From The Associated Press
BAGHDAD, Iraq – President Saddam Hussein, addressing a meeting of Iraq’s military commanders, warned against treason at time of war but said traitors would never triumph over “the people of faith and belief,” state television reported Tuesday.
Saddam issued his warning on Monday, when chief United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix told the Security Council that Iraq had failed to fully comply Resolution 1441 requiring he give up all chemical, nuclear and biological weapons. The United States has threatened to disarm Saddam by force if he does not give up his weapons voluntarily.
“You should not worry, but just be alert,” Saddam told the commanders, “otherwise treason, wherever it may be, is a state of weakness, it is the most extreme state of weakness in man.”
Saddam’s remarks were in answer to a commander who asked about the possibility that the “enemy” would enlist the help of traitors.
In recent weeks, unconfirmed news reports have circulated that Saddam’s lieutenants were being encouraged to overthrow him.
After the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq’s Shiite Muslims, oppressed by Saddam’s regime, staged an uprising in the south of the country but the revolt was crushed by Iraq’s army.
“Treason is an unmanly act,” he said. “It does not frighten. However, in times of inattention, it may produce a treacherous act. Otherwise, how can an effeminate man, a traitor, face the people in whose chests honesty, faith and zealotry are embedded?”
“You should demonstrate vigilance, the legitimate and appropriate vigilance. Treason everywhere is a state of weakness, it is the height of human weakness. … The basic prerequisites of proper humanity are sincerity and loyalty, and not treason.”