Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf,
April 10, 2003 2:32 PM   Subscribe

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Iraq's ceaselessly optomistic information minister, has gone missing. Until he turns up, relive some of his choicest quotes.
posted by zedzebedia (26 comments total)

I, for one, am gonna miss that guy. I'd give him a gig on the nightly news - 3 years, with an option.

"And now, 'The View from Baghdad," with Mo Sahaf..."

"Yes, Hello, Jim. A year after the evil philanderers have invaded our country, they are still foiled and destroyed. We set upon them like venomous weasels, and stripped the very flesh from their bones. In other news, that is not a McDonald's behind me: it is a clever ploy by the lying Americans to make me Believe it is a McDonalds, but I, and my people, are not fooled."
posted by Perigee at 2:47 PM on April 10, 2003

Would love to know what drugs Comical Ali's been smoking lately.
posted by PeteyStock at 2:48 PM on April 10, 2003

"I am still in Baghdad. I have not left. I have pushed the infidels out of the country. What they say about my disappearance is completely an illusion."
posted by blefr at 2:50 PM on April 10, 2003

The Baghdad Bob Soundboard
posted by internal at 3:03 PM on April 10, 2003

Oliver's funny is funny.
posted by machaus at 3:05 PM on April 10, 2003

My favorite story, omitted from the "Comical Ali" Sky news story, was when he gave a streetside news conference (because the Information Ministry building was occupied) to say that there were no US troops in Baghdad.
posted by rschram at 4:04 PM on April 10, 2003

I'd give him a gig on the nightly news

Nah, definitely gameshow host material. "To Tell the Truth: 2003".
posted by MrBaliHai at 4:24 PM on April 10, 2003

The sad thing is that the man was probably deathly afraid for his own, and probably his family's lives.

Lie or die.

I hope he made it through all of this alive.
posted by silusGROK at 4:37 PM on April 10, 2003

The sad thing is that the man was probably deathly afraid for his own, and probably his family's lives.

If he betrayed his brother-in-law (I wonder how his sister felt) as mentioned in one of the SkyNews links I seriously doubt this.

I, too, will miss him.
posted by linux at 5:01 PM on April 10, 2003

Afraid for his family? According to this article, he turned in his own brother-in-law to Saddam to be killed.
posted by GaelFC at 5:04 PM on April 10, 2003

You've got to admit that's one hell of a qualification for a spin doctor. Not only lies well to camera, but will sell out close relatives for you.
posted by Flitcraft at 5:19 PM on April 10, 2003

I wasn't defending the man as a saint. I was merely offering a different angle from which to view the situation.

I can't speak to the treachery.
posted by silusGROK at 5:38 PM on April 10, 2003

Ok, I now know I am not alone. In fact, all over America (i.e. the three poeple I've talked to about this) there is a powerful upwelling of love and admiration for al-Sahaf. That guy was unstoppable! The one where he said, with total sincerity and absolute conviction, that there were no US troop in Baghdad, with a Bradley armored vehice full of Marines clearly visible over his shoulder? That was genius. He made you wonder if maybe you were just imagining it after all. Such was the depth and force of his total unswerving conviction.

A man that can lie like that? That's a man to be reckoned with. You may not like him personally, and he may sell out family, but network news needs him. America needs him.

Is there any "Save al-Sahaf" effort underway?
posted by rusty at 7:11 PM on April 10, 2003

Agreed, this was the one guy (and perhaps the only aspect of the whole war) that everyone in America could both laugh at and admire at the same time - lefty, righty, in-betweeny, it didn't matter; we all had al-Sahaf.
posted by yhbc at 7:29 PM on April 10, 2003

posted by yhbc at 7:33 PM on April 10, 2003

Did anyone else catch the BBC footage from his office, with his sleeping mat, rumpled blankie, and pillow on the floor in front of his desk? It looked like he'd had a fight with wifey and been sent to the doghouse.
posted by stonerose at 7:41 PM on April 10, 2003

yhbc: That was the first thing I thought of when I first heard this guy talking. I ? Baghdad Bob.
posted by AstroGuy at 7:49 PM on April 10, 2003

I always looked forward to his news conferences. I do wonder what has happened/will happen to him now. As for his reputed past, maybe if we lived in that political climate, some of us may have been guilty of the same things. It's better to die on your feet that live on your knees, is probably more easily said than done.

