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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Baghdad Bob, Meet D.C. Dick 

Earlier today, while taking our annual stroll through the Zemblan Hospital for the Seditious and/or Criminally Insane to distribute tasty goodies and warm mittens to those less fortunate and for the most part less deserving than ourself, we were startled by a series of loud, vigorous, and frankly rather bizarre pronouncements coming from a cell, we mean to say a suite, in the violent ward. When we asked the name of the obstreperous inmate, or rather patient, a kindly warder identified him as the notorious Baghdad Bob, erstwhile propaganda minister under Saddam Hussein, who in Spring of 2003 became an international figure of fun owing to his risibly counterfactual news bulletins predicting certain Iraqi victory against the Coalition of the Willing. Bob, we were told, enjoys limited entertainment options in his padded suite, and often amuses himself by repeating some of his most famous canards at the top of his lungs.

As we proceeded down the scrupulously clean, well-lit hallway, we heard a second series of pronouncements, just as loud and equally bizarre, coming from what we assumed was yet another padded suite. It turned out, however, to be the recreation room, where several especially well-behaved patients were exercising their hard-won TV privileges by watching the Wolf Blitzer interview with Vice President Dick Cheney. Apparently the strait-jackets prevent them from utilizing the remote control to change channels, although one of them, undaunted, was nonetheless making a spirited effort to lift the aforementioned device from an occasional table using only his teeth.

At any rate, we noticed considerable overlap among the topics touched upon by Messrs. Cheney and Bob in their respective rants, and we thought it might prove instructive to juxtapose their strongly-held, always fascinating opinions -- remembering, of course, that Mr. Bob is a madman, a puppet and a ludicrous buffoon, while Mr. Cheney is, whatever they may tell you to the contrary, the leader of the free world:

On the verdict of history:

"You can go back and argue the whole thing all over again, Wolf, but what we did in Iraq in taking down Saddam Hussein was exactly the right thing to do; the world is much safer today because of it. There have been three national elections in Iraq, there's a democracy established there, a constitution, a new democratically elected government, Saddam has been brought to justice and executed, his sons are dead, his government is gone and the world is better off for it . . . And you and I can have this debate -- we've had it before -- but the fact of the matter is, in terms of threats to the United States from al Qaeda, for example, attacks on the United States, they didn't need an excuse. We weren't in Iraq when they hit us on 9/11."
-- D.C. Dick

"I can assure you that those villains will recognize, will discover in appropriate time in the future how stupid they are and how they are pretending things which have never taken place."
-- Baghdad Bob

On the shifting nature of reality:

"Wolf, you can come up with all kinds of what-ifs. You've got to deal with the reality on the ground. The reality on the ground is, we've made major progress, we've still got a lot of work to do. There are a lot of provinces in Iraq that are relatively quiet. There's more and more authority transferred to the Iraqis all the time. But the biggest problem we face right now is the danger that the United States will validate the terrorist strategy, that, in fact, what will happen here with all of the debate over whether or not we ought to stay in Iraq, with the pressures from some quarters to get out of Iraq, if we were to do that, we would simply validate the terrorists' strategy that says the Americans will not stay to complete the task . . . that we don't have the stomach for the fight."
-- D.C. Dick

"Faltering forces of infidels cannot just enter a country of 26 million people and lay besiege to them! They are the ones who will find themselves under siege. Therefore, in reality whatever this miserable Rumsfeld has been saying, he was talking about his own forces. Now even the American command is under siege."
-- Baghdad Bob

On the (constant!) need to reassure the public:

"No, there is not [a terrible situation in Iraq]. There is not. There's problems, ongoing problems, but we have, in fact, accomplished our objectives of getting rid of the old regime, and there is a new regime in place that's been there for less than a year, far too soon for you guys to write them off. They have got a democratically written constitution, first ever in that part of the world. They've had three national elections. So there's been a lot of success."
-- D.C. Dick

"I triple guarantee you, there are no American soldiers in Baghdad."
-- Baghdad Bob


On the elusiveness of evildoers:

"We have not gotten Osama bin Laden, obviously, because he's very careful and, say, he doesn't communicate and he's not sort of in direct contact on a regular basis. But we've taken out several times that whole layer of leadership underneath Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri. One of the most dangerous jobs in the world is to be number three in the al Qaeda organization, because a lot of them are now dead or in custody. So we've done a lot of damage to that senior leadership, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and many others, as well, too."
-- D.C. Dick

"These villains, and in particular the villain Bush, said they had struck Iraq with 40 cruise missiles to assassinate President Saddam Hussein. Not only are they disappointed, I think they are hysterical."
-- Baghdad Bob

On the submissive character of the indigenous population:

"Oh, I think in terms of mistakes, I think we underestimated the extent to which 30 years of Saddam's rule had really hammered the population, especially the Shia population, into submissiveness. It was very hard for them to stand up and take responsibility in part because anybody who had done that in the past had had their heads chopped off."
-- D.C. Dick

"U.S. forces learned a lesson last night they will never forget. We slaughtered them and will continue to slaughter them."
-- Baghdad Bob

On the credibility of the Bush administration:

"Wolf, Wolf, I simply don't accept the premise of your question [that Republicans now doubt Cheney's credibility "because of the blunders, the failures"]. I just think it's hogwash."
-- D.C. Dick

"Their failure in this regard is abysmal. They want to tell the world changes thought - as a matter of fact, they do not respect the world, they want to tell taxpayers and the domestic public to keep them deceived. We will embroil them, confuse them and keep them in the quagmire. They have begun to tell more lies so that they might continue with the perpetration of their crimes. May they be accursed."
-- Baghdad Bob

On Donald Rumsfeld:

"I just fundamentally disagree. You heard my speech when Don retired. I think he's done a superb job."
-- D.C. Dick

"Rumsfeld, he needs to be hit on the head."
-- Baghdad Bob

On President George W. Bush:

"It's easy to stick your finger in the air and figure out which way the winds are blowing and then try to get in front of the herd. This President doesn't work that way. He also -- be very clear in terms of providing leadership going forward for what we need to do in Iraq."
-- D.C. Dick

"I speak better English than this villain Bush."
-- Baghdad Bob

On the prospect of failure:

"Well, Wolf, if the history books were written by people who have -- are so eager to write off this effort, to declare it a failure, including many of our friends in the media, the situation obviously would have been over a long time ago. Bottom line is that we've had enormous successes, and we will continue to have enormous successes. It is hard. It is difficult. It's one of the toughest things any President has to do . . . . Implicit in what the critics are suggesting, I think, is an obligation to say, well, here's what we need to do, or we're not going to do anything else. We're going to accept defeat. Defeat is not an answer."
-- D.C. Dick

"This invasion will end in failure."
-- Baghdad Bob

So the question is: if Baghdad Bob is so goddam funny, why aren't we laughing?

UPDATE (1/27): Scooped again! The nice folks at Google inform us that our visionary colleagues at Perrspectives were milking the same gag as early as June of 2005.

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