the United States with? Iraq has not
committed any aggressive against the United States. Nor, nobody in
Iraq. Neither an official nor anybody in Iraq says that the United
States is our enemy. Or that-- we-- we-- we must fight the United
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Or the American people are our enemy.
Is it acceptable, that anybody--
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Is it acceptable that anybody with
power should go and destroy others? Or anybody who is being pushed or
urged by big companies or multinational companies, should go to
dominate others and destroy them? Mr. Rather, you are a man of
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: You know that battle is not over
until-- and only when the guns are stopped - When the national will of
the people completely succumbs to all that the aggressor wants to see
done. Air supremacy and missile supremacy is not enough. But in the
final analy-- analysis, the guns will continue to tell the tale of a
courageous people, defending with its own fighters, its own (UNINTEL).
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: And in fact, a tale about the--
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: The - the - not because the people of
Iraq want to - fight the - the United States. But this is a decision
made by the people-- of Iraq. That they will maintain their role as
people who believe in their role. And they will commit themselves,
continue committing themselves to this role, and-- the role that makes
them respect themselves as much as they respect others, and respect
So, let us try. For all the people. And pray to Allah, to give people
the faith. That will spare them committing harm against others. That
will spare them--
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: - to be practiced against them.
Rather: Mr. President, Vice President Cheney, Vice President Richard
Cheney of the United States says that if and when an American-led Army
comes into Iraq, it will be greeted with music. It will be treated as
a Army of liberation. If Americans are not to believe that, why should
they not believe that?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: If the Iraqi Army were to go to cross
the Atlantic, and (UNINTEL) the United States-- would (UNINTEL)
receive them -
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: There and any other (UNINTEL).
(SKIP IN TAPE)
Rather: Vice President Richard Cheney of the United States says that
if and when an American-led army comes into Iraq, it will be greeted
with music. It will be treated as a Army of liberation. If Americans
are not to believe that, why should they not believe that?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: If the Iraqi Army were to go to cross
the Atlantic and occupy the United States-- would (UNINTEL) receive--
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: There, and any other (UNINTEL).
(GLITCHES, SKIPS IN TAPE)
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: The Iraqi Army were to go to cross the
Atlantic, and occupy the United States, would (UNINTEL) receive them -
there, and any other (UNINTEL).
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: I - I believe it is not - acceptable,
from any official, or-- politician, to say such a thing. Because when
he says it, morally speaking, he is in fact, (GLITCH).
(GLITCHES, SKIPS IN TAPE)
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: I - I believe it is not-- acceptable
for any official or-- politician, to say such a thing. Because when he
says it, morally speaking, he is in fact telling his own people that
they should be prepared one-- when it comes. To greet-- occupying
armies with music. If it so happens, (UNINTEL).
(GLITCHES, SKIPS IN TAPE)
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: I - I believe it is not - acceptable,
from any official or - politician, to say such a thing. Because when
he says it, morally speaking, he is in fact telling his own people
that they should be prepared one-- when it comes, to greet-- occupying
armies with music. If it so happens.
(GLITCHES, SKIPS IN TAPE)
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: - his own people that they should be
prepared, one-- when it comes, to greet-- occupying armies with music,
if it so happens (UNINTEL). That's why I believe a-- absolutely, that
there's no-- Iraqi whatsoever, who will-- welcome any American, if
that American individual is here in the-- in this capacity, as an
occupation force. Or as an occupier.
But all Iraqis will, as they do, welcome all Americans. That is why
now you are here, you see that you're being welcomed. Even though you
come from a company that is threatening to attack Iraq. Haven't you
seen the welcome, the kind of welcome with which you've b-- you've
been received? Even though people know that you are--
Männliche Stimme: By officials and (UNINTEL).
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: By officials and the ordinary citizens.
You can roam about in the town. But if an American soldier is here,
trying to roam around and-- walk about as an occupier, he will not
be-- he will not be received in-- in this way. He will not be able to
do that, in fact.
So, as long as you're not a soldier, an occupying force, you are a
guest. And a guest is always treated with the respect and (UNINTEL).
(SKIP IN TAPE)
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Long answer, (UNINTEL). But-- and--
(OVERTALK) Any American, or the-- any other person-- any other. If
they want to know the real position of the Iraqi people, the reality
about the Iraqi position, they must ask themselves these questions. In
Männliche Stimme: Five questions.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: In , the Iraqi people elected Saddam
Hussein for the position of President of Iraq. And in -- and-- , they
re-elected him to the same position. And the percentage of the voting
in both elections were respectively, -point--
Männliche Stimme: Six.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: - something.
