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a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Comical Saeed

Posted by Thomas Nephew on April 10th, 2003

David Aaronovitch, one of my favorite British columnists, on ex?-Minister of Information Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf (in “Me and Labour: is it time to tie the knot?“):

No one cares about the demise of the previously mentioned Chemical Ali (now there, Tam, was a war criminal for you!), but I’m rather hoping that if one Saddamite survives the war in Iraq, it will be Comical Saeed, the information minister.

His has been an amazing act – Goebbels meets Groucho Marx. Remember, “There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!”? Or, “The Americans are not at the airport, they are 100km away!”? And my favourite, when asked whether he had seen Saddam Hussein, “Have I seen him? This question is none of your business!”

For nearly three weeks, almost unaided, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf has faced hundreds of foreign media types, and conjured up vast, imaginary legions of resisting Saddam-loving Iraqis and certain annihilation for the invaders. His very imperturbability has suggested to many that he knew something that they didn’t, that the emperor was armoured from head to foot. How does he do it?

I really like the title “Minister of Information.” You can’t stop me: I am now Minister of Information. My taxes are done, and I will get a refund. SARS is vanquished. Same for HIV. — Have I seen Cheney? This question is none of your business!

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