Qusay Says Sept. 11 ‘Picnic’ Compared to Saddam’s Wrath Al-Watan al-Arabi June 28, 2002 by Riyad Alam-al-Din in Nicosia: (Courtesy Washington Kurdish Institute)

Iraq was expected to deal lightly with the US Administration’s plan to authorize the CIA to use all available means and weapons to oust President Saddam or even assassinate or arrest him. But the events that took place behind the scenes of authority in Baghdad since the announcement of what can be called the beginning of “the Saddam Hussein hunt” completely contradicts the statements made by officials and official media campaigns. According to information al-Watan al-Arabi received from sources very close to the ruling family in Baghdad, Saddam Hussein rushed to call all the main figures of the regime and the closed circle with all its apparati and key figures to a very urgent meeting, so urgent that some top officials were unable to arrive on time to the operations room in the bottom floor of one of the presidential palaces in the capital. Two hours after Saddam’s office manager Abd Hamud delivered the presidential invites in person, the president’s sons, Qusay and Uday, Tariq Aziz, Intelligence chief Tahir al-Tikriti, and Ali Hasan al-Majid arrived at the palace, in addition too two new officials who were recently charged with foreign operations by Qusay, one known as Tahir and the other from Tall al-Khubabi. The two officials supervise the reorganization of intelligence cells abroad.

These sources add that the meeting attendants had never seen the Iraqi president so upset and tense except for those who knew him during the civil disturbances that broke out in the south following Desert Storm in 1991, which at the time were considered the most dangerous threats the Iraqi regime faced and which Saddam Hussein personally dealt with as the “beginning of the end.”

Saddam Hussein took the initiative in the meeting by bringing up US media reports published only hours earlier and saying that Bush has given the green light to “assassinate or arrest me.” He added with a mixture of tension and anger: “Now the criminal Bush has ignored all the red lines and violated all political internal morals, all that is forbidden, and all norms and conventions, and has left Iraq no room to be tolerant in this issue. His war on us is now declared and he is publicly leaking information today that he gave his orders to use all means and weapons to violate Iraq’s sovereignty and violate international law by assassinating me in Iraq. When this US president failed to achieve any accomplishments or victory against those he accused of the 11 September operations, he wanted to take revenge on Iraq instead of holding accountable his own dysfunctional establishments and intelligence bodies as well as his dysfunctional administration.

Even more so, he has been gathering Iraqi traitors around him for the past months, organizing meetings for the lowly opposition parties and offering money to these weasels who sold their homeland, nation, and honor for a few pennies. They have humiliated themselves as the US Administration gives them these pennies in minute amounts in return for promises to betray Iraq. They cannot even sleep alone in their homes. These traitors know that if the Iraqi regime indeed wanted to practice terrorism or even punish them for their treasons, they would have all been in hell already, including those who live in the lap of their US masters. But Iraq, the revolution of Iraq, and the loyal and honorable people of Iraq decided not to deal with this scum because they do not even deserve to be hit with an old shoe. We are not in a meeting now because of these traitors, but in order to decide together how to deal with Bush, who has laid out all his cards and intentions.

Bush, the United Nations, the UN Security Council all know that Iraq is abiding by all resolutions. But after failing to achieve his goals against terrorism as he calls it, and after turning a blind eye to the Israeli massacres and aggressions against the Palestinians and criminal Sharon’s threats to the entire region, Bush now wants to start a war with us to distract the Arab nation and the world from the painful truth the heroic Palestinian people, our brothers in the Golan, and the vanguards of our nation in Southern Lebanon are living in. Bush wants to make the whole world think that starting a war against Iraq is more important than the issues of our nation and peoples.

Now, in this meeting that I have called, I will not say my opinion but want to hear your own views and analysis. I want us to discuss ways of dealing with the danger that is threatening us and every Iraqi, and even every Arab and Muslim. Most of you know that through some brothers and messengers, we managed to open a dialogue with the United States because we are a country that knows international balances and duties and how countries are run. It appears that some thought that Iraq’s willingness to enter into dialogue is an indication of weakness, but we explained to them and are still ready to prove to them that we are strong and ready for any emergency.

