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Hussein Says He'd Like To Talk To Bush

21 June 2005 (RFE/RL) - American soldiers guarding Saddam Hussein say the deposed Iraqi leader told them he would like to talk to U.S. President George W. Bush "to make peace with him."

The soldiers told an American publication, GQ magazine, that Saddam said Bush and his father, former President George H. W. Bush, are "no good."

Still, Saddam was quoted as saying that he wants to talk to Bush. As he put it, "He knows I have nothing, no mass weapons. He knows he'll never find them."

The guards also say Saddam thinks fondly of the late U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

The jailed former Iraqi leader described how Reagan, who was president during the time of Iraq's 1980-88 war with Iran, sold him planes and helicopters.

One of the guards, Jonathan Reese, speaking on American television, said talking to Saddam in his jail cell was surreal.

"It was weird, you know, because here you are talking to a guy who seems so nice, you know, but in the back of your mind you're thinking this is a guy who has killed so many people and you know he's a bad person," Reese said.

Saddam is awaiting trial on charges of killing Iraqis and waging war against Kuwait.