Saddam's speech....was it live or was it Memorex?

  1. Not sure if anyone else caught the "speech" early this morning (like 3am Eastern Time) by Saddam. All kinds of speculation about it today. Was it taped earlier before the bombing started? Did anyone else see it? It was on CNN and MSNBC.

    Here is the "speech."

    From the Associated Press
    Mar 24, 9:22 AM EST

    Saddam Vows to Crush Allied Forces

    Associated Press Writer

    BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- With U.S.-led forces closing in on Baghdad, a composed Saddam Hussein tried to rally his people and his troops with a stirring address Monday in which he vowed that allied forces would be crushed and "victory will be ours soon."

    In Washington, a senior U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity said U.S. intelligence had determined that Saddam's speech was recorded. However, it is unclear when it was taped - hours or weeks before the strikes.

    The Iraqi president appeared in full military uniform and seemed more robust and relaxed than during his last nationally televised address on Thursday, which followed the first round of cruise missile attacks on his capital. There had been unconfirmed reports that he was killed or injured in those attacks.

    "Iraq will strike the necks (of each enemy fighter)," he said. "Strike them, and strike evil so that evil will be defeated."

    Taunting the allies, he asked: "Have you found what the devil that besets your soul promised you in Iraq?"

    Saddam urged loyal Iraqis to cut the throats of the invaders and insisted that Iraqi troops would prevail in the fight against a more technologically advanced enemy. He also made specific reference to U.S. tactics and the fighting around Umm Qasr, in an obvious attempt to show that the address was relatively current.

    "Those who are believers will be victorious. In these decisive days, the enemy tried not using missiles and fighter jets as they did before. This time, they sent their infantry troops. This time, they have come to invade and occupy your land," he said.

    But American officials said nothing in Monday's speech proved it had been made since the beginning of hostilities. The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described a growing suspicion within U.S. intelligence agencies that Saddam had prerecorded several messages to air during the fighting.

    They said Saddam would have to make a specific reference to a recent event to prove he's alive.

    Officials say it is highly unlikely Saddam would use a double to give a speech; the Iraqis know such a ruse would probably be detected. Look-alikes, officials said, are more useful in motorcades and similar functions that don't require public speaking.

    British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon said he was not convinced that the address was current.

    "The contemporary events referred to ... did not appear to me to be unambiguously contemporary," he said.

    "And had he have wanted to indicate that this was live, or was recent, there were many events that he could have referred to, which he clearly did not," he said. "So that is why we are continuing to analyze the situation."

    In Saddam's address on Thursday, the Iraqi leader looked haggard and appeared at a loss at times, shuffling his papers to find his next line.

    On Monday, Saddam appeared relatively rested and spoke with confidence.

    However, Saddam repeatedly collected the papers from which he was reading and tapped his fingers against the worn-looking reading table.

    The backdrop was a white sheet. Saddam normally holds meetings or gives statements in palaces or other grand buildings but has recently hunkered down in rooms with beams, no windows and no discernible backdrops.

    Praising his troops, Saddam said Iraqi fighters were "causing the enemy to suffer and to lose every day."

    "As time goes by, they will lose more and they will not be able to escape lightly from their predicament," he said. "We will make it as painful as we can."

    Saddam said American and British forces had "become entangled" in Iraq's desert, with "Iraqi residents surrounding them and aiming their fire at them."

    Addressing the people of Iraq's cities - Basra, Baghdad, Mosul and elsewhere - Saddam warned that the enemy will intensify its raids as their troops suffer casualties on the ground.

    "Be patient. God's victory is coming.... Be tolerant," he added.

    Saddam said the ground battles were going well and Iraqi troops had been able to inflict great losses on the enemy. He praised his commanders, several of them by name, saying their units fought fiercely against coalition troops.

    Among those he named were the commanders of the 51st, 11th and 18th divisions, which are posted in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city.