If the day of Saddam Hussein’s death arrives, neither Bush nor anyone else can hasten or delay the hour because all of our lives are in the hands of the creator. Of Bush thinks he can terrorize us and scare us with this threats of assassination or overthrow, then let him do his best and ask his father about his experience.

Saddam then looked at the attendances and gestured to them to discuss the issue calmly without getting emotional.


The first to speak was Ali Hasan al-Majid, the president’s cousin who is widely known as Chemical Ali and who is accused of being responsible for the massacres of the south following the 1991 uprising. Al-Majid said: Mr. President, things have gone too far. The Iraqi people have tolerated the intolerable from these Americans. I previously held the presidency of the US-Iraqi friendship committee upon your orders, and from the relationships I formed with some Americans I saw for myself what a silly and arrogant people they are. They think they can do anything and achieve anything while in reality they are incapable of anything. In the pat, during our war with them, they moved the battle to Baghdad, will you allow me a question your excellency

Go ahead, responded Saddam.

Sir, has the time not come to take the fight to their own homes in America They wanted this to be a war on all fronts, so let it be a war on all fronts and using all weapons and means.

The Iraqi president smiled and instead of responding welcomed Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, who had arrived during Al-Majid’s comment. Al-Duri started his contribution with great emotion, saying: Sir, what has happened cannot be rationally accepted or let pass. We cannot remain silent over this insolence and must prove to them that we are strong and united as a people and leadership, that we are ready to make every sacrifice, and that the land of Iraq has never been and will never be open ground for the enemy and conspirators during Saddam Hussein’s term.

Shortly after that, Taha Yasin Ramadan entered. He reiterated the call for mobilization and confrontation using all weapons. He said: If they threaten us with some CIA commando units in Iraq. Our past experiences with them are the best response to them and we can add today the “heroics” of those commandos who are incapable of finding a Taliban element in Afghanistan. They must know that the heroes of Iraq can become human bombs in the thousands, willing to blow up America in particular.

Saddam interrupted Taha Yasin Ramadan with a smile of satisfaction and gave the floor to Qusay, who said: Mr. President, pardon me if I open my heart and mind and allow my tongue to say everything in this candid and dangerous meeting at the same time. We know, and the brothers here all know, that we have — with God’s aid — every capability and ability. With a simple sign of you, we can make America’s people sleepless and frightened to go out in the streets. We can prove to them in a few weeks that the revolution of Iraq can do what they do not expect. So far, we have dealt cautiously, conservatively, rationally, and responsibly with their attempts to humiliate the people of Iraq and the nation of Arabs and Muslims. We have been patient over the deprivation of the people of Iraq and over the slaughter of the Palestinian people, making use only of limited defensive means. But after today, when they revealed the extent of their hatred and schemes, we will not be silent. For the first time in my life I will take action under my personal responsibility and use the capabilities of the Iraqi people to prove to them who we are and what we can do. I only ask you sir to give me a small sign. I swear upon your head sir, that if I do not turn their night into day and their day into a living hell, I will ask you to chop off my head before the brothers present.

Qusay continued: I am at your command sir, after that let whatever will happen happen. I am confident that our entire nation will be set aflame and they must know that the entire region will turn into rubble with Israel at the forefront.

If Bin Ladin truly did carry out the September attacks as they claim, then as God is my witness, we will prove to them that what happened in September is a picnic compared to the wrath of Saddam Hussein. They do not know Iraq, Iraq’s leader, the men of Iraq, nor the children of Iraq.

The meeting went on for several hours and was dominated by fiery elocution that reflected an unprecedented emotional state in the Iraqi leadership where everyone agreed on the need for a strong response to the public hostile US plan and the importance of not waiting or hesitating.


