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Bush, Blair to Iraqi People: We Won't Let You Down This Time, We Promise

CAMP DAVID, MD (SP) — Addressing reporters at last week's Camp David meeting, U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair assured the Iraqi people of coalition support. This time, coalition forces would actually assist the Iraqi people if they chose to rise up against tyrant Saddam Hussein.

Said Blair, "While it is true that, during and after the 1991 Gulf War, we encouraged the Iraqi people to topple [Iraqi President] Saddam Hussein, and then stood back and watched as Saddam brutally crushed the uprisings, we can assure the Iraqi people that this time around we will provide military assistance. We promise."

Added Bush, "Cross our hearts and hope to die."

According to one man fleeing the southern Iraqi city of Basra, "The people of Basra would really love to meet the Americans with flowers, but they are scared that the Americans will do the same thing to them that they did in 1991. The Americans let Saddam kill the Iraqi people."

Asked why the Iraqi people should believe coalition promises this time, Bush paused, and then responded, "I swore to protect America and the Constitution, and that's what I'm gonna do."

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