By: Greg Mitchell
Is it just me, or is Vice President Cheney starting to sound like another balding, rose-colored-glasses wearing war spokesman, Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, better known as ?Baghdad Bob??
Yesterday, after a week of serious criticism, for claiming that the insurgency in Iraq was in its ?last throes,? Cheney refused to back down, even after Gen. John Abizaid, our top military commander for the Middle East, proclaimed that the insurgency, in fact, was as strong as ever, and ?a lot of work? remained to be done to defeat it. Earlier this week, GOP Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska had said he was sick of sunny assertions about the war from the White House, and declared that the United States indeed might be losing, not on the edge of victory.
Yet Cheney said on Thursday, ?If you look at what the dictionary says about ‘throes,’ it can still be a violent period.? He compared this time to the end of World War II when tough battles ?occurred just a few months before the end. I see this as a similar situation.? Give this man a beret!
Is it time to start calling him “D.C. Dick”? Or “Baghdad 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 one of his Web faux-shrines, 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.
“No, I am not scared, and neither should you be.”
“Be assured: Baghdad is safe, protected.”
“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.”
“They think that by killing civilians and trying to distort the feelings of the people they will win.”
“I blame Al-Jazeera.”
“Those are not Iraqis at all. Where did they bring them from?”
“I can assure you that those villains will recognize in the future how they are pretending things which have never taken place.”
“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!”
“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.”
“Even those who live on another planet, if there are such people, would condemn them.”
“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.”
“Once again, I blame al-Jazeera. Please, make sure of what you say and do not play such a role.”
“Most of you probably saw the movie ‘Wag the Dog’. I hope you remember it.”
“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.”
“Rumsfeld, he needs to be hit on the head.”