Baghdad Says Bush Deluded By Pentagon With PM-Gulf Rdp, Bjt
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ Iraq said today that the Pentagon has deluded President Bush into believing he can win a war with Iraq, and said that belief would cost ″rivers of Americans’ blood.″
″The American president is still deluded by the paper calculations drawn by the Pentagon that he can control the theater of operations,″ Al-Thawra, the newspaper of Iraq’s ruling Baath Arab Socialist Party, said in a front- page editorial.
The editorial came a day after talks in Geneva by Secretary of State James A. Baker III and Iraq’s foreign minister, Tariq Aziz.
Baker, who was bound today for Saudi Arabia to brief allies on the outcome, said that during more than six hours of discussion with Aziz he had heard ″nothing to suggest Iraqi flexibility.″
″We will not yield to threats,″ Aziz told reporters Wednesday, saying Baker’s presentation was fraught with them. The United States is demanding unconditional Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait.
Iraqi media reported today that the talks had been a failure, and said Bush does not understand what war with Iraq would cost.
″The price which Bush will pay is not only the U.S. defeat and the loss of U.S. strategic interests, but rivers of Americans’ blood,″ said the newspaper.
Meanwhile, the British Embassy evacuated most of its remaining staff from Baghdad today, including Ambassador Harold Walker, with the diplomats leaving for Jordan by road.
The five diplomats left in a convoy of six cars, which would take at least 14 hours to reach Jordan, said Western diplomatic sources in the Iraqi capital, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
″This was considered an appropriate move following the unproductive meeting yesterday in Geneva between U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz,″ said a Foreign Office spokesman in London.
The Foreign Office stressed that the embassy was not being officially closed. Britain is a key member of the U.S.-led military coalition arrayed against Iraq in the Saudi desert.
The British Embassy did not answer its telehone today, although one diplomat was left behind for a few days to attend the trial of a Briton accused of attempting to exit the country illegally.
Both the British and American embassies have been subjected to daily demonstrations by the Iraqis as Tuesday’s U.N. deadline approaches for Iraq to quit Kuwait or face the possibility of attack.
Baker said after his fruitless talks with Aziz that the Iraqi official had confirmed the five U.S. diplomats remaining in Baghdad would be allowed to leave by Saturday.