Mysterious ‘Saddam Channel’ Hits Iraq TV

SaddamTVLARA JAKES writes on the AP via AOL News:

Turning on their TVs during the long holiday weekend, Iraqis were greeted by a familiar if unexpected face from their brutal past: Saddam Hussein. The late Iraqi dictator is lauded on a mysterious satellite channel that began broadcasting on the Islamic calendar’s anniversary of his 2006 execution.

No one seems to know who is bankrolling the so-called Saddam Channel, although the Iraqi government suspects it’s Baathists whose political party Saddam once led. The Associated Press tracked down a man in Damascus, Syria named Mohammed Jarboua, who claimed to be its chairman.

Viewers of al-Lafeta TV on Saturday saw the phrase “Raise your sword” next to a portrait of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The channel began broadcasting on Friday, the first day of an important holiday of the Islamic calendar, and the anniversary of Saddam’s execution three years ago.

The Saddam channel, he said, “didn’t receive a penny from the Baathists” and is for Iraqis and other Arabs who “long for his rule.” Jarboua has clearly made considerable efforts to hide where it’s aired from and refuses to say who is funding it besides “people who love us.”

Iraqis surprised to find Saddam on their TVs responded with the kind of divided emotions that marked his reign.

Read More: AP via AOL News