Rattling The Iraqi Psyche

USS George Washington Iraq flag CBS/AP

Although the U.S. military is still weeks away from being ready to launch an invasion of Iraq, the psychological warfare is already in high gear.

"There will be serious consequences for any Iraqi general or soldier who were to use weapons of mass destruction on our troops," President Bush said.

As CBS News Correspondent David Martin reports, American troops in Kuwait are training to defend themselves against chemical attack. But the president is trying to convince the Iraqi military not to follow any order to use chemical weapons.

"My advice is don't follow that order, because if you choose to do so, when Iraq is liberated, you will be treated, tried and persecuted as a war criminal," said Mr. Bush.

Pentagon officials say they have received intelligence reports that some members of the Iraqi government are arguing among themselves about whether to fight if the U.S. invades.

Britain's Prime Minister put a much bolder face on it.

"They are rattled. They are weakening. We are getting a massive amount of intelligence out of there now as to what is happening in Iraq and that is why we have to keep up the pressure every inch of the way," Tony Blair said.

The U.S. has sent e-mails to specific Iraq leaders, calling on them to defect. No one expects them to swtich sides over the Internet, but the electronic appeals caused enough consternation that Baghdad temporarily shut down its Internet server.

For weeks U.S. military aircrafts have been dropping leaflets and broadcasting anti-Saddam messages over southern Iraq, and today Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced a new program.

"Starting today the department of defense will be broadcasting the Pentagon weekly press briefing to the Iraqi people," said Rumsfeld.

That will allow Iraqis to hear about the American military buildup just across the border in Kuwait and what might be in store for them if they choose to fight.
  • Sue Chan

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