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BP or 'Baghdad Bob'? | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

BP or 'Baghdad Bob'?

On Countdown tonight, Keith Olbermann had the inspired idea of mashing up video of BP execs claiming the oil leak was not so bad, or being contained pretty well, with similarly out-to-lunch assertions by the infamous “Baghdad Bob.” But there was only time in the segment for a few choice nuggets from “Bob,” as Lewis Black was on hand to do his own BP riffs.

Baghdad Bob, of course, was Saddam Hussein's wacky minister of information, later immortalized on T-shirts, websites and even a DVD for his optimistic, if fanciful, statements about Iraq's triumph over the American infidels, right up to the point we toppled his boss's statue. Baghdad Bob, real name Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, somehow survived and at last report was happily working as an Arab TV commentator, sans trademark beret.

Since Countdown hardly did the Bob/BP link justice, here are a few more Bob originals, with some updated so you can imagine them coming from the mouths of BP spokesmen:

"No, I am not scared, and neither should you be."

"This is unbiased: The oil is retreating on all fronts."

"You can go and visit those places. Nothing there, nothing at all. Everything is okay."

"The American press is all about lies! All they tell is lies, lies and more lies!"

"We are in control, the White House is not in control of anything, they don't even control themselves!"

"Be assured: The Gulf is safe, protected."

"The battle is very fierce and God made us victorious."

"They mock me for how I speak. I speak better English than they do."

"I have detailed information about the situation...which completely proves that what the Americans allege are illusions . . . They lie every day."

"They think that by scaring civilians and trying to distort the feelings of the people they will win."

"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?"

“Those are not oil slicks at all. Where did they bring them from?"

"The United Nations...it is all their fault."

"The oil that was near the airport—this was destroyed."

"We blocked them inside the city. The rear is blocked."

"The president, he needs to be hit on the head."

"I blame Al-Jazeera."

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