Lebanese Druze chief rues rockets missed Wolfowitz in Iraq
( 2003-10-28 09:36) (Agencies)
A top Lebanese politician enraged the
American embassy in Beirut Monday by saying he hoped the next attack on the
number two in the Defense Department would prove fatal.
|Druz Muslim leader Walid Jumblatt smiles
after giving a press conference.
Druze leader Walid Jumblatt described Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz
as a "virus" who needed to be destroyed, a day after the American emerged
unscathed from a guerrilla rocket attack on the fortified Baghdad hotel where he
The U.S. embassy described Jumblatt's remarks as "outrageous."
The Druze chief and head of Lebanon's Progressive Socialist Party said in a
statement he hoped Wolfowitz, who he criticized as an architect of the U.S.-led
war on Iraq and a friend of Israel, would not survive any future attack.
"We hope that next time the rockets will be more accurate and effective in
getting rid of this virus, and his like, who wreak corruption in the Arab land
of Iraq and in Palestine," Jumblatt said.
The U.S. embassy in Beirut issued a statement condemning the remarks as
"outrageous and completely unacceptable" and urged the Lebanese government to do
"Such statements not only praise acts of
terrorism but serve to incite future attacks on U.S. government officials. We
expect the government of Lebanon likewise to publicly condemn those remarks,"
the embassy said.
|U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul
Wolfowitz speaks at a press conference in Baghdad, Oct. 26, 2003.
Wolfowitz, on a weekend visit to Iraq, escaped unharmed from Sunday's attack
on the Rashid Hotel, which killed a U.S. soldier and wounded 17 people in an
assault on the heart of American power in Iraq.
He vowed that the attack on the heavily-fortified compound, which also
houses the headquarters of Iraq's U.S.-led administration, would not cow the
United States into abandoning Iraq.
Jumblatt issued his statement on the bloodiest day in Baghdad since U.S.-led
forces toppled Saddam Hussein as Iraq's leader in April. Suicide bombers killed
35 people and wounded 230 in attacks on the Red Cross headquarters and three
police stations in the capital.