Yesterday marked what would have been Saddam Hussein's 74th birthday. And perhaps he did celebrate it somewhere! We're led to believe that Saddam was executed back in 2006, but according to a new audio recording, he just might still be alive — and calling up members of Iraq's parliament.

The sweet, staccato bark of America's long lost nemesis was heard by Hassan al-Allawi (pictured), a former Ba'ath Party member, "close friend of Saddam," and current parliamentarian during a recent dinner party. The Times spoke with Allawi, who told the paper that he switched it over to speaker phone, and:

"The guests were scared," Mr. Allawi said in a telephone interview Thursday from Beirut. "They said, ‘That is Saddam.' "

Mr. Allawi, who stood by Mr. Hussein's side as he rose to power and was briefly imprisoned before fleeing into exile, said he maintained a fondness for his former patron, even though he had embraced the democratic transition here as a member of Parliament. "Until this day, I love Saddam," he said.

The recording was put on YouTube and Allawi believes it is the pranksters who posted it. In the recording, "Saddam" tells him that a body double was executed in his place in 2006, and that he "will burn the Green Zone and I will make it red with the blood of the traitors." That's definitely the Saddam we all know.


Is this a smear campaign against a Sunni politician, or is Saddam Hussein really alive?

[NYT; YouTube]