DUBAI - An audiotape attributed to Saddam Hussein on Thursday blasted "the lies" of US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to justify their invasion of his country.
The tape was aired on Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV on the 35th anniversary of the seizure of power by Saddam's Baath Party.
The speaker hailed Iraqi towns where US troops have repeatedly come under attack and accused Iraqi officials named by the US-led coalition of being "lackeys" of the American occupier who will not serve their people's interests.
"What can those appointed by the occupier offer the people and country other than what the occupier wants?" the voice asked in a thinly veiled reference to the newly-unveiled interim Governing Council.
Saddam's whereabouts have been a mystery since his overthrow by the US-British coalition in April.
It was the third alleged audiotape of the elusive Iraqi strongman aired by Arab TVs in two weeks.
It came amid an upsurge in attacks on US troops by suspected Saddam loyalists in Baghdad and to the north and west, which the top US commander in the region, General John Abizaid, has admitted amounts to a guerrilla war.
The voice said to be that of Saddam said the "lies" of Bush and Blair to justify the war were finally being exposed, prompting them to try to pass the buck.
The reference was to Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction that have yet to be unearthed more than three months after Saddam's overthrow despite extensive searches.
"What will the liars Bush and Blair tell their people and mankind, what will the chorus of liars that backed them say, and what will they tell the world after they wove a scenario of lies against Iraq and its leadership?
"What will they do after it became clear that what they said were lies and that this was known to the president of the United States and the prime minister of Britain when they decided to wage war and aggression?" the voice asked.
"In order to save themselves," Bush and Blair were now "trying to blame others" for those lies, the voice said.
"What will Arab officials ... say after some jumped on the US-British bandwagon and took part in the aggression?"
The speaker also told Iraqis they were one people, be they Sunni or Shiite Muslim, Arab, Kurd or Turkmen.
As with previous messages, the authenticity of the tape could not be verified. But US intelligence sources have said the other tapes appeared to be the voice of Saddam.