My favourite line from him though was when he apologised to the reporters as the tanks rolled in to Baghdad. Saying that they (the reporters) were guests and the sound of ammunition may have bothered them!
posted by Civa at 8:39 PM on April 10, 2003

From Something Awful:

COALITION QUOTE: "Our forces are moving through southern Iraq."
IRAQI INFORMATION MINISTER MOHAMMED SAEED AL-SAHAF RESPONSE: "The American forces were all destroyed in the Gulf of Mexico by the hand of Allah."

COALITION QUOTE: "After sustaining a direct hit from a rocket-propelled grenade, we returned fire and destroyed an Iraqi barracks."
IRAQI INFORMATION MINISTER MOHAMMED SAEED AL-SAHAF RESPONSE: "The Americans decided to blow up a hospital full of innocent children who were waiting for heart transplants and UN-approved eyeball replacements."
posted by CrunchyFrog at 9:25 PM on April 10, 2003

Civa: "It's better to die on your feet that live on your knees, is probably more easily said than done."

It's better to move fast on your feet than to die on your knees, and this guy's a living testament to saving one's own butt by way of a forked tongue.

Tragedy is I stub my toe. Comedy is you get drafted at the proverbial barrel of a gun by a bloodthirsty madman to be his mouthpiece to the world's press and spout his lies while he dodges very large bombs and crawls into tunnels as a means of escape leaving you for dead to fend for yourself when the Mutant Ninjas you were told were sheep break down the door and find you've been speaking on behalf of a bunch of weasels dressed up in wolves' clothing. with my apologies to Mel Brooks.

It wasn't his family's skins he was protecting. It was his own. Y'all gotta understand: the reason why a lot of Iraqis would look deadpan in the face of an American reporter or soldier and tell them that Saddam was good and the Americans would be crushed, was cuz WE LEFT THEM a decade ago, and those who sided early with the rebellion of the Turks and the seeming impending fall of Saddam back in the Gulf War were quickly silenced and probably made to be an example by Saddam's regime. The message the populous of Iraq got from Saddam's people after the Gulf War was "You think Saddam will fall but he's still here and if you do not show support for him you will meet the same fate of those who helped the infidels.." blah blah blah.

This Information Minister guy lived all his life in an environment which was Bizarro World to you and me. Lies save you. Telling the truth about your leaders will get your head cut off. Lies will set you free. Is he a good guy? Is he a hero? Probably not, but he is intrinsically, fallibly, and lovably human. Saeed Al-Sahaf was an element of this terrible war which helped make it just a little bit less of a painful pill to swallow. He unwittingly was so darn funny throughout it, he just seemed to take the sting out a bit. Not for him, obviously, but for those of us who really wish we didn't live in a Bizzaro World where people embrace lies over truth, tyranny over justice, and believe war can bring about peace. Saeed Al-Sahaf was a walking absurdity, and both a clown and a tragic figure, wrapped up in a shroud of fear. My hat's off to him. I pray when he stops running, he finds a place where he doesn't have to live in Bizarro World any longer. Come to think of it, I pray that for all of us.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:46 PM on April 10, 2003

Baghdad Bob, blogging on the lam.

More T-shirts (some proceeds to TAPS).
posted by dhartung at 10:51 PM on April 10, 2003

I hear he's taken a job substituting for Ari Fleischer on occasion.

He's that good at spinning!

Failing that job turns out successfully, Murdoch has a slot waiting for him on Fox News.

And that's Baghdad Robert to all you who don't know him personally.
posted by nofundy at 5:02 AM on April 11, 2003

I hope he made it through all of this alive.

Doesn't matter if he did ... he's still on the military's hit list.

I just know that everytime I saw him making a speech about how they were wiping out units or blowing up tanks, I had to wonder what sort of drugs he must be on. :D
posted by Orb at 7:37 AM on April 11, 2003

I hear he's taken a job substituting for Ari Fleischer on occasion.

Nah, Ari paid good money to have him taken out, since he offered far too much of a challenge to his position as the modern incarnation of the Mouth of Sauron.
posted by riviera at 7:54 AM on April 11, 2003

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf: Columnist for The Guardian:

Three things struck me immediately about Gordon Brown's budget yesterday: lies, lies and more lies. He has the audacity to say that he will increase borrowing by £12bn over the next three years, when we all know that he and his illegitimate cohorts will be shamed out of office by a huge Tory triumph in May's local elections. There is no way the Conservatives can lose this. Labour cannot survive. They know this and they are desperate.

Believe nothing that Gordon Brown says. With his budget I tell you he has committed suicide, absolutely. If he wants to find an extra £12bn he will have to find it in hell, because that is where he will be, with the added inconvenience of ravenous crows fighting over his pancreas.

posted by feelinglistless at 10:17 AM on April 11, 2003

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