Friday, June 04, 2004

April 9, 2003: Mohammed Al-Sahaf's Perspective -- Part 2

Mr. Hassan El-Najjar, the translator, added an introductory note to the seventh interview:

The interviewer was not sympathetic to Saddam or the Iraqi regime in all of the seven interviews. In a way, he sounded like an interrogator questioning a prisoner of war. Actually, he was gloating for what happened in Iraq. Al-Sahaf was obligated to do the interviews as his part of the deal of taking him and his family out of Iraq to reside in the UAE. Most callers were aggressive and some of them were impolite.

Let's read a little more from the last interview with Mohammed Al-Sahaf, aka Baghdad Bob. One of the most humorous exchanges is when one of the callers asks BB about "Muqty/Uday al-Sadr."

Question 5 : How many assassination attempts were there against Saddam?

Answer: Barzan Al-Tikrity wrote a book listing tens of attempts. In1999 -2000, Saddam mentioned three attempts by one person, a colleague. He was forgiven after everyone of them. Saddam told him that he had to do better but warned him of punishment if he attempted it again after the third.

Concerning the Republican Guard, it did not evaporate. It participated in the war until April5 . The leadership was active until then. Actually, a member of the Revolutionary Command Council, Latif Nassif Jassem, met face-to-face with a US tank in Za'afaraniya (He did not surrender).

With regard to the 55-name list, I was not the only one who was not on the list. Many ministers were not on it. For example, the Foreign Minister, Naji Sabri, and the Presidential palace chief staff, Ahmed Hussain, were not on the list.

Question 6 : Abu Rami, an Iraqi immigrant in Sweden: Do you like Saddam to come back? What do you think of mass graves? What do you think of Muqtada Al-Sadr? Doesn't he remind you of Uday?

Answer: Saddam will not return.

With regard to mass graves, they should be investigated. The investigation should reveal who started it and who reacted. There should be objectivity. (He hinted to the 1991 US-prompted Shi'a and Kurdish revolts, which were crushed without intervention from the US).

The interviewer asked him about Uday Al-Sadr, again, but he gave no comments.


Question 9 : Was there a plan for the post-war era?

Answer: No. However, president Saddam Hussain had some ideas.

Question 11 : What do you think of (the Defense Minister) Sultan Hashem Ahmed? How do evaluate his performance?

Answer: (No answer).

Question 12 : How did Saddam get 99.9% of the votes in the Presidential election?

Answer: It was not an election. It was a referendum. People did not cast their votes out of love for Saddam. Rather, they did it out of fear of the invasion and its consequences.

Question 13 : This is the last question. Do you want to say any final word to anybody?

Answer: I'd like to thank Shaikh Zayed (the President of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi Emirate) and the other Shaikhs (rulers of the other six emirates that constitute the UAE) for hosting me and my family.

For viewers, I'd like to say that war is a bitter experience, which is hard to document until after a long time.

That last line is without doubt the truest statement to date by Mohammed Al-Sahaf. If you're curious about the other interviews, you may click here, but be warned that the site is, in my estimation, anti-American.

UPDATE: Emigre over at Iraq Blog Count cuffs our dear executive editor around a bit in his review of Shako-Mako Iraqi News, but he is generally fair in his assessment and we are proud to be linked to the august review panel at IBC.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Faiza Jarrar gives us a close-up view of a mother whose children are deep into exams at their various schools. She also talks about her American teachers at the American Language Institute.

We do not see these people as we see the occupying force... those people are civilians, risking their lives to help Iraqis, we have mingled with them, known them closely, and they have known us... we no longer have barriers between us.

And, most importantly, Faiza has started to look with level-headed hope toward Iraq's future.

We want to feel that there is a state that has some dignity, that the streets would be free of litter, traffic policemen present to ease traffic-jams, policemen to provide security, prevent killings and kidnappings. We want to see a clear movement of re-construction, employment provided to Iraqis, the infrastructure re-habilitated; (water supply, electricity, communications, …etc), and, we want to see officials and ministers who care for the happiness and well-being of the Iraqi citizen, not the happiness and well-being of themselves, and those whom they care about.
The Iraqi people are sick of the injustice, the lying, and the corruption of state management..
We want to see a new Iraqi leadership, one that feels responsible towards the country and its people, dedicated to the nation…

STILL ANOTHER UPDATE: Sam over at Hammorabi agrees with Zeyad that the attacks on professional people in Iraq is very serious.

Hundreds of the intellectuals have been kidnapped, tortured, assassinated, disappeared or given an ultimatum to leave the country! It is another booby-traps terrorist act aiming to create weak Iraq. Who will benefit from this? A clear question may need more than one answer!

AND YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Khalid Jarrar is still struggling with the Commando-Professors, but the real news is that Khalid may soon become PRO-BUSH!

my next is hydrology, if i passed this one, i will have much hope in my life, and i will believe that this country may rise up again, i may even become pro bush..Anything..Just help me pass this exam :)))))))

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