BAGHDAD, Iraq – Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein said Sunday that his army would crush any outside attack after reports that the United States might extend the war on terror to the rogue nation.
Sunday was Army Day in Iraq, a national holiday when the country pays tribute to the military. In a 20-minute televised address to the nation, Saddam also praised the Palestinian uprising against Israel.
"As your debased enemies failed in the past, so will any aggressor fail, if he lets himself be seduced into committing an act of evil," Saddam said of the military.
President Bush has warned Saddam that his regime must allow the return of U.N. arms inspectors, who have been barred from Iraq since late 1998.
The inspectors are charged with verifying whether Iraq has eliminated its weapons of mass destruction — a condition for the lifting of U.N. sanctions imposed since the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
Baghdad says it has eliminated such weapons.
Also on Sunday, the Iraqi newspaper of the ruling Baath party, al-Thawra, described U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman as "insolent" for his comments last week during a visit to Turkey.
During the trip to shore up regional support for the war on terror, Lieberman said: "The war against terrorism will not end until Saddam Hussein is removed from power in Baghdad."
"Lieberman is leading a hostile campaign against some Arab countries, and he is provoking others against Iraq, in particular," al-Thawra said in an editorial.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.