We now join a press conference at the Palestine Hotel with Iraqi Information Minister Mohammad Said al-Sahaf, in progress . . .
…maintain your resolve O brother citizens. You are victorious, God willing. God is great. God is great. Accursed be the criminals. I will now take your questions.
Sir, there are reports that Coalition bombs have struck the al Saa restaurant on 14 Ramadan St. in the al Mansoor district.
What restaurant? There is no such restaurant.
Sir, al Jazeera showed video…
Al Jazeera! They are monkeys, minions! They have been expelled. There is no al Jazeera video. Whom do you believe? You must check these absurd allegations for yourselves. Hear my words, but also check them, verify. Go, see for yourselves. Drive out to the so-called restaurant, see these lies for what they are.
Sir, we have been confined to the hotel.
There are no such restrictions, this is an illusion. Security will be maintained. Next question.
Sir, U.S. forces have been fanning out from their strong points at the presidential palace and the parade grounds. The Coalition…
They have not advanced, they have retreated. They are in rout all over Iraq. Their forces have retreated into Baghdad, to bleed within her walls. They have no organized forces in holy Baghdad. They are nonexistent, they are mythical. These mercenaries are accustomed to lying.
…as I was saying sir, the Coalition claims that the Baath regime no longer controls the country. Can you comment on this?
The lies of little Bush are without end. The heroic Baath party led by the genius of Father Saddam Hussein is in firm control across the whole of the country of Iraq. If Saddam Hussein did not control, how could I be giving this press conference? How would it be possible? Could I be information minister for a country that did not exist, a regime that has been obliterated? It is illogical, it makes no sense, it is the lying implication of Zionist thugs. Long live Holy Palestine!
Have you seen President Hussein lately?
Yes, he is in great health, he is the source of life and health of his people. We had brunch today, he was in fine spirits. He is planning a vacation, he has been working a great deal lately, he deserves a rest. Would you deny him a few days off? The lowly and their future generations will regret these war crimes.
What did he have?
The usual, eggs, cheese, a little melon, coffee. It is cheap psychological warfare to suggest otherwise.
Sir, reports from the United States are fairly specific on the time, place and manner of President Hussein’s demise. They state that he and his sons were standing six meters apart in the al Saa restaurant when the bombs hit.
The falsehoods mount, the criminals trap themselves in the web of their own contradiction. The dining area is too small for anyone to stand six meters apart. And why should the president stand so far from his sons, he loves them, they are the beacon of his life, he has no need to stand six meters from them, or even five meters, or any such hateful villainous measurement.
Didn’t you just say the restaurant does not exist?
It does not exist, I challenge anyone to prove otherwise, it is a fabrication of the servants of the war criminals.
Will President Hussein be touring any more Baghdad neighborhoods in the near future?
He has no fears, this is his city. He can come and go as he pleases, he can move anywhere in the city at will. He will tour as he chooses, as he desires, to see his people, to lift their spirits, there are no restrictions, traitors will be liquidated.
Minister, I can see American tanks moving through the streets outside. Can you comment on this?
Those are Iraqi tanks. They are captured tanks. They will soon be destroyed, the spirit of the Fedayeen is girded with the steel of the faithful. There are no tanks. Who are you? God is great.
Can I have a follow up?
Follow up, follow down, the Anglo-Zionists and their colonialist lackeys will drown in the blood of pigs in hell, God willing.
Sir, given that the Americans have arrived, will this be your final press conference?
The Americans have arrived in the all-consuming flames that greeted their Mongol predecessors! My final press conference will be up to the will of the almighty; I serve at the pleasure of our humble, patient and wise president the revered and all-seeing Saddam Hussein. Get that rifle out of my face. I will not be silenced by nonexistent gangsters who don’t know when they have been defeated. Proud, unbending, noble Iraq remains steadfast, victorious, her restaurants undestroyed, her leader largely intact, and his sons remarkably well preserved under the circumstances. God is great. God is great.
— James S. Robbins is a national-security analyst.