Al-Jazeera TV has broadcast 10 minutes of a 20-minute audio tape it said was apparently the voice of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The text of the recording, as edited and broadcast by the TV, follows.
In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate: "And we shall try you until we test those among you who strive to their utmost and persevere in patience; and we shall try your reported mettle." [Koranic verse]
O great people, stalwart men of our courageous armed forces, and sons of our glorious nation: Peace be upon you. We are now on 14 Rabi al-Thani 1424 Hegira, corresponding to 14 June 2003.
Did you see how they destroyed the two civilizations of Iraq - the old and new ones...? Did you see how they are planning to destroy the universities, institutes, and schools?
I have learned what the Iraqis say and whisper about. They are asking: why have we not heard Saddam Hussein's voice for some time? By raising this question, it is as if they are calling on Saddam Hussein to talk to them.
To begin with, I say that I miss you so much, o loved ones, although I am among you and within your ranks.
However, you know, beloved brothers and sons, that sending you an audio recording is not as easy as it used to be before, despite our attempts to send it to you before now. Still, you are right in making this observation, which is why I am addressing you today.
I am addressing you to tell you and future generations, along with honourable Arabs and all believers of our nation and in the world, that before and during the recent battle, I told you in my name and on behalf of the leadership that we will not let you down, God willing.
I told you that we will not anger God, nor will we not gain God's complete satisfaction with us. This would have happened had we obeyed and yielded to the Zionist-US threats or had accepted that they occupy or impose whatever they want on Iraq without a fight.
By doing so, they would have humiliated Iraq's faithful will and its people's right to live freely and make decisions based on dignity that stems from genuine belief, and patriotism.
Furthermore, they would have closed the doors of the future in return for maintaining our rule under their infidel colonial control, thus we would be like others, whom you know.
May they fail and so may their actions. We have fulfilled our pledge and promise to you. We sacrificed what we sacrificed, but did not sacrifice the principles that are based on great faith, symbols of sublime honour, people, and the nation.
We sacrificed our rule but did not break our promise to God. We also did not stab the people, the nation, or the good-willed people in the back, neither through surrender nor defeatism. We praise and thank God for everything ...
Brothers and sons, brave women and men, I bring you the good news that cells and brigades of jihad, sacrifice, and their organisations have indeed been formed on a large scale, comprising men and women mujahideen.
They have started their honourable actions in fighting the enemy and the aggression. You must be hearing about them, although what you are hearing about them, especially the losses they are inflicting among the (?infidel) invaders is just a small part of the actual losses.
Hardly a day or a week passes without the blood of the infidels being let on our chaste land thanks to the jihad of mujahideen. God willing, what the coming days will bring, with the help of God, will be difficult for the infidel invaders, and honourable for the believers.
Therefore, I call on you to provide cover for the heroic mujahideen and not to give the infidel invaders and their collaborators any information about them and their activities during, before, or after their execution of jihadist operations.
'Inform on spy'
I urge you to stop chattering and mentioning names or any factual information about them.
And because the mujahideen are doing their work in accordance with the wishes of God, the people, the nation, and the homeland, and in response to the leadership's call for jihad, they have the right to protect themselves, including punishing those who hurt them deliberately. It is hard for us to ask them not to do so.
Given the above, we call for respecting the mujahideen's security and for engaging in whatever would guarantee this, God willing.
We also urge you to inform on each and every accursed spy or deviant who does not hesitate to carry out any subversive or dishonourable role...
I say that they saw that Iraq had become a threat to their illegitimate interests and plans to control the world after they tighten their control over the [Arab] nation and the region, God forbid.
Iraq's course and policy had disrupted the ambitions of America, Zionism, and their allies. Therefore, they wanted to punish Iraq.
They sought to make this evil action of theirs a prelude to controlling the region.
This was because the Iraqi leadership did not do their bidding, nor was it liable to be tempted by what they used to tempt others, or frightened by what they used to frighten others. Thus, they are seeking to destroy the spiritual and moral pillars of Iraq.
The so-called weapons of mass destruction were only a cover, just like the other covers they used against Iraq and Palestine, and which they will use against others if they find them to be necessary to achieve their goals.
Having said this, did you see how they destroyed the two civilizations of Iraq - the old and new ones - and how they destroyed the centres of science, technological development, and scientific research, and the infrastructure of the new renaissance and reconstruction, even after they officially announced the end of their failed military operations?
Did you see how they are planning to destroy the universities, institutes, and schools, and how they are interfering in their curricula?
They arrested and interrogated thousands of Iraqis of various strata, professions, and levels, including the State's higher echelons of leadership, simple citizens, and ordinary employees.
They interrogated them on each and every possible matter, including the hanging of Saddam Hussein's photographs on house walls.
'Salute my comrades'
We wonder: now that everything has become clear, is it not your right to ask the invaders where are the weapons of mass destruction they claimed Iraq was hiding?
Based on these allegations of theirs, they mobilised for the war and aggression and carried them out.
I would like to make it clear to everyone that my comrades and brother members of the command are actually in Iraq now.
Hence, I salute them and you.
I also salute the mujahideen held in the occupation authorities' jails and those engaged in the combat arenas. I hail their steadfastness, jihad, and sacrifices.
I pray to Almighty God to grant them patience and bestow on them whatever would render them examples to be emulated by the Iraqis and the sons of their nation and make them fair in their behaviour and actions. God is great. May the lowly be accursed.
[Dated] 14 Rabi al-Thani 1424 Hegira, corresponding to 14 June 2003
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