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Excerpts from Saddam Hussein's open letter to Iraqis
Mon Oct 16 2006 11:08:13 ET

"On the occasion of Ramadan, when our people live in the most difficult circumstances because of the occupation, killing, and destruction, they are holding to their faith and courage.

"They are rejecting humiliation and aggression from their near neighbor and the ones faraway.

"Some of them came as invaders from across the Atlantic, encouraged by cowardly Zionism and its illegal interests and heinous aggression. Some of them came from the east of Iraq.

"You know, brothers, that I am free in ideology and doctrine but, because I am detained by the invading forces, my opportunities to express myself are limited."

"It was only a few times that I managed to address you through the farcical, so-called trial, when the microphones were not switched off.

"Fighting the invaders, is a right and a duty ... I call upon you my brothers and comrades in the courageous resistance, no matter whoever you are and no matter wherever you live, to embrace righteousness and justice in your jihad (holy war).

"I urge you to be tolerant with the ones who lost the right way ... The door for forgiveness must be open to everyone until the hour of liberation, which is now at hand, God willing.

"But remember that your near-term goal is confined to freeing your country from the forces of occupation and their followers and not to be preoccupied in settling scores.

"We remember it is the great unified Iraq, which is not split by any color, segment or allegation, that makes us proud.

"When you achieve victory, remember you are God's soldiers and, therefore, you must show genuine forgiveness and put aside revenge over the spilled blood of your sons and brothers, including the sons of Saddam Hussein.

"You must remember what the prophets taught us, including the two honorable ones, Muhammad and Jesus, the son of Mary. Both forgave and turned to God, beseeching him to forgive those whom they had forgiven, including those who had hurt them.

"And you know very well that Saddam Hussein never surrendered to any threat ... and Saddam Hussein will remain as you knew him."

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