Sunday, August 28

Baghdad Bob

Saddam Hussein's "Information Minister"--his public-relations man--was an affable guy who the western press nicknamed "Baghdad Bob."

Bob will forever be remembered for the demonstrably false statements he made in April, 2003 when U.S. battle tanks entered Baghdad at the end of that short, decisive military campaign.

As our tanks rolled into Baghdad, journalists embedded with our troops used satellites to send out video of columns of tanks rolling past identifiable city landmarks. These were flashed around the world instantly. An hour later, in a film clip that's become famous, Baghdad Bob repeatedly and vehemently denied to dozens of assembled video journalists that there were any American troops in the city.

The juxtaposition of these two videos--American tanks rolling into the city versus Bob's brazen denials--perfectly illustrated the fact-free zone in which Hussein lived: All Iraqi citizens constantly told him how wonderful he was. Because he was the arbiter of all favors and power, Iraqis tried to curry favor with him and his crazy thug sons. But the truth was far different.

Whether Bob knew the American tanks were three miles away and was simply lying in an effort to keep the support of Iraqis a bit longer or was simply unaware of the situation I don't know. But either way, the accidental airing of the two live clips just a few minutes apart is without equal as a metaphor for either blatant lying or cluelessness.

Flash-forward just eight short years: We see Obama repeating that jobs are his number-one focus, a laser focus, the first thing he thinks of each morning. We hear him jabber about cutting spending, while simultaneously increasing "investment." Then minutes later you see the unemployment rate staying put, new jobless claims "unexpectedly" rising, more businesses closing, more wasting of taxpayer dollars on a week-long, ten-million-dollar vacation, and you think...

We elected Baghdad Bob.


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