Bush to Saddam: "You've got 48 hours!" - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

3.17.03

Bush to Saddam: "You've got 48 hours!"

President Bush is ready to give Saddam Hussein and ultimatum -- and a deadline. In a broadcast address to the nation (at 8 p.m. Eastern Time), Bush -- according to aides -- will tell the Iraqi dictator the only way to avoid war is to accept exile. Three senior administration officials say the president will impose 48-hour deadline. They say Bush will tell foreign workers and journalists the time to leave Baghdad is now -- lest they become Saddam's hostages. He'll also tell the Iraqi people it's the Baghdad regime which is being targeted -- not them. Adviser Karen Hughes says White House speechwriters have been at work on the address for several days. She says Bush is now faced with "the most profound decision a leader can make." *** Meantime... The U-N secretary general has told arms inspectors and humanitarian workers to leave Iraq. That cuts off U-N food and medicine that goes to about 60 percent of Iraqis. Countries are closing embassies and foreign reporters are also leaving. A top Iraqi says the U-N pullout is "regrettable." But, he says Saddam Hussein is "like a solid rock" and won't be ousted. Saddam says any invading army will meet fighters ready to die for their country. He also says Iraq once had weapons of mass destruction -- but says they've been scrapped.
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