I think it’s time the neocons acknowledge the debt they owe Baghdad Bob, or Comical Ali, as the British newspapers refer to the onetime Iraqi Information Minister.
It was the comical one, following in Dr. Goebbels’s footsteps, who showed us during the brief war in Iraq what denial is all about. (Not a river in Egypt.) Like Bob, now bereft of braggadocio and black beret and feeling rather sorry for himself, the Kristols, Frums, and Podhoretzes of this world are indignantly denying there is any trouble in the paradise we’ve just conquered. Kristol, on Fox News (for a change) last week, was irked that some of his fellow hacks had mentioned that the government might have exaggerated the threat of WMD and the connection between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein—“This is ridiculous. There’s no scandal. It’s only the media that’s causing it”—or words to that effect.
Oy veh! Comical Ali lives and is doing well in Washington DC. All wars produce casualties of truth, but since April 9—when President Bush proclaimed the end of hostilities—it is “peace” that’s producing the greater casualties, both where truth and our fighting men are concerned.Speaking of fighting men, poor Private Lynch. Spielberg was ready to start filming how female American soldiers won the war against cowardly Iraqi men. Then the truth emerged. (Some traitor paleocon spilled the beans.) She was not shot by brutal Fedayeen but injured in a road accident. What I want to know is what in hell was a woman doing there in the first place? (As some of you may have guessed, I believe in that old-fashioned ideal where the fair sex is concerned: putting women on a pedestal rather than making them fight.) I guess the answer to that question is better a woman than, say, John Podhoretz, but then maybe not. I am told Podhoretz once scared the daylights out of Arnaud de Borchgrave by removing his t-shirt and showing his ample bosoms.
Here’s more Comical Ali relief from our very own Baghdad Bobs. A) Saddam’s weapons were a clear and present danger (after the Harrison Ford thriller), and we were right to go in. My spies (more paleocon traitors) tell me Saddam’s deadly toys could have reached Cyprus, a place known to be inhabited by Nebraskans, Minnesotans, and North and South Dakotans. B) It was gonna be a short war and a very long peace. While our soldiers and Marines are being killed every day, the brave men at Fox are irked that some of us are beginning to doubt their forecasts. Mind you, I am perhaps being too tough on these sofa samurai. Saddam, after all, was ready to nuke us from the uranium Niger was delivering to Iraq via subway trains connecting the two countries. Africa, as we all know, is a very rich continent that exports weapons of mass destruction to Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and Monaco, as well as Iraq. Liberia, too, was guilty of aiding Saddam, but only with food and vitamins. C) Al-Qaeda and Saddam were thick as thieves, and the latter was about to pass on his WMD to Osama. This is the gravest charge of all. David Frum tells me that Saddam and bin Laden met in Canada, struck a deal, and he has a witness, his wife. D) Last but not least, the rest of the world, we were told by these modern-day Delphic oracles, would fall into line the moment Ramses, sorry, Rumsfeld, drove down Saddam Hussein Boulevard in his armored chariot covered in garlands and cheered on by thousands of Iraqi virgins. Well, I don’t know about the virgins, but Wolfowitz went there, and not for the virgins, I am told. The rest of the world is, of course, offering every virgin they can find to the triumphant troika of Bush, Blair, and Prince Rainier (Monte Carlo backed the alliance), but, as in the case of Wolfowitz, there are no takers.
But enough about the Comical Alis of DC. Diplomats were once described as decent men sent overseas to lie for their countries. Journalists, on the other hand, or so I was taught, were not supposed to lie for their governments but to expose the whoppers. Back in 1967, when the Greek colonels had overthrown the legitimate government of King Constantine and ruled by fiat, I was asked by a friend to join the Papadopoulos regime in the Information Ministry. Although a friend of the King, my loathing of the overthrown politicians was such that I accepted with alacrity. I lasted exactly one press conference.
Nikolaos Farmakis, my immediate boss, was a famous anti-communist and hardliner. Trying to please him, I announced that any foreign journalist criticizing the government would be hanged in Constitution Square within 24 hours. I was joking, but the outraged foreign press corps was not in the mood. Farmakis fired me, and he was also fired forthwith. We are still good friends, however—something the Baghdad Bobs of DC, I predict, will not remain if things go badly in Iraq. I can picture them, like fishwives, screaming and accusing each other in living Fox color.
Once again, oy veh! For obvious reasons—no one has accused the DC Bobs of stupidity, just opportunism—I don’t hear too many demands for invading Iran as of late. (We have no troops left. Who will do the fighting? The neocons?) Action against Iran is on the backburner, with Britain strongly against it, although I am reliably told that Monte Carlo might play along. There will be no American ground troops committed to any ground war against the Ayatoilets, but I don’t preclude a missile attack against Busheir. Nor do I dismiss American support for the People’s Mujihadeen. These would of course serve only to strengthen the fundamentalist hardliners in Iran, but our Baghdad Bobs would be all for it.
A good and decent man has killed himself in Britain following attacks on his name and reputation. David Kelly was the source who leaked to the BBC that Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction were a mirage emanating from Tony Blair’s Savonarola, Alastair Campbell. Campbell is Britain’s most hated man, a dour wallet-lifter, an ex-porno writer who sports the dyspeptic demeanor of a prostitute who has mistakenly found herself in a church meeting. Heads must roll over the suicide of an honorable civil servant, but as of this writing, the man who learned to act and lie from Bill Clinton, Tony Baloney, has said he will not resign.Par for the course. No one is ashamed any more, and passing the buck à la Clinton has become the norm. Lies are no longer lies if the person telling them tells us he or she believed them at the time. Hillary Clinton’s book is numero uno on the bestseller list. The second biggest liar in American political history after Bill Clinton writes a book full of lies, and it goes to number one the first week it’s out. Sid The Scumbag Blumenthal writes a lying book about how the two greatest liars ever to inhabit the White House were lied against, and it, too, goes on the best-lying list. Go figure, as honest people used to say in Brooklyn.
The neocons have been lying to the American people from day one, and it’s the honest brave soldiers of the army and the Marines who are being picked off daily. The liars and lunch-bucket pilferers of this world are sitting pretty, and our young men are doing the dying. Something is very wrong here, as the Secret Service man said when he saw Monica Lewinsky taking late dictation in the Oval Office.If things do not improve, we should kick our Baghdad Bobs out of their comfy offices or at least stop listening to their TV rants. The Monrovian Weekly Standard is looking for experienced editors and so is Liberian television. Go for it, boys.