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2003-03-25

Veteran War Correspondent Robert Fisk: Debating Whether Its Really Saddam Detracts From the Issue of What the Iraqi President Actually Says

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We continue with the interview we recorded late last night with veteran war correspondent Robert Fisk in Baghdad.

Fisk says the constant debate about whether Saddam Hussein’s recent addresses on Iraqi television are by Hussein himself or by a double, detract from the issue at hand: what Hussein actually says.

Fisk says an American correspondent told him: "This is ridiculous, we simply can’t report the story, because every time we have to deal with something Saddam says, the Pentagon claims it’s not him or it’s his double or it was recorded 2 weeks ago."

Fisk reports that in his speech, Hussein continually referred to Iraq’s history of fighting against colonialism, and repeatedly urged the Iraqi people to be patient.

Fisk observes the Iraqi President’s speech is in some ways similar to speeches by President Bush and Osama bin Laden: all of them invoke a battle against evil, against the devil.

But first, he talks about rumors that Turkish troops have entered Iraq, and what its like to be a reporter covering the war without the Pentagon’s active support.

  • Robert Fisk, reporter in Baghdad with the London newspaper The Independent.

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