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If War, Saddam Will Kill His Own People

If the U.S. invades Iraq, Saddam Hussein is planning attacks on his own people and will blame the atrocities on the American forces. The Iraqi forces that do the killing will dress in coalition uniforms. The Pentagon is trying to stop Iraqi military commanders from carrying out Saddam?s orders by dropping leaflets and sending them e-mails giving them instructions on how to safely surrender. "They are being communicated with privately at the present time," says Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. "?They will receive instructions so that they can behave in a way that will be seen and understood as being non-threatening."

One sign that Saddam is planning to sacrifice civilians is that he?s placed Gen. Ali Hassan al Majid, or "Chemical Ali," in charge of military activities in southern Iraq. Ali has been named as a war criminal by human rights groups. An intelligence official says, "He is used to putting down uprisings and maintaining order."

Rumsfeld says Saddam may shell civilians with deadly chemical weapons, as he did in 1988, when he killed around 100,000 Kurds in northern Iraq. During the 1991 Gulf war, Iraqi authorities ordered civilians into military command bunkers they knew were about to be bombed. On Feb. 13, 1991, U.S. forces bombed the Amiriyah bunker in Baghdad and unknowingly killed scores of civilians. Baghdad then displayed the dead bodies to the international press. "When his regime begins claiming once again that coalition forces have targeted innocent Iraqi civilians, if that's to be the case, we need to keep his record in mind," Rumsfeld says.

Learn the tightly-kept secret about the current conflict in the Middle East.

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