BAGHDAD, IRAQ, NOV. 22 -- It was a bizarre Thanksgiving for about a dozen American hostages who were brought to Baghdad from makeshift prisons around Iraq today for a feast of turkey and trimmings at an exclusive country club.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry hosted the Thanksgiving meal at Baghdad's Hunting Club, where imported champagne and wine flowed freely and Asian waiters served turkey, smoked salmon, choice steaks and an assortment of desserts. Non-Iraqi journalists were barred from attending, but Iraqi television showed videotape of the dinner on its evening program about the hostages, called "Guest News."

Other Americans detained in Baghdad joined for at least two holiday meals at U.S. Embassy facilities, and Iraqi authorities provided a Thanksgiving buffet at the Mansour Melia, a posh, government-run hotel where Iraq houses hostages before transferring them to new detention sites around the country.

Despite Baghdad's show of hospitality, the Americans appeared defiant, chafing at their continued detention. But some also worried that they could become victims of war.

"You're the first American face I have seen in eight weeks," said William Rodebush of McAlester, Okla., rushing up to an American reporter in the lobby of the Mansour Melia earlier in the day. He was one of the hostages brought to the capital for the feast at the Hunting Club and had been quartered in the hotel.

Rodebush spoke of the physical and mental strain of captivity, complaining of poor health care, before Iraqi security men showed up to cut the conversation short. "You should know I have some serious health problems, problems with my back, and the treatment I am receiving is a joke," he said.

He described individual Iraqis as "pleasant and civilized" but expressed anger at his continued incarceration. "I have been at five different locations. They keep moving us around. You don't know where you've been," he said.

"We are just innocent people and have no control over anything," said John Stevenson, a computer specialist who had worked in Kuwait for more than 10 years before being taken hostage by Iraqi forces in October. Transported to Baghdad this week from a strategic installation in northern Iraq where he is being held, he was joined at the Hunting Club today in a tearful reunion with his two brothers -- William, from Panama City, Fla., and James, from Sarasota, Fla. -- and his sister, Mary Trundy, from Brockton, Mass., all of whom had traveled to Iraq on the chance of seeing their brother.

Stevenson said he was being well-treated, with adequate food and relatively comfortable housing, at his installation, but he complained of feeling "locked up." He and others spoke of the mental torment of their captivity, their thoughts swinging constantly between the expectation of release and the fear of war.

Gene Parker, 49, of Vidor, Tex., another of those brought to the Hunting Club, said he doubted the hostages would provide much of a deterrent to attack by U.S.-led forces -- the rationale Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has given for keeping the more than 100 Americans and about 500 other Westerners and Japanese now held at key military and industrial sites. "If it came down to a war, we are just pawns on a chess board," he told a reporter.

At the Mansour Melia, the dining hall was noisy, but there were few happy faces. Men drank from big bottles of strong Iraqi beer and lined up at the buffet. But the mood at a U.S. Embassy facility that hosted another holiday dinner was more congenial; the food there included stuffed turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows, salad, pumpkin and home-made apple pie.

Roland Bergheer, 62, a German-born immigrant from Las Vegas and the appointed spokesman of about 20 Americans housed at one U.S. Embassy facility, said many enjoyed the day's feast, which pushed to the side -- for the moment at least -- thoughts of more waiting or war.

Bergheer said he and his companions, joined at today's holiday meal by other Americans who have been hiding in safe houses around Baghdad, raised their glasses in a toast to "our president and all the American military observing this great day away from their families."

"The one thing this government could not take away from us . . . {is} our feeling of this traditional holiday," said Bergheer. "They couldn't tell us not to have a great feast, not to have that fellowship or spiritual feeling."

Deputy Chief of Mission Joseph Wilson hosted a luncheon for the Marines from the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, who are detained here with other employees of that mission.

"The mood was very somber," Wilson said of his own celebrations. "Our Thanksgiving was a time for reflection on conditions of those worse than we are. Those people who were being hunted down in Kuwait like rats. Those sealed inside the embassy compound by Iraqi occupation and being basically starved out in concentration camps."

The eight diplomats still at the embassy in Kuwait with 15 other Americans holed up there were reportedly eating "tuna and other items." He described their treatment as "cruel, inhumane and sadistic."

To mark Thanksgiving, some of the Americans held in Baghdad drafted a message to Iraqis in the United States who would partake of "our national feast while in our country." In the message, the Americans spoke of their deprivation of freedom: "The ingredients of this deeply meaningful dinner are very special and are not available anywhere. The two main ingredients are freedom and justice for all. . . . Unfortunately, we are not free to enjoy the full flavor of our Thanksgiving meal while being held in Iraq, against our will."

The Reuter news agency reported from Baghdad:

French right-wing politician Jean-Marie le Pen left Iraq today with 63 men from 10 European Community nations who had been held hostage by Iraq. Another 36 European former hostages flew to Switzerland with a group of Swiss legislators.

Bucharest radio reported that 50 Romanians who had been detained left Iraq by bus via Turkey.