An article in the Kuwaiti daily, Alutun, reacted to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s speech in which he asked for forgiveness from the Kuwaiti people for what he did in the past. The daily newspaper’s editor writes that the title of Saddam’s speech was “forgiveness,” but in actual fact, the speech posed a threat and could be more accurately described as incitement. He went on to say that it is directed to the general Arab audience in a bid to turn the Arab world against the Kuwaiti administration and against American forces stationed there.
In the course of the speech, Saddam sent his blessing and the blessing of the Iraqi people to “those same heroes who bear weapons against the occupying foreigner [USA]…who want to cleanse the land and the people from [occupation], by means of fire and otherwise.” Saddam defined the American military presence in Kuwait as occupation and called for the Kuwaiti to join Iraq in opposition to foreign forces.
According to the head of the People’s Council, Gasim Al-Kharafi, Saddam’s speech to the Kuwaiti people is a “failed attempt to force a civil war between the Kuwaiti people and its leaders, which achieved nothing except for further cheapening Saddam’s name and increasing the regret over the circumstances that led to this state of affairs.” In a statement which Al-Kharafi sent to Kuwaiti news agencies he added that the apology came 12 years after [the Gulf War] and after the Iraqi President was seized by overwhelming international pressure. “To our great regret, Saddam did not so much as touch on the most salient issue for Kuwaitis, that of the captives, whose solution is the only basis for future reconciliation with Iraq.”
The head of the committee for foreign affairs in the National Council, Muhammad Al-‘Saqir, said that “the Iraqi President’s speech is a clear threat to all countries in the region without exception, and not only Kuwait.” He added that the timing of the speech was set deliberately to coincide with the submission of Iraq’s report to the U.N. in an attempt to divert the attention of the Iraqi people and the Arab world from the report.
The daily added that it received information that immediately after Saddam spoke, consultations began between the Parliament and the government to discuss setting up an emergency meeting of the National Council. The meeting is set to discuss the appropriate reactions to Saddam’s attempt to sow the beginnings of a civil war between the Iraqi people and their government.