Friday, March 21, 2003

Saddam, or Not Saddam?

First of all it’s not pre-recorded. If it was done in advance the production values would have been better, he wouldn’t have been reading from a notepad and he wouldn’t have needed to wear Janet Reno’s glasses. And why the hat covering his hairline?

Second, if it was the real Saddam in real time he would have spoken to the camera without hesitation and extemporaneously . . . after all, why would he need to be careful about his words now? No need for carefully crafted talking points.

Presumably he wrote the words himself just a few moments before going on the air. So why waste that precious time . . . when commanders are waiting anxiously for proof that he’s still alive . . . writing out your text? Saddam knows what to say . . . he would have said it without a draft.

Third, would he say “Bush”? Didn’t Saddam correct Dan Rather a few weeks ago and say that he should be called “President Bush” out of deference to his office? A small point and perhaps unrealistic under the circumstances. But Saddam did seem to be rather pleased with himself in the 60 Minutes interview by staking a claim to the gracious high ground. Would he throw it all away now just because the shooting has started?

My guess, the remarks were written by one of the hotheads who was lucky to survive the attack but was unsure of how Saddam would behave in such circumstances.

Saddam is either dead or not in any condition to appear on television. Someone else wrote “Saddam’s” words and did a poor job of capturing his tone and manner. And yet another non-Saddam read those words for the first time when he stepped out of wardrobe and directly on to the “Good Morning Baghdad” program.

Either that or I’m totally wrong.

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