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'Coward' Saddam didn't put up a fight: Armitage

December 18, 2003 11:34 IST

United States Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has said he considers former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein to be 'an ultimate coward' because he surrendered meekly instead of putting up a fight.

"... here is a fellow who had sent thousands and thousands of young men to their deaths, both in wars with Iran and the invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent battles with the

US, and yet he gave up without a fight... I think you have to consider someone who sacrifices to the last citizen, and he himself gives up meekly, would have to be considered an ultimate coward," a media report quoted him as saying.

Asked whether he had expected Saddam to give himself up alive, Armitage said: "No, I thought he wouldn't. I didn't think he would subject himself to the humiliation."

"Clearly he is more afraid of dying than he is of living in humiliation," Armitage told CNN in an interview.

On whether it would have been easier for the US had he been taken dead, Armitage said: "Well, I actually think this is better because it will, once we have worked out the procedures for a fair and transparent trial, give people who have been victims of his torture and killings a chance to cry out from their graves for justice, and it will also give the families of those victims a real chance for closure."

"Saddam's interrogation," said Armitage, "may yield things useful without (his) knowing that he is yielding useful things."

"But he is an unmitigated liar and we are going to have to check and check carefully everything he says," Armitage alleged.

"The capture of Saddam," said Armitage, "means we have removed the symbols of defiance but not the root cause of the defiance that exists in Iraq today, and we do expect the violence to go on. After the deaths of Uday and Qusay, I would just note that the violence actually spiked a bit before settling back down."

On what the US had learned so far from Saddam, Armitage said, "Because of the need to check everything out, to follow up all the leads that have been gained by this capture, public officials need to be quiet about it."

As to when Washington will turn over sovereignty to the Iraqis, Armitage said: "The November 15 agreement makes it very clear that by June 30 next year, the Coalition Provisional Authority of Bremer will turn over authority to Iraqis. That does not mean that the coalition forces will leave, but it certainly means that we will no longer be sovereign in the person of Jerry Bremer."

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Number of User Comments: 13

Sub: sadam is a lion

Sadam is a lion it is no doubt i mean lion dont eat grass alwayse take meat it is clear iraq is too small in ...

Posted by Kshirod kumar swain

Sub: Dubya

Saddam a coward? No way. The obvious manifestation of a global coward is Dubya. Notice how the UK was fortified for his visit. Dubya is ...

Posted by GB

Sub: Saddam thinks he will get justice.

Saddam's surrender is far from cowardice. Richie Rich must know that the brute force used against Iraq under the garb of that weapon of mass ...

Posted by chanakya

Sub: The bald coward....

Who is the coward here! Fighting and winning over some one who is disarmed! Dear big egg head...u are the coward.

Posted by Don

Sub: saddam capture??

is he a real coward to surrender like this,i think the captured men may be a duplicate of saddam,r some trick is involved in this,check ...

Posted by ram


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