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Iraq is Preparing for War, says Saddam Hussein


Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein says his country is preparing for war, as if it were going to happen within an hour. His comments come as the Arab League prepares for an emergency meeting on the threat of a U.S.-led attack on Iraq.

President Saddam Hussein says Iraq is "psychologically ready" for war, and is promising that "Iraq will never be like Afghanistan."

He said a war "will never be a cakewalk in the park for American and British soldiers," adding that Iraq is preparing itself for war "as if war were to take place in one hour."

In a rare interview, the Iraqi leader told the Egyptian weekly Elosboa that he was not suggesting Iraq was stronger than the United States, but as he put it, "Iraq has its faith in God, the homeland and the Iraqi people, as well as the Arab people."

The Iraqi leader's comments were made as an emergency meeting of the Arab League was being confirmed. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, speaking in Jordan Saturday, said the foreign ministers of the 22-member organization will meet November 10 to discuss U.S. threats against Iraq and a possible U.N. Security Council resolution on the Arab state.

Mr. Moussa said the Arab League is opposed to "regime change" in Iraq, saying such an issue is strictly an Iraqi decision.

He said he hopes a U.N. Security Council resolution, which could be passed within a week, will be "just and reasonable," aimed at helping, rather than hindering, the work of weapons inspectors.

Mr. Moussa said any resolution must be aimed at helping U.N. inspectors disarm Iraq. If such a resolution passes, he said, there will be full cooperation throughout the region.

U.S. President George W. Bush is pushing for a resolution that calls for possible military action against Iraq, if it fails to adhere to any rules imposed by the Security Council.

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