Over five hours later, Saddam Hussein put a stop to the discussions and addressed the attendants in a calm tone different from the very sharp tones that prevailed. He said: What I care about in the matter is not whether or not they will attempt to kill or oust Saddam, for they have tried many times in the past. Even the CIA, which today claims it could assassinate Saddam Hussein, knows how its previous numerous attempts ended. Not all of you know about a few of these attempts. The CIA know that we know they returned to northern Iraq a few months ago after their humiliating escape with the traitors in 1996 in order to try again. Saddam Hussein’s life is in God Almighty’s hands; He alone can decide our destiny and fate as humans. What pains me is that the United States is using all its dominion and tyranny not just to humiliate Iraq, but to humiliate every Arab in the land of Arabs and every Muslim in the land of Islam, as well as every Arab and Muslim outside the land of Islam. Bush tells all of these people that he is the decision maker, and just as he rejected Yasser Arafat, he will reject Saddam Hussein, and tomorrow will reject Bashir al-Asad, and after that another Arab leader until US domination reaches the rights, wealth, and destiny of the Arab. He added, looking glum: It is very likely for them to say: We do not want Chirac as president of France; everything is possible with them, but when it comes to us, and for the sake of the future of Iraq, the Arab nation, and Muslims, I openly declare to you all that we refuse. It will not be a simple rejection, but there will be revenge. Bush, his gang, and his intelligence bodies should know that as soon as they start this battle or we get wind of its beginning, Iraq will turn from reaction to action with any attempt not just to assassinate me, but even to bomb a presidential motorcade or meeting of the Revolution Command Council with US planes. We will be ready to respond and ready for revenge. At that moment in particular, everything will be handed over to comrade Qusay Saddam Hussein to directly oversee the retaliation plans with all the targets that places before him and which the men know well, using all the weapons, means, and fronts available. Despite Iraq’s small size, this battle will not stop until it gets the head of those who think they are the biggest and strongest in the world, and they shall see.


At this point, Uday asked to speak. He said, addressing his father: Sir, why should we wait for the enemy to talk action before we respond to it after it revealed its intentions, and why can we not be the first to take action

Saddam responded: They have done nothing until now except make a decision on paper. I think that a number of officials there know from experience that implementation will not be this easy. They have taken many decisions over the past 12 years and we have foiled them all. This time, they know that we are waiting for them to throw the first punch so that we will respond to them in the adequate fashion. What is important today is to wait for them to do something and then we will not just react, but will act and take actions.

Saddam Hussein stood up to indicate the end of the meeting, and as the attendants applauded, he leaned toward his office manager Abdul-Hamid Hamud and said: Starting today, it is no longer allowed to receive any intermediary, messenger, delegate, or person who wants to intervene to improve the relationship or start a dialogue with America. That time is over. They wanted a battle and they will get one. The future is what we talked about now.

The meeting concluded in the early hours of the morning, and starting from the following day, its echoes were heard in the circles of some authoritative figures in Baghdad who described it — in the person of a person very close to the leadership — that it was “the most dangerous day of my life; I have never seen a similar meeting in Iraq even during the occupation of Kuwait and the Mother of Battles.”

Al-Watan al-Arabi learned that reports on the serious Baghdad meeting reached some Arab countries and that some Arab leaders who live in the fear of an expected destructive war between Baghdad and Washington rushed to discuss the secrets and dangers of that meeting with their security and military commands.

The prominent question was: Can Saddam Hussein reach a point where he carries out his most dangerous threats; in other words, will he use the weapons of mass destruction at his disposal

The answer that raises interest and fear was given by a top security official in a large Arab state when he said to his leader: Sir, when a person has his back against the wall and is threatened with certain overthrow or death, what can be expected of him If this person was Saddam Hussein, then what can we expect The Arab leader asked: What are we waiting for The security official said: The least that can happen is that the Arab region will explode in a way unmatched throughout history but only after US interests and embassies outside and even inside America are attacked in an unprecedented manner. Everything indicates that after today, what will happen between Bush Jr. and Saddam is greater and more dangerous than what happened between Saddam and Bush Sr..

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