Männliche Stimme: Six.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Point-six percent. And percent, in
both-- in those two elections.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: percent. Now, this percentage, I know,
may sound very strange to you. May sound strange to you, because
you're not used to that. And I can understand that you may find that
But even if you take out whatever portion you want to take out of
that, then the ratio would remain a high percentage in favor of
electing-- re-electing-- President Saddam Hussein to (UNINTEL).
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Of course, in the West, observers
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: No - no suspicion. No suspect comment
w-- was made about the validity of the voting. And - Because
journalists were invited from all over the world, to go around the
polling stations. They actually stood near the polling boxes, and they
looked at the papers. They saw people actually doing it, and saying
"Yes," and not saying any other thing.
Männliche Stimme: That was - was (UNINTEL) the last-- elections. (UNINTEL)
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: And of course-- that-- those elections
were done, in the Gulf War, and the embargo. And the - the blockade.
Now, what does that mean? It means that the Iraqis have decided to
take a-- a national, a patriotic stand. Under the circumstance of war,
and circumstance of the blockade. In order to say to the foreign
powers that are threatening Iraq, "It is we, the people of Iraq, who
decide our way, and who decide our faith and our will, not you,
telling us what to do."
But - and - let me say that if this election was taken place not under
the circumstances or condition of war, or-- the blockade, or the-- the
embargo, maybe the percentage will not be the same. But this tells you
something about the behavior of the Iraqi people. So, if you want to
know how the Iraqi people will behave, or usually behave, you need to
look at the elections, and how they behaved during those elections,
and how they decided something.
Männliche Stimme: When - when they are attacked by a foreigner, who wants to
deprive them of their honor, sovereignty, and (UNINTEL).
Rather: I understand. Mr. President, if it's necessary for you to
forgive me, I hope that you'll forgive me. But I have a couple of -
sort of clean-up questions that I'm not clear about. Number one. Will
the new proposed United Nations resolution, the one that's just out
this week - will this make any difference at all in your position?
The basic-- the basic position, there is no change. We - will continue
committing ourselves to the resolutions of the Secur-- And the
inspectors came, and they have seen for ourselves that what we have
said before has - That they have-- that what we've said is true. We
have not pr-- pursued any weapons of mass destruction.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: And have come.. So, what do they want
to issue new resolutions about now?
Rather: So basically, no change in your position.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: We've (UNINTEL) in our position as yet.
We do not compromise our independence. Or our dignity and our freedom.
And at the same time, we will continue to commit ourselves to what has
been decided by the Security Council. If new resolutions that are
adopted by the Security Council which may infringe upon our dignity,
our freedom - Then the position towards such a resolution will be the
same, in-- in line with our previous positions.
Rather: And-- and I wanted to ask again, so I'm perfectly clear-- you
do not intend to destroy your Al Samoud missiles. The missiles--
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Al Samoud.
Rather: Yeah. Al Samoud missiles. You do not intend to destroy those.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: The-- the missiles you mean, which are
within the range of the UN--
(SKIP IN TAPE)
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: - 50 kilometers. You mean, those
Rather: I mean, the missiles that Hans Blix says that he wants a
commitment from you that they will be destroyed.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: No violation has been made by Iraq to
anything decided by the United Nations. If - what is meant here is to
review or, the resolutions of the Security Council, the resolutions
that stipulate that Iraq is allowed to produce missiles with a range
of kilometers-- if the intention is to rewrite those resolutions, then
we will be entering a new framework. A framework in which the United
States will be made to forsake its own position.
And (UNINTEL) its own resolutions, and take a new road towards harming
Iraq. And-- for-- intending to violate the-- (UNINTEL) position,
violate the sovereignty of Iraq.
Männliche Stimme: And (UNINTEL)-- and violating the-- the very-- same
resolutions of-- adopted by the Security Council.
Rather: Mr. President, I know you've been very patient with your time.
Let me go through a short list of additional things. If-- if there is
an invasion, will you set fire to the oil fields? Will you blow the
damns? Or your reservoirs of water, to resist the invasion?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: We have answered - We have answered the
hypotheses. I've answered the hypothesis. But to indulge in the
details-- Iraq does not burn its wealth. Its (UNINTEL).
And-- it does not destroy its-- dams. We hope that, however, that this
question is not meant-- as an insinuation, so that the Iraqi dams and
the Iraqi oil wells will be destroyed by those who will invade Iraq,
in their possible invasion of the country.