    He told the people of Basra, which has been isolated but not occupied by allied forces, to be patient because "victory is imminent."

    Saddam said the allies were "trying to avoid engaging our forces" - a clear reference to the U.S. strategy of avoiding having to enter provincial cities - adding that "they are using their warplanes to attack our troops without engaging them in fighting."

    "Whenever they penetrated our territory, they were faced with fierce resistance from Iraqi people, tribes, party members, Saddam's Fedayeen and security forces," he said.

    2002 The E.W. Scripps Co.
  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Mkue
    He's probably hiding behind the "human shields"

    I didn't see the speech, thanks for posting it.
  4. by   wv_nurse 2003
    My vote is memorex--its vague, no specific details given. If I wanted people to know I was alive and doing well, and in command, I'd be sure to make reference to something I couldn't possibly have speculated about in advance--JMHO It doesn't mean that he is dead or alive, but I do believe it was pre-recorded
  5. by   Lausana
    Haven't seen this one yet. The very first speech shown seemed real to me...the other meetings shown were not convincing. By real I mean live!

    I'll have to watch for this one, thanks!
  6. by   jnette
    Originally posted by wv_nurse 2003
    My vote is memorex--its vague, no specific details given. If I wanted people to know I was alive and doing well, and in command, I'd be sure to make reference to something I couldn't possibly have speculated about in advance--JMHO It doesn't mean that he is dead or alive, but I do believe it was pre-recorded
    My sentiments exactly...I'd sure want to include something to let everyone know it is CURRENT... which he did not. Saw it at work this morning... I don't believe it was live at ALL. He has enough sense to pre-record, I'm sure.
  7. by   natsfanrn
    I think it's definitely recorded. I remember during Gulf War 1 Saddam was on TV every chance he had, spouting his mouth, hugging children, claiming we were bombing baby food factories, etc. For someone who needs to be in the spotlight, he's been awfully quiet lately...

    Also, I didn't hear the speech, but I did hear that one of the commanders he praised was one whose troops had surrendered...
  8. by   kavi
    I heard a good analysis of it on NBC. In addition to the point about his praising the commander who surrendered, they had an Arabic speaker explaining a lot of the nuances. For example; he was telling the people of El Nasireeyah (I know that's spelled wrong) to 'hang tough'---which, as they explained, he would be doing if he thought the allies had captured it. Instead, the battle was still going on----so he would have mentioned it as a 'great fight' or something if it was live. Also, they said he wouldn't have passed up a chance to go on and on about the POW's.

    I know we're hoping that if the Iraqui people think he's dead there will be a coup or something. The Arabic speaker guy said that Arabic is a very nuanced language, and they understand that there's some kind of problem because of what Saddam said or didn't say. But this guy thought that it was a bad sign for us. Because we're getting Iraqi resistance, even if his people aren't sure if he was alive. Pretty scary.
  9. by   Mkue
    I've heard that during the tape SH was referring to the bravery of one of his groups of solders, when in fact, that group was one the first to surrender to coalition forces. So I don't know what to believe.
  10. by   passing thru
    They said on tonights news it is him, his latest speech is him anyway. He made references (specific) to events that happened yesterday.
  11. by   howie122832
    He looks different to me every time I see him on T.V.,

    Ugly, but different!

    edited .. because I'm brain dead!!
  12. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by kardut

    Also, I didn't hear the speech, but I did hear that one of the commanders he praised was one whose troops had surrendered...
    kardut.. I thought that was odd too
  13. by   DebsZoo

    This report states the speech had 67 edits in it.
  14. by   Cynthiann
    I did happen to see it last night and I definitely think it was pre-recorded. Everything he said was way to general to be live. One of the expert analysis said that SH likes to take credit for everything so it's funny that he wasn't bragging about having POWs. Another thing I found funny (other than what was mentioned about those who surrendered) was that he said nothing about the bombing from the first night. Wouldn't of he wanted to gloat since he survived?