As you surely know by now, a prerecorded tape, apparently of Saddam Hussein, appeared on Iraqi TV today, unannounced. Some consider this the proof that Saddam is still alive and well, but for some inexplicable reason saw no need to prove this until now. I'm not convinced ... yet. For one thing, wouldn't he have wanted to do this immediately after the strikes, rather than waiting until most of his country was under coalition control? For another, the references to the war remain vague. According to this story from FoxNews:
The speech made only one topical reference – to the capture of an Apache helicopter March 23, which Iraqi officials have said was brought down by farmers in central Iraq. "Perhaps you remember the valiant Iraqi peasant and how he shot down an American Apache with an old weapon," Saddam said in the brief speech.There's only one problem with this "topical" reference: it is a reference to an event that the Iraqis made up. There was no valiant Iraqi peasant who shot down an American Apache with an old weapon. All there was was an Apache that went down over Iraq, an event which, however tragic, was almost certain to happen sometime, somewhere during the war. For all we know, the Iraqi regime may have cooked up that theory months before the war started, filmed Saddam's "recollection" of the event, and waited for the first Apache to crash on Iraqi soil. Even then it seems a little odd that they didn't run the video sooner.
Here's a statement Saddam could have made, but didn't, which would have convinced me he is alive (assuming the details are correct, of course):
"Perhaps you remember Ali Akbar, the valiant Iraqi peasant who, shot down an American Apache near Basra with a .30-'06 two weeks ago."Then again, whoever said that dead men tell no tales? As I've noted in the comments section of LGF, if a dead guy can still blog, he can probably still send new messages by other media as well. UPDATE: Instapundit is skeptical, too.