Saddam is warned: We'd nuke Baghdad
By TREVOR KAVANAGH
[The SUN, UK, 19 Sept}:
AMERICA will NUKE Baghdad if Saddam Hussein dares unleash weapons of mass destruction, it emerged last night.
The chilling warning to Iraq was revealed by former Tory Premier John Major, who led Britain in the 1991 Gulf War.
During that conflict, allied forces were armed with “battlefield” nuclear weapons and prepared to use them in a counter attack, he said.
Saddam was privately warned his capital would be obliterated if he used weapons of mass destruction against allied troops or Middle East targets — including Israel.
And senior security sources last night confirmed Saddam has been warned AGAIN of the consequences if he breaks the ban on using terror weapons.
Mr Major wrote of the Gulf War: “In private, Saddam Hussein received an unmistakable warning about the immediate and catastrophic consequences for Iraq of any such attack on civilians.
“I knew that if he did use these diabolical weapons we would have to escalate our response to bring the war to a speedy and conclusive end before too many of our troops were exposed to them.”
Prepared ... Israeli missiles yesterday
Mr Major yesterday supported renewed action but raised questions about the way a cornered Saddam might lash out.
He said: “On this occasion we will specifically be going to war in order to replace the Iraqi regime. Saddam will be gone.
“He will be dead, he will be in prison, or he will be in exile. Would he try to create maximum chaos? Would he seek to use weapons of mass destruction?
“Would he use them on oil fields in the Middle East to create economic chaos? Would he pass them to terrorist groups, would he — perhaps the worst nightmare of all — try to use them on an adjacent capital?
“We can largely protect against that, do not press me on how, we can protect against that.”
Saddam targeted Jerusalem with 39 Scud missiles in 1991 — killing two and injuring hundreds — in an attempt to drag Israel into the fighting.
He had chemical and biological warheads too but chose not to use them in the face of America’s warning.
Yesterday Israeli forces moved Patriot missile launchers — which take out incoming rockets — into position in case Saddam targets them again.
Pressure was building on Iraq as a British ex-UN official warned that sending in weapons inspectors is a “no-win” move because Saddam would hide his arsenal.
Tim Trevan, an expert on biological weapons, said: “I don’t think sending in weapons inspectors is a good idea, but it may be a necessary thing to do because of the political situation.
“We know he had anthrax and botulinum toxin and we know he had nerve gases.
“We never found all his equipment and he’s had four years to build new production facilities underground. The job of finding them would be nigh on impossible.”
Peace demo as
Rumsfeld rallies hawks
When you've quite finished ... cool Rumsfeld
smiles as protesters interrupt on Capitol Hill
From BRIAN FLYNN
in New York
STRAIGHT-TALKING US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was interrupted by peace protesters yesterday as he laid out the case against Saddam.
He was forced to halt a speech to Congressmen when three people sitting a few feet behind him jumped up, unfurled banners and began chanting: “UN inspections, not war.”
Unflappable Rumsfeld, who leads the hawks keen to take on Saddam, smiled wryly at the massive security breach.
The Armed Services Committee session on Washington’s Capitol Hill was suspended while guards seized the protesters.
As they were led out, chairman Bob Stump quipped: “Mr Secretary, we will put them down as undecided.”
Mr Rumsfeld then said the US was taking on Iraq to protect the very freedom of speech the protesters used.
He added: “People like that are not able to go to Iraq and demonstrate because they don’t have free speech.”
And he reminded the intruders: “The goal is not inspections, it’s disarmament. That is what Iraq has agreed to.”
Rumsfeld said the world was already lining up behind America and Britain — and he revealed many leaders of states near Iraq had privately told President Bush that they would back a war.
The Congress and the Senate have pledged to vote on an invasion before elections in November.
Confident Mr Bush yesterday insisted the world was not wobbling over taking on Saddam, and warned the tyrant: “You don’t fool anyone.”
He urged the United Nations to act quickly before he built a nuclear arsenal.
Mr Bush said: “All they have to do is look at the record. This is his latest ploy — his latest attempt not to be held accountable for defying the UN.
“He’s not going to fool anybody. Time and time again, he has told the world ‘I will comply’, and he never does.”
Mr Bush’s approval rating in the US is now 70 per cent — and 83 per cent of people back a war with Iraq.