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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Audio Tape of Saddam

Aired April 18, 2003 - 10:10   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: I understand we are getting actually even an additional tape of Saddam Hussein coming into us here at CNN, once again, from Abu Dhabi television. It's a just an audio tape. Let's listen in to this. Do we have a translator?
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

SADDAM HUSSEIN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): ... will be doomed, we said as a people and as an army, and I said it with you. But I was at the forefront with my colleagues in the command. We are steadfast and determined. We, this generation, to gain the bounty and the honor of defending our nation and our principles until the end, as destined by God, in this way, in this form and behavior, or with other forms or acts.

And we are confident that victory, at the end, will be ours, and that God will help us as much as we have stamina and belief to confront all the people, men and women. And the army said it also. And the party said it, all of it. And the national forces around it, men and women, said it. And also it was said by the tribesmen and the honored of the people.

And we committed -- and the command committed to that, depending on God Almighty. And I believed you when you pledged, and I still remember this and act accordingly and never forget it.

Then let all remember, let all remember those who have some doubt vis-a-vis conviction and belief in their chest, and let each tell the other that these times and these calamities need patience.

HUSSEIN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): To evict those with intentions behind this calamity is to inflict any enduring impact. And the lasting picture of this on our souls will not be accomplished by the invaders, except if the souls of the believers and the patience (ph) suffered some doubts that will shake their patience and their ability to fight and engage in jihad.

Remember this, you great Iraqis, and remind everyone now and in the future that the origin of belief is what God implants in the hearts when the soul becomes ready for that. And never engage in complacency that will lead to regret that will not be treated but what comes after it or the feeling of inability, helplessness that will waste your opportunity.

Don't give any weight to your act based on what the aggressors say or they secretly propagate through propaganda, through declared propaganda. Remember God in everything you do, and remember your pledge before him and before all the noble people and that God is able and capable to grant your victory at that time.

And when the matter is resolved by the will of God, then you will pluck with victory a great reward from God that will be sustenance for you in the hereafter and in this great life. And dignity that will be -- will reside in your souls in this land, in this earth, for you and all the nation.

And on the contrary to that, if you don't have that, if you have the contrary to that, then corruption will prevail, and you will pay the price due to those who have weak souls. You are the people of the great meaning.

Those who, amongst you -- now you can correct your vision either now or in the future. And those amongst you who declare a voice of weakness, remind him to declare, instead, a call for steadfastness and calm in the storm, not only on this earth, and you have to have a dignity that would cause you good destiny here and the hereafter.

HUSSEIN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): And don't, not now, not in the future, like it was in the past. And to build on the features and attributes of the strong and the great meanings and values.

And all of that comes from God. God is great. Long live our noble nation and the Fedayeen (ph) of the nation in Iraq and the great Arab nation. God is great, and long live the Iraqi army -- the struggling Iraqi -- the army that has a long record.

Long live Iraq. Long live Palestine, free and Arab. God is great, and may the losers lose.

KAGAN: Listening in there, that's Abu Dhabi Television claiming not just to have that videotape, that audio tape from Saddam Hussein. The question will be, once again, was that Saddam Hussein? Also very important, what was the date on which those tapes were made, if indeed it was Saddam Hussein. It seems like no matter how many tapes we have, we still come back to the same question.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, the questions remain. And Abu Dhabi TV claiming both those tapes were made on April 9th, both the audio tape and the videotape that we've been showing all morning long, which we've just got really a couple hours ago, which purports to show Saddam and at least one of his sons walking around those neighborhoods.

It's always interesting to me to listen to the speeches by Saddam Hussein, I am curious to know, how they play to an Iraqi audience, because at least to me, they sound very rambling, incoherent at times, very difficult to follow. And you think of an American politician giving a speech like that, at least based on the translation, they would say, what is he talking about?

KAGAN: And also as I was commented to you as we were listening to that, why not just to address the doubters out there, and I would think no matter whether it's an Arabic speaker, or an American or a British or anywhere around the world. There are doubters that are saying prove to me when this was made. Why not an historical reference so something that took place on that particular day.

COOPER: Right, it would be so simple, to say...

KAGAN: This is the day the city fell, or something about the POWs.

COOPER: Right, today we took two p.o.w.s, and their names are, I mean, anything like that.

Let's bring in our Baghdad bureau chief. She is standing by. She is in northern Iraq, but certainly who would have perspective on what we've been listening to and what we've been watching -- Jane.

JANE ARRAF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Daryn, that certainly is a voice that's going to strike here into the hearts of a lot of Iraqis, who are convinced that until they see the body of Saddam Hussein.

Now as you know, there's always been that speculation of doubles of Saddam. Is he the real Saddam? Is he not? Now, the voice is harder to imitate. But certainly, the inflection sounds like him, and even that rambling tone certainly sounds like him in some of those moments, where he reaches forward in history and tries to remind the Iraqi people that they are part of this great march, that he was, and perhaps is, leading in his own mind, if he is still alive.

Now a lot of Iraqis, again, aren't convinced he is gone, and certainly, this is going to be a factor. We've been going around here in northern Iraq talking to people. For the first time, an amazing thing, being able to talk to people openly. But there still is that level of fear, even here in Kirkuk. People say they are still afraid of Saddam, they are afraid of the Baath Party, and certainly, this is not going to help -- Daryn.

KAGAN: As you mentioned, in northern Iraq, this is probably bad, just one of the regions around Iraq has great reason to fear Saddam Hussein and his former regime at this point. One of the stories you are following for us today, in addition to talking about the tape was the discovery of a large number of graves. What can you tell us about that story as well?

ARRAF: I wish I could you tell more, except that there are a lot of questions. We are standing in the middle of what essentially may be a military cemetery. Now it's at the edge of a military base. First reports were that it may have been mass graves. There's nothing mass about these graves. They seem to be individual graves, although quite shallow.

Now you can probably see behind me some of these mounds of earth. And these go on for quite a long time. There may be 1,000 or more here. We just had Kurdish police who came here on it of curiosity, and out of curiosity, I have to say, dug up, again, one of the bodies here. This is the third time now. This is the third time now, Daryn, this grave has been dug up, and we are no closer to getting any answers.

But they believe that this is a military cemetery. Others, relatives of Kurds who have gone missing, some of the tens of thousands of Kurds perhaps, have been coming here by the busload, just out of curiosity, or trying to see if they could find any of their relatives. And they are firmly convinced that these are Kurds who disappeared under Saddam Hussein's regime, so we just do not know -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Many more questions from northern Iraq, not just on the videotape, but exactly what it is the fields and bodies and graves you are standing in the middle of.

Jane Arraf, thank you.

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