War Continues, Fitzwater Says
Here is a transcription of White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater’s statement Monday night on the war:
We continue to prosecute the war. We have heard no reason to change that. And because there is a war on, our first concern must be the safety and security of United States and coalition forces.
We don’t know whether this most recent claim about Iraqi withdrawal is genuine. We have no evidence to suggest the Iraqi army is withdrawing. In fact, Iraqi units are continuing to fight.
Moreover, we remember when Saddam Hussein’s tanks pretended to surrender at Khafji only to turn and fire.
We remember the Scud attacks today and Saddam’s many broken promises of the past.
There are at least an additional 22 dead Americans tonight (military officials later raised the figure to 27 dead) who offer silent testimony to the intentions of Saddam Hussein.
The statement out of Baghdad today says that Saddam Hussein’s forces will fight their way out while retreating.
We will not attack unarmed soldiers in retreat. But we will consider retreating combat units as a movement of war.
The only way Saddam Hussein can persuade the coalition of the seriousness of his intentions would be for him personally and publicly to agree to the terms of the proposal we issued on Feb. 22. And because the announcement from Baghdad referred to the Soviet initiative, he must personally and publicly accept explicitly all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions, including especially U.N. Security Council Resolution 662, which calls for Iraqi rescission of its purported annexation of Kuwait; and U.N. Security Council Resolution 674, which calls for Iraqi compensation to Kuwait and others.