Iraq does not destroy its dams or its oil. Iraq protects, defends,
maintains those resources, in order to improve life. And in order to
And during the war with Iran - Iran used water to fight us. And did
not destroy - the dams. We used water, and we didn't - did not destroy
Rather: Mr. President, I hope you will take this question in the
spirit in which it's asked. First of all, I regret that I do not speak
Arabic. Do you speak any-- any English at all?
Rather: That's (UNINTEL) This American Life story.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: I am sorry, because I... Yes. But, I do
not speak English - fluently. But I can understand, to-- by a certain
degree. The English when spoken.
Rather: Well, would you speak some English for me? Anything you
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: My language is Arabic.
Rather: I understand. Mr. President, again, you've been patient with
your time. What is the most important thing you want the p - American
people to understand? What's the most important thing you want the
American people to understand, at this important juncture of history?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: First... Convey to them that the people
of Iraq is not an enemy of the American people. It is only-- people of
Iraq are only opposed to the policy of the United States government,
administration, against the people of the world, including the people
of Iraq. Iraq hopes and looks forward to living in peace, and in fact,
hopes and prays for all others, all peoples of the world, including
people of the United States, to live in peace and to live in respect.
And-- respect amongst all people.
Männliche Stimme: (UNINTEL) respect the will of others.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: If-- the American people-- would like
to know the facts for what they are, or as they are, through a direct
dialogue, then I am ready to conduct a direct dialogue with the
President of the United States, President Bush, on television. I will
say whatever I have to say-- about American policy. He will have-- the
opportunity to say whatever he has to say about policy of Iraq. And
this will be in front of all people, and-- on television, in a
direct--uncensored - hon - honest manner. In front of, as I said,
And then they will see what the facts are, and where falsehoods are.
And I would not object to see this dialogue conducted on-- by-- by Mr.
Rather: Are you speaking about a debate?
Rather: This - this is new. You-- you are suggesting, you are saying,
that you are willing, you are suggesting, you're urging a debate with
President Bush? On television?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Yes. That's my proposal.
Rather: Well, that's an interesting (UNINTEL).
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: The American people, as we see on films
- are great. On films, we see that the Americans, when they are
challenged for a duel, they will not-- decline the - the offer. As the
Arabs would - would (UNINTEL). We are not asking for a duel. But... We
are proposing that we should (UNINTEL) support the Americans, and - We
are asking for a - a - a - an opportunity to be seen by the Americans,
the Iraqis, and all of the people in the world in a debate that is
shown on television, between myself and Mr. Bush, directly, to be
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: This will be - This will be an
opportunity for him, if he is committed to-- to war, and if he has
decided to-- commit to wage war, this will be an opportunity for him,
if he's convinced-- to-- to convince the world. If he's convinced in
his own position, this will be an opportunity for him to convince the
world that he is right in taking such a dec-- (GLITCH). It could also
be an opportunity for us - To - tell the world our own side of the
story. And why we want to live in peace, and in security.
I believe that it is the right of the American people, the Iraqi
people, and the world, of honor. Which makes it incumbent-- incumbent
upon us to say what we have (UNINTEL), so that-- they-- they will be
clear about-- our position.
Don't you call for the truth to be released in the United States? This
is how we hear. This is... And what we read, from-This is what we read
and hear about the American philosophers, and (UNINTEL)--
In their books, and even in their movies.... So, why should we hide
from the people? So, why should we discredit ourselves? Why should not
we-- why shouldn't we disclose ourselves to the people? We as
President - President of the United States, and President of Iraq, in
front of our people.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: (UNINTEL) invite... Then we will either
go (UNINTEL) to peace, to choose the path of peace, which is what we
look for, and hope-- Then we will spare both our people the harm and
the loss. Or otherwise, the-- whoever wants to decide anything other
than peace, then he will have to convince his own people, with
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: This is the-- the gist of my proposal,
Rather: This is not a joke.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: No, this is something proposed in
earnest. This is proposed out of my respect for the public opinion of
the United States. And it is out of my respect to the people of the
United States. And to the people of Iraq. And in-- out of my respect
to mankind in general. Humanity at large. I call for this, because war
itself is not a joke. Whoever chooses war as the first choice in his
life, then he is not a normal person. I think the - the debates would
be an opportunity for us to insure peace and safety. Then, why don't
Why don't we - Why don't we choose to talk, in which we will be
respecting our people, as two-- as the two highest authorities in our
countries. The two needed to take the decisions, on the basis of their
own-- you know, decision-making apparatus.
Here in Iraq, we have our own apparatus, for reaching those decisions.
