Skip to comments.THE MINISTER OF MISINFORMATION - AL-SAHAF (Baghdad Bob!) IS NEW TV STAR
Posted on 04/07/2003 10:12:44 PM PDT by Timesink
IT'S all over bar the routing. So with all due deference to the tragedy and pain on the field of battle let's look at some of the less important aspects of what Bush and Blair like to call Operation Iraqi Freedom.
With brave coalition boys striding through both Basra and now Baghdad there seems little doubt that our troops will soon triumph as Saddam's sad army lurches inexorably towards abject defeat.
But war has many sides to it. Away from the field of conflict you can be on the losing side and still be a winner. And from the ashes and rubble of Iraq's beleaguered capital city a new star is rising.
Oblivious to the carnage of Saddam's destroyed edifices all around him, unbowed by the glaringly obvious fact that his beloved president is finished and (above all) not for a second perturbed by the truth, Saddam's incredible Information Minister carries on regardless.
Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf (crazy name - crazy guy!) spouts non-stop garbage. His brand of crazed propaganda makes Lord Haw Haw look like a paragon of honest appraisal.
But, boy, what delivery! What star quality!
Beret, military fatigues, minimalist glasses and a finger pointing technique to die for, this guy is eminently more watchable than the entire teams of Sky, ITV and the BBC put together.
Marvellous Mo's daily press briefings provide the kind of light relief that we all need in these dark times of bloodshed and terror.
"What?" he bellows in his resonant Disney bad-guy Arabic accent, "Don't ask stupid questions. PLEASE NO MORE STUPID QUESTIONS. I am here to tell you the truth...Saddam...still in power...Blair and Bush...cowboys...international criminal b******s...Al Capones...Iraqi people... great victory...Americans...NOT in Baghdad."
It's all utter propaganda rubbish. But, next to the coalition's monotone spokesmen on a mission to bore the world from Qatar, al-Sahaf is a laugh-a-minute sensation.
Marvellous Mo's greatest moment unfolded as millions watched US soldiers marching into the largely deserted Saddam Airport.
"NO", snapped Mr al-Sahaf, "We have retaken the airport. There are NO Americans there. I will take you there and show you. IN ONE HOUR!"" Strangely, his little outing failed to materialise. Yesterday our spin doctoring hero was back to his spellbinding best. Suddenly he was talking to the world's journalists al fresco. Gone was his microphone bedecked podium, gone was that weird looking map of the world, in front of which he used to pontificate, gone was the Ministry of Information.
This extraordinary man's office, had been blown to smithereens. But, naturally, to al-Sahaf such a trifling detail wasn't worth mentioning. He simply regrouped to the streets and continued his increasingly absurd wall of (un)sound. Never before has so much war been filmed by so few to be watched by so many from the comfort of their own armchairs.
And what a TV spectacle this David and Goliath clash has provided for a grateful viewing public.
And with the emergence of Iraq's delightful Disinformation Minister, there is already important news for the British television industry's obsessive talent spotters.
Constantly on the look-out for fresh faces these star searchers will surely be heading for the Middle East with cheque books in hand. For my money Mohammed is the man to replace Angus Deayton on Have I Got News For You. He'd soon shut that little jerk Ian Hisplop up. "PLEASE...NO MORE PATHETIC JOKES! DON'T BE STUPID!"
But for the time being on-screen performances must be limited to Baghdad. And thank God for him.
Blinking through my tears of boredom at Sky TV's knee-jerk military analysis by the vertically challenged "expert" Francis Tusa and the omnipresent Tim Marsh, I have been transfixed whenever Sky switched to al-Sahaf. I know he's an apologist for an evil despot and a violent, repressive regime. But, sod it, the guy makes great TV.
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The Brits can't have him, SNL gets him!
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"Ladies and germs, for the first time at Sam's Backwoods Hideaway, we present to you that Muslim mirthmaker, that wacky Iraqi, the Minister of Mockery...Moe Sahaf!"
"Thank you, Sam. Hey, how are ya, ladies and gentlemen? Anybody here Jewish? Yeah? A whole bunch of you, huh? Well, DIE AND ROT IN THE BOWELS OF HELL, YOU PIGS AND MONKEYS! Nah, I'm just kiddin'. I like filthy Zionist usurpers of the sacred Arab lands, I really do. Hey, hey, settle down...just not in the Occupied Territories! [Rimshot.]"
Click on the pic and tell me what you think.
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