From an American reader working in the Gulf (exact nation withheld at his request):
Dear Mr. Goldberg:
I’m an American living in one of the Gulf states. One of the nicest benefits of being here is receiving the Iraqi satellite TV station. It’s a treat.
I write to report one fact and one opinion.
Fact: Iraqi satellite TV stopped broadcasting from sometime mid-morning until late this afternoon. ’Twas unscheduledly off the air. It’s back on now, showing the same old stuff. It would take many, many thousands of words to describe Iraqi satellite TV. Again, it’s a treat.
Opinion: As we don’t get CBS, I didn’t see Dan Rather’s interview with Mr. Hussein. That’s a heartbreaker, I know. However, for some months now, I’ve made a point of checking the Iraqi station several times each evening to see what might be playing. The Saddam Show. The Saddam Quote Show. Saddam-Is-Great Music Television. Same shocking Saddam-Is Great karaoke shows. The Death-to-Bush and Saddam-is-Great Show. Reruns of the aforementioned. And so on.
Anyway, though I didn’t see Mr. Rather’s recent interview, I do get to see quite a lot of Mr. Hussein and hear his voice by regularly looking at Iraqi satellite TV. It is my opinion that the tape shown this morning was indeed Mr. Hussein.
The face was right. The voice was right. He’s an old man, and new footage isn’t all that common. Most of the images seen of him these days are from some years back. The newer footage shows the same man seen this morning.
My wife and I have seen at least one fake Saddam on Iraqi television, and I assure you, you’ll know the fake Saddam when you see the fake Saddam. The effort was slapdash and amateurish and weak. It was pitiable. It was hilarious. We laughed uproariously.