And we know that in the United States, you have your own system. But
we, as the leaders of the two countries, why don't we use this
opportunity in a debate, so that-- we can show our respect to both our
peoples, and to humanity. And then each of us can take the decision
that h-- h-- he or - decides to take, according to what goes on.
Rather: Mr. President, where would this debate take place, that you
imagine-- what would be the venue?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: It will be in a place, as President of
the United States, and Saddam Hussein will be in a place as President
of Iraq. And then the debate can be conducted through satellite.
Rather: Oh. So, a satellite television debate. Live.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: And if Mr. Bush has another proposal, a
counterproposal with the same basic idea then we're prepared to listen
to such a proposal.
Rather: Would you be prepared to come to the United Nations for this
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: The basic thing is that as far as
debate to be heard in the natural, normal-- in a (UNINTEL) accurate
manner. In the United Nations, voices are not heard. Not always. And I
do not mean that I go and I make a speech at the United Nations and
then that Bush will make his speech at the United Nations. That is not
what I mean. What I mean is that we sit-- as we are sitting, you and
I, now as-- Here is-- I will address questions to him and he will
address questions to me. The position of Iraq and he will - the
position of the United States.
He will explain why - `I will (UNINTEL) go to war.' I will explain why
we are insistent on peace and we want to maintain peace. And we
maintain our (UNINTEL).
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Those people in the United States also
- and other people will (UNINTEL).
Without make-up. Without - Without editing. Without - Without -
Without prepared speeches which-- which (UNINTEL) do not listen to.
The people like listening to live debates. Live debates between--
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: I believe people listen to
psychological (UNINTEL) about people in the United States (UNINTEL).
That they like to see live debate amongst people with - proof and
Rather: Well, this surprises me. I want to make sure I understand.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: That this debate should be-- shown--
Rather: A live international debate via satellite--
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: That's it. A live, direct debate
Rather: How did this-- who-- who would moderate this debate?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Any (UNINTEL) that you can moderate.
Rather: With respect, Mr. President, I have (UNINTEL) other problems.
I've got enough problems already. But I--
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: That's another (UNINTEL PHRASE)....
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: - the responsibility of - The
responsibility of displaying the truth as-- as an outstanding man of
the media-- to carry out this responsibility is something that is on--
of course you will do that while maintain - when you can play the
truth he'll be sparing people many-- a lot of harm.
Rather: Well-- first of all, I want to be serious that I-- I
appreciate-- your confidence - Mr. President. I'm pausing because I'm
tempted to ask a favor of the president. (Editor's note: Rather is
referring to Saddam Hussein) He has surprised me. I wonder for my good
health if he could denounce me? (LAUGHTER)
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Denounce you?
Rather: (LAUGHTER) Well, I - I think this is -
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: I met you in 1990. And I'm meeting you
now. We have not met-- We are not partners in any enterprise or any -
not competing with any people for any other - So this is the basics
Rather: I understand. (UNINTEL) I appreciate your remembering that we
met in 1990. And I interviewed you in this great building. Given the
sober moment and the danger at hand, what are the chances this is the
last time you and I will see each other?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: You want me to say what I truly believe
as it is?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Basics-- basis is that (UNINTEL PHRASE)
decides the destiny of man. But--and - God almighty says also that it
is incumbent upon man to do what should be done on the ground. Then it
is there that I can see-- it is now that I can see that (UNINTEL) we
have other meetings. No matter what happens. And I hope that Iraq and
the United States, the people of Iraq and the United States will live
in security and in peace. And in mutual interests, national interests
without harm caused by any side to (UNINTEL).
Rather: Mr. President, you say that knowing that (UNINTEL) on your
brother is a tremendous armada ready to deliver destruction and awe.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Yes, I understand and I hear and I see.
(UNINTEL) find out will be decided - God almighty--Through the Iraqi
people here in Iraq and in Baghdad. I do not-- I'm not (UNINTEL) to
the destiny of the Americans - in the United States. I'm just talking
about the destiny of the Iraqi - And the fate of any aggression
committed against the Iraqis while they are in their country.
Rather: I have one last question, Mr. President. Not so long ago, you
were clearly hailed by Arabs from Palestinians to Jordanians
throughout the Arab world as the great Arab Avenger. Are you still
relevant on the Arab street? Or has Osama bin Laden made you what
other Arabs irrelevant? If you can understand the question. Thank you.
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: This is not our objective. This is not
what we seek. It's-- the question is not a personal-- question. What
we seek is the gratification of Allah, God almighty. And the
satisfaction within our conscience and also the satisfaction of our
people and of our-- of our nation. When we-- present ourselves as-- to
our people, we seek the satisfaction of humanity at large also.
