A propagandist in chief to make 'Baghdad Bob' proud
By MARTIN MAWYER
“Baghdad Bob” is reportedly very ill and may be dying. That’s the word from a Swedish TV station that aired an interview a few months ago with the former Iraqi propaganda minister.
If you don’t recall the name, Baghdad Bob is the nickname the media awarded to Saddam Hussein’s propagandist in chief, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf. He was one of the most entertaining and flamboyant characters to emerge from the Iraq War—the one presided over by George W. Bush in which Saddam Hussein was ousted.
Our own propagandist in chief, Barack Obama, reminds me of Baghdad Bob. In fact, the similarities are downright creepy.
In 2003, while giving a press briefing, Baghdad Bob comically declared that American soldiers were committing suicide “by the hundreds” outside the city, and he denied that there were any American tanks in Baghdad. He made these hilarious pronouncements just as American tanks rolled into the city; you could actually see the smoke and hear the noise in the background.
How is this like “Oval Office Obama?”
Recently the President declared that ISIS is not Islamic, even though its adherents pray to Allah, read and follow the Quran, and the word “Islamic” is in the name of the organization. Now that’s first-class denial.
Here’s another gem from Baghdad Bob. “The Americans are going to surrender or be burned in their tanks,” he declared during his last public appearance as Information Minister on April 8, 2003. “They will surrender; it is they who will surrender.” Meanwhile, combat sounds can be heard drawing nearer and nearer to Bob, who just minutes later had to flee for his life.
Baghdad Bob was eventually captured and interrogated by the Americans, although never charged. Today he is dying of an undisclosed illness in a hospital in the United Arab Emirates, which agreed to take Bob following the Iraq War.
Just a few weeks ago Obama also mischaracterized a significant event. When Ramadi fell to ISIS, he called it a “tactical setback,” blaming the loss on the lack of training for the Iraqi defense forces.
That’s hogwash! The United States has been training Iraqi forces for more than 15 years. And the loss of the city of Ramadi is hugely significant, not a slight tactical setback. Ramadi’s fall is catastrophic for the Iraqi people. It means that ISIS now controls a strategic communications center and major supply routes throughout the country.
Mr. Obama, that’s a lot more than just a “setback.”
Baghdad Bob liked to use semantics in his propaganda. He frequently used the word uluj, an obscure term for “infidel” or unbeliever, to describe American soldiers in Iraq. By some accounts, it could be interpreted to mean “bloodsucking insect.” Others quibbled that it was an archaic Arabic insult.
President Obama also likes wordplay. In 2014, after journalist James Foley was beheaded by ISIS, Obama absurdly stated that the murderers were not Muslims, “for no faith teaches people to massacre innocents.” He added that “ISIL’s actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith.”
Once again, he is purposely denying the obvious. The Quran is filled with verses that exhort followers to kill unbelievers.
Obama, who in his early years was raised as a Muslim, attended a Muslim school in Jakarta, and attended a mosque regularly with his family, is simply choosing to feed us propaganda. Like Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars,” Obama is trying to divert our attention from what we can plainly see with our eyes: “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for … move along.”
One of the more outrageous tall tales coming from “Oval Office Obama” is the administration’s statement that “There is no credible intelligence to suggest that there is an active plot by ISIL to attempt to cross the southern border.”
Yet one congressman, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), confirmed that ISIS fighters definitely are crossing the border from Mexico; in fact, at least 10 have been caught so far crossing into the United States.
A cadre of government agencies issued a bulletin last year warning that the threat from ISIS on our southern border is “imminent.” Either Obama didn’t read the bulletin or he is again imitating Baghdad Bob.
Obama has also stated that “The American troops deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission,” adding that there is “no mission creep.”
Yet out of the other side of his mouth Obama said American troops will “forward deploy” with Iraqi forces, whatever that means.
The Obama Administration also urged Americans to understand ISIS killers and what motivates them. A spokesman actually said this:
“We cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs… We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people.”
So jobs cure Islamic terrorism? But wait, Mr. Obama, I thought there was no such thing as Islamic terrorism? This is a dazzling display of double-speak that would make Baghdad Bob proud.
But Baghdad Bob had one thing going for him that President Obama does not. He was consistent. And he consistently said that America would lose the war.
All these years later who would have guessed that the lying Baghdad Bob was actually prophetic. We are losing the war—only we’re losing it 12 years later. And here’s the kicker: We’re not just losing it in Iraq, our president appears to be helping ISIS and other jihadi groups defeat us right here in the United States.
Words do matter—as Baghdad Bob knows all too well. As he languishes on his death bed, Baghdad Bob can at least die knowing he left a legacy of propaganda double-talk that is alive and well in the White House.