Hussein stands his ground


Speech: Threatened by U.S. military action, the Iraqi leader remains defiant. `You will never defeat me' he vows.

July 18, 2002

Iraq's President Saddam Hussein apparently had President Bush on his mind yesterday when he made a televised speech to the people of Iraq, marking the country's national day.

Bush, who accuses Iraq of sponsoring terrorism and producing and stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, has been making it clear he wants to see Saddam out of power.

And Saddam has been making it clear - as he did in his speech yesterday - that he has no intention of going anywhere.

"The wind will blow away foreign rattling as the noise of an evil tyrant," Saddam said.

Here are excerpts of the speech, on the occasion of the 34th anniversary of Iraq's revolution of July 17 to July 30. The translation of the speech was published by the Iraqi mission to the United Nations:

Temmuz [the July anniversary] returns to say to all evil tyrants and oppressors of the world: You will never defeat me this time. Never! Even if you come together from all over the world, and invite all the devils as well, to stand by you, support or incite you. ...

My brothers [addressing the nation], you are the wound of my soul whenever you are wounded or hurt by a foreign power or its lackeys; you are most precious to me and to every man of honor and courage, as you ably confront injustice and aggression, refusing to allow the arrows of the tyrant and his stooges to touch your spirit, your determination, your conviction, your stand, your will and your loyalty.

My brothers, my sons, my soul; you who are true to the bond and the holy struggle in Iraq, Palestine and the larger Arab homeland, or wherever you might be in its arenas, we are recalling with you your revolution, celebrating the beginnings of its march and the great meanings carried by those who believed in its road, and allowing our imaginations to take us to the realms of its meanings.

Your revolution, in all its triumphs and at all levels of its sublime meanings, and in your satisfaction in it, reflects your values, and those of your strong, resilient, heroic and loyal people, the glorious people of faithful believers in Iraq. Whenever your revolution has fallen short in any aspect which you might have wished to see happen otherwise, then its excuse is the fact that it has been true to its objectives; and success comes only from Allah. ...

The other matter which I do not think we shall differ on is that the growing distance, in other experiences and further examples, between the march and the time of its start, forces the requirements and circumstances of politics to take precedence over the requirements of the principles, and over the adherence to, and application of, these principles.

I do not want to burden you with more details, dear brothers. It is important, to stress, however, that we refused to become merely a regime or a government, only slightly or relatively distinguished from previous regimes in our great Arab homeland. ...

Our decisive criterion, when there are various alternatives and versions in front of us, is not the modest picture, but the highest and purest state; while our criterion, once an ideal example is difficult to produce from our principles, will be the examples of our great nation at the advent of Islam as well as any other great example from subsequent eras.

Is this not what you observe and can identify in the course of your great revolution, in accordance with its principles? Is it not my duty to draw your attention to this fact, so that you will be more reassured that your march remains genuine, responsive to your interests and principles in a balanced manner, and immune against deviation; that it will not succumb to, or be shaken by, the propaganda of foreign powers; that the wind will blow away foreign rattling as the noise of an evil covetous tyrant, the enemy of Allah; and that Iraq will emerge eventually triumphant. Indeed, Iraq is already triumphant, with Allah's grace. ...

And the people of Palestine will achieve victory; indeed, they are already victorious through the stands taken by every Palestinian man and woman, and through their great sacrifices and their readiness to give more.

The others need only to realize and learn the lesson, and know that the principles, high interests and national and pan-Arab security cannot be protected without sacrifices relative to their value and significance; sacrifices that will bring honor to our people and nation, and stand out as landmarks of honor, remembrance and historical memory. All positions taken in isolation of the principles can only be a rotten grave providing those who adopt them nothing, both in this life and in the next. ...

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