London : Iraq will be left “to the wolves” if US withdraws its troops from the country, said Saddam Hussein’s right-hand man Tariq Aziz who is currently lodged in an Iraqi prison. He added: “When you make a mistake you need to correct a mistake, not leave Iraq to its death.”
Aziz told The Guardian that he has been in jail for the past seven years and four months, “but did I commit a crime against any civilian, military or religious man? The answer is no.”
Baghdad fell in April 2003 after Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein was toppled.
Aziz called on the US president, Barack Obama, not to leave Iraq.
“He cannot leave us like this. He is leaving Iraq to the wolves. When you make a mistake you need to correct a mistake, not leave Iraq to its death,” Aziz was quoted as saying.
He admitted that he was “a member of the Revolutionary Command Council, a leader of the Ba’ath party, deputy prime minister, foreign minister – all of those posts were mine.”
Aziz, who is serving a 15-year sentence for one conviction for a crime against humanity, but faces many more charges, insists that he was powerless to check Saddam Hussein’s will, the media report said Friday.
“All decisions were taken by president Saddam Hussein. I held a political position, I did not participate in any of the crimes that were raised against me personally. Out of hundreds of complaints, nobody has mentioned me in person.”
On invading Kuwait, he said: “If you go back to the history, I asked Saddam Hussein not to invade Kuwait, but I had to support the decision of the majority.
“When the decision was taken, I said to him, this is going to lead to war with the US and it is not in our interests to wage war against the US. But the decision was taken. I was the foreign minister of the country and I had to defend the country and do everything possible to explain our position. I stayed on the side of right.”
He said that the 9/11 events had shocked him and Saddam Hussein.
“We were against that at the time, but we were not speaking to the American government. Saddam Hussein called me and said he would like me to write a letter to Ramsey (Clark, a former US attorney general) and say that we condemn the attack. I did that.”
Saddam Hussein’s confidante however failed to see that Baghdad would fall 18 months later.
“Some things became clear to both myself and the president as the world leaders increased their rhetoric against us. They were going to invade anyway.
“Bush and Blair lied intentionally. They wanted to destroy Iraq for the sake of Israel, not for the sake of the US and Britain.”
He went on to say that “for 30 years Saddam built Iraq, and now it is destroyed. There are more sick than before, more hungry. The people don’t have services. People are being killed every day in the 10s, if not hundreds. We are all victims of America and Britain. They killed our country.”