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Iraqi Parliament Pledges to Back Saddam in Fight with US - 2003-03-19

The Iraqi parliament, like the country's president, has made it clear the Iraqi military intends to stand and fight a U.S. led military invasion. The parliament met in emergency session and legislators said they will stand and fight with their leader Saddam Hussein.

The voices of defiance are loud and clear in Baghdad to President Bush's call for Saddam Hussein and his sons to leave Iraq or face certain war.

The Iraqi parliament, meeting in emergency session, heard several legislators shout they would sacrifice their blood and their souls for Saddam Hussein. Another said Iraq rejects and denounces President Bush's ultimatum demanding that the Iraqi leader and his sons leave Iraq or face war. The legislator said Iraqis are ready to stand together behind their leader and defend their land.

Parliament Speaker Saadoun Hammadi called on the Iraqi parliament to, "stand as one rank, as one voice, as one rifle against the United States and its allies." He said Iraqis would stand beside their leader in defense of the country.

The Iraqi parliament always supports Saddam Hussein's policies.

Iraqi minister of information Mohammed Said Kazin al-Saahaf made it clear the Iraqi military would stand and fight. He said the American military commanders are deceiving their troops if they if they say war against Iraq would be, "a picnic."

"This is really a stupid lie they are telling their soldiers," he said. "What they are facing is definite death."

On Tuesday, Saddam Hussein and his sons indicated they have no intention of leaving Iraq before President Bush's deadline of early Thursday morning Baghdad time.