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Interviews with Andy Servwer, Latif Yahia

Aired March 25, 2003 - 08:54   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back as move up on about six minutes before the top of the hour here.
Time to get the news from Wall Street. Will the market get back on track after yesterday's massive setback?

Andy Serwer, the man to answer those questions. Good morning.

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Good morning, Paula. It does looks like Wall Street will be back on track. Yesterday a terrible day for the financial markets. The Dow was down over 300 points, 3.6 percent European markets down. But this morning I think the watchword is stabilization. European, Asian markets are stabilizing; they're mixed right now.

ZAHN: Why?

SERWER: Well, basically because people are digesting the news out of Iraq. There are people understanding that yes, we were going to encounter this resistance from this Iraqis. But we are moving ahead. So I think that after the initial shock of the resistance people understanding this is a real battle.

Yesterday's, trading was light, which is good news. It means it wasn't a wholesale sell-off. Oil was up yesterday, it's up a little bit more in Europe and London this morning but again, not so bad.

The other news we're following this morning in the financial markets is the Bush outlining a $75 billion military spending package. We'll be talking about that a later in the morning.

ZAHN: We'll actually hear from the president at 10:40 AM Eastern Time. And what's happening with Al-Jazeera?

SERWER: Interesting, the New York stock exchange has banned Al- Jazeera from reporting from the exchange basically saying they're not covering business news. So there's no reason for them to be there.

ZAHN: Interesting move on the stock exchange's part.

See you in a little bit Andy, thanks. Time to go back to Bill now in Kuwait -- Bill.

HEMMER: Paula, thanks. We've had a guest standing by waiting in Manchester, England. He's a gentleman by the name of Latil Yahia. He wrote a book "I Was a Son of Saddam" -- "I Was Saddam's Son," to be a bit more accurate. He was essentially a body double for the son Uday Hussein back in Iraq. And again he's live in Manchester, England. And I want to say thanks to you. Welcome here to AMERICAN MORNING.

How in the world were you ever chosen back in Iraq to be this body double for Uday?

LATIF YAHIA, AUTHOR: This was in Baghdad; I was in Iraqi military at this moment. They send a letter to my general to go back to Baghdad in 48 hours. And I go back to Baghdad and straight away to the Republic Palace and from Republic Palace I met Uday Saddam Hussein.

HEMMER: You met Saddam Hussein at that time. Did you meet Uday as well?

YAHIA: Uday Saddam, Uday Saddam. Not Saddam.

HEMMER: Oh, I apologize. I can't hear it quite clearly. Listen, I can't see you based on my position here in Kuwait City. Do you believe you look like Uday?

YAHIA: This is what the people say that.

HEMMER: How often did you see Uday in your time that you served as this body double?

YAHIA: I see him nearly every day.

HEMMER: Now, you saw him every day. So you talked to him every days well, right?

YAHIA: Yes, when I was on the job, yes.

HEMMER: Now, it's my understanding that at times you were forced to watch videotapes on torture, videotapes on rape. What was the intent of that?

YAHIA: Just to color your humanity, to be evil like them. I want to point -- one point before I start talking about Uday, talking about this war now, this is not war against Saddam Hussein or Uday Saddam. This is a war against the Iraqi people and to make it clear, I am completely against this war. I am against this government. This doesn't mean I give permission to American soldier and American government to invade my country. This is my point.

HEMMER: Do you -- to take that point a step further how would you suggest then, that if you're against the government of Saddam Hussein, how would you take this regime and replace it, then?

YAHIA: As United Nations, if America they don't believe United Nations, they go out of United Nations. If they ignore resolution to invade Iraq or even no law on the war. You know I study international law there's no law in the world say you change regime. No law in the United Nations or not in any law in the world. We are Iraqi. We want to liberate our country by Iraqi hands, by Iraqi people. Not by American and that come invade my country and kill civilian people. I have a family, I have people, I have friends. I want to go back to Iraq to visit my family, see my families. I don't want to go to Iraq to visit the grave of my family.

HEMMER: All right. Listen, I respect your opinion, certainly. In the short time we have left though, just get back to the original topic, how many body doubles do you believe exist of Saddam Hussein?

YAHIA: I know of four bodies double. Of one of them, trained with me. The rest I never saw them or meet them.

HEMMER: All right. Latif Yahia, he wrote a book "I Was Saddam's Son." At one time he was for several years the body double for the son of Uday Hussein.

Thank you for your time again. And I hope at some point you can go back to your country and do it this time in a peaceful way. I appreciate time here on AMERICAN MORNING.

We're going to get a quick break. Get a news update from Leon Harris in a moment. Central Command is going to brief in about three minutes as well.


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