Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said in an interview broadcast Friday that his troops will not pull out of Kuwait before the Jan. 15 deadline set by the United Nations.
He also said in the interview with ZDF-German television that President Bush would not be able to fight Iraq for long, because "he is such a bad leader."But he said, "From our side, the door to dialogue remains open."
Asked whether his troops would withdraw from Kuwait before Jan. 15, Saddam said, without hesitation, "No. I tell you, in a war there would be many losses, not only human lives. Also for those who say `Yes' to war. Allah is on our side; therefore, we will defeat the aggressors.
"I am convinced that every human being is a good fighter when his rights are concerned. Also the Americans. Then, everyone will use his weapons as well as he can. We have gone through wars and know that soldiers break down after some time if they are not fighting for a just cause," he said.
"We are certain that even if Bush pushes his country into this war, which he is now planning, he will not be able to carry this through," Saddam told the interviewer.
"At the latest when 5,000 Americans have fallen, Bush will have to end such a war. Not because there are not enough of his soldiers, but because he is a bad leader.
"He is sending soldiers to their deaths without reason. They could survive if he would talk to us," Saddam said about Bush.
A ZDF spokesman said the interview was conducted Thursday night in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
Saddam accused the United States of aiming to conquer the holy places of Islam by sending troops to Saudi Arabia, and said Bush was failing to try to solve the true problems of the region.
"So, we say to Bush, `leave our country,' " Saddam said. "If there are problems among the Arabs, they can solve them the best by themselves."