By: Greg Mitchell
Is it just me, or is Vice President Cheney, in his latest statements, starting once again to sound like another balding, rose-colored-glasses wearing war spokesman, Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, better known as ?Baghdad Bob??
For that matter, has anyone seen “Bob” lately? Perhaps, as a trained propagandist, he is in the bunker with Dick, writing his material.
By now you have read excerpts from Cheney’s interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN this week, filled with delusional statements — reminiscent of his “last throes” claims — about things going so well in Iraq and refusing to admit any mistakes (beyond counting on the American public to strongly support the war forever). Asked, for example, if there is still a deadly mess to clean up in Iraq, Cheney replied, “No there is not. There is not. There’s problems ? ongoing problems ? but we have in fact accomplished our objectives.”
In a later Newsweek interview he said that the president’s State of the Union address had “shored up” his public standing — even though every major poll shows that it actually sank.
Is it time to start calling Cheney “Beltway Bob”? Or “D.C. Dick”? Or perhaps “Bunker Bob”?
Baghdad Bob, of course, was Saddam Hussein’s minister of information, later immortalized on t-shirts, Web sites, and even a DVD for his optimistic, if fanciful, statements about Iraq’s triumph over the American infidels, right up to the point his boss left the building. Baghdad Bob somehow survived and later worked as an Arab TV commentator, sans trademark beret (although he now seems to have inhabited our vice president’s body).
Here are a few Baghdad Bob classics from the spring of 2003 (courtesy of several Web shrines, including We Love the Iraqi Information Minister). See if you can imagine them coming out of the mouth of our vice president speaking to the press today.
“Be assured: Baghdad is safe, protected.”
“They think that by killing civilians and trying to distort the feelings of the people they will win.”
“We are in control, they are not in control of anything, they don’t even control themselves!”
“The battle is very fierce and God will make us victorious.”
“Those are not Iraqis at all. Where did they bring them from?”
“No, I am not scared, and neither should you be.”
“I blame Al-Jazeera.”
“I would like to clarify a simple fact here: How can you lay siege to a whole country? Who is really under siege now?”
“We’re giving them a real lesson today. Heavy doesn’t accurately describe the level of casualties we have inflicted.”
“The American press is all about lies! All they tell is lies, lies, and more lies!”
“I can assure you that those villains will recognize in the future how they are pretending things which have never taken place.”
“They are becoming hysterical. This is the result of frustration.”
“I speak better English than Bush.”
“Just look carefully, I only want you to look carefully. Do not repeat the lies of liars. Do not become like them.”
“The United Nations … it is all their fault.”
“This is unbiased: They are retreating on all fronts. Their effort is a subject of laughter throughout the world.”
“The force that was near the airport, this force was destroyed.”
“They are achieving nothing. Our estimates are that none of them will come out alive unless they surrender to us quickly.”
“They hold no place in Iraq. This is an illusion.”
“My information came from authentic sources. Many authentic sources.”
“Once again, I blame al-Jazeera. Please, make sure of what you say and do not play such a role.”
“I will only answer reasonable questions.”
“These cowards have no morals. They have no shame about lying.”
“You can go and visit those places. Everything is okay. They are not in Najaf. They are nowhere. They are on the moon.”
“My feelings – as usual – we will slaughter them all.”
“We are in control. They are in a state of hysteria. Losers, they think that by killing civilians and trying to distort the feelings of the people they will win. I think they will not win, those bastards.”
“Rumsfeld, he needs to be hit on the head.”