And - and we hope that humanity will understand our principles as they
are. But-- and not as they are falsified or misrepresented by others.
This is the basis of-- (BREAK IN SOUND) And we hope that humanity will
understand our principles as they are. But-- and not as they are
falsified or misrepresented by others. This is the basis of our
endeavor. We seek the satisfaction of our people, people of our
(BREAK IN SOUND) This is not our objective. This is not what we seek.
It's-- the question is not a personal-- question. What we seek is the
gratification of Allah, God almighty. And the satisfaction within our
conscience and also the satisfaction of our people and of our-- of our
nation. When we-- present ourselves to our people, we seek the
satisfaction of humanity at large also.
And-- and we hope that humanity will understand our principles as they
are. But - and not as they are falsified or misrepresented by others.
This is the basis of our endeavor. We seek the satisfaction of our
people, people of our nation and - (BREAK IN SOUND) And not as they
are falsified or misrepresented by others. This is the basis of our
endeavor. We seek the satisfaction of our people. People of our
nation-- (BREAK IN SOUND) Or speak of heroes here and there. The basic
thing (UNINTEL) is for something to be said that--(BREAK IN SOUND)
person has been - honest and true to his nation. And that is a
(UNINTEL) forever. (BREAK IN SOUND) heroes or speak of heroes here and
there. The basic thing, maybe, is for something - (BREAK IN SOUND)
nation. And that is a right for every citizen in any nation. To seek
to be described as a true citizen of the nation.
Rather: (UNINTEL PHRASE) not agree that Osama bin Laden is now--
(BREAK IN SOUND)
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: to seek to be described as a true
citizen of the nation.
Rather: He does or does not agree that Osama bin Laden is now - the
champion of the Arab streets?
(BREAK IN TAPE)
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: --or speak of heroes here or there. The
basic thing, maybe, is for-- something to be said that this person--
(BREAK IN SOUND) honest and true-- (BREAK IN SOUND) and that is a
right for every citizen in any nation. To seek--
(BREAK IN TAPE)
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: --as a true citizen of the nation.
Rather: So he does or does not agree that - (BREAK IN SOUND) is now--
(BREAK IN TAPE)
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: - as a true citizen of the nation.
Rather: So he does or does not agree that Osama bin Laden is now-- the
champion of the Arab streets?
(BREAK IN TAPE)
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: - humanity will understand our
principles as they are. But-- and not as they are falsified or
misrepresented by others. This is the basis of our endeavor. We seek
the satisfaction of our people, people of our nation. And we do not
talk-- we-- we seek-- we do not seek personal satisfaction that we are
heroes or speak of heroes here and there.
The basic thing, maybe, is for - something to be said that this person
has been honest and true to his nation. And that is a right for every
citizen in any nation. To seek to be described as a true citizen of
Rather: So he does or does not agree that Osama bin Laden is now-- the
champion of the Arab streets?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: How do you see yourself? I am pleased
when I see that according to the principles in which we believe that--
in the sense that one is true--
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: I believe - I believe you are teaching
(UNINTEL) truth and not trying to - indulge any sensation... detract
someone as-- detract the speaker from-- into saying that he doesn't
want to say. I do not believe that this is what you see.
Rather: This is not true?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: Yes.
Rather: Is-- did the answer finish?
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: No, it's not. (OFF-MIKE CONVERSATION)
So - the - we are - pleased to see people true to these principles of
- of the nation. In the same way as you would be happy to see people
true to your principles emerging in the United States. As the heroes,
the champions of peace - there and they become more and the champions
of freedom are there and become more. And the champions of production
and improvement and (UNINTEL) become more.
We're all pleased for it. And the basic objective is to remove
injustice from-- imposed on our nation. See how the Palestinians are
being treated. See how they're being killed. See how their houses are
destroyed. See how their property is being destroyed without anybody
trying to do anything to redress justice and to-- to save them from
what they're-- suffering. If you, in the United States, see Osama bin
Laden as a champion then we are not jealous of him. If our nation sees
him as a champion, we are not jealous of him.
As you proposed in your question maybe. Jealousy is not a trait of
man. Jealousy is a trait maybe of women but that is another - in that
- in that very special-- trait. It's a very special trait. Men do not
have jealousy especially if this competition is competition there in
the interests of the nation and the-- and (UNINTEL PHRASE).
Rather: Mr. President, you've been so patient with your time. I
appreciate you (UNINTEL). And I'm gonna--
Übersetzer von Saddam Hussein: I'm happy. And I hope to see you in the
future. I hope--
Rather: I would like very much to see you in the future, Mr.