Baghdad Bob Quotes

During the Iraq invasion, Iraq's information minister made outrageous claims

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf
Baghdad Bob. Wikimedia Commons

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, better known to American reporters and TV viewers as "Baghdad Bob," was the Iraqi information minister from 2001 to 2003. During the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, his outlandish pronouncements of Iraqi military supremacy became the source of amusement to many in the West. 

Biography

Al-Sahaf was born in Hillah, Iraq, on July 30, 1944. After studying journalism at Baghdad University, he joined the Ba'ath Party, which came to power following a coup in 1968.

In the coming decades, al-Sahaf worked his way through the party bureaucracy, eventually serving as Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations, Burba, Italy, and Sweden. Saddam Hussein, Iraq's leader, named him foreign minister in 1992, a post he held until 2001 when he was reappointed as information minister.

Al-Sahaf maintained a low public profile until the start of the Iraq invasion when he began holding regular press conferences for Western media in 2003. Even as coalition forces were on the outskirts of Baghdad, al-Sahaf continued to assert that Iraq would prevail. In the post-invasion chaos, al-Sahaf gave a few interviews to media outlets that summer, then disappeared from public view. 

Baghdad Bob on the Invasion

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf made so many statements as information minister. Here is a sampling of some of his more outlandish quotes:

"There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!"

"My feelings, as usual, we will slaughter them all."

"Our initial assessment is that they will all die."

"No I am not scared and neither should you be!"

"We will welcome them with bullets and shoes."

"They're not even [within] 100 miles [of Baghdad]. They are not in any place. They hold no place in Iraq.

This is an illusion ... they are trying to sell to the others an illusion."

"Faltering forces of infidels cannot just enter a country of 26 million people and lay besiege to them! They are the ones who will find themselves under siege. Therefore, in reality, whatever this miserable Rumsfeld has been saying, he was talking about his own forces. Now even the American command is under siege."

"Washington has thrown their soldiers on the fire."

"They fled. The American louts fled. Indeed, concerning the fighting waged by the heroes of the Arab Socialist Baath Party yesterday, one amazing thing really is the cowardice of the American soldiers. we had not anticipated this."

"God will roast their stomachs in hell at the hands of Iraqis."

"They tried to bring a small number of tanks and personnel carriers in through al-Durah but they were surrounded and most of their infidels had their throats cut."

"I can say, and I am responsible for what I am saying, that they have started to commit suicide under the walls of Baghdad. We will encourage them to commit more suicides quickly."

On Iraq's Military Strength

'We have destroyed 2 tanks, fighter planes, 2 helicopters and their shovels. We have driven them back."

"We have them surrounded in their tanks."

"We made them drink poison last night and Saddam Hussein's soldiers and his great forces gave the Americans a lesson which will not be forgotten by history. Truly."

"On this occasion, I am not going to mention the number of the infidels who were killed and the number of destroyed vehicles. The operation continues."

"We're giving them a real lesson today. Heavy doesn't accurately describe the level of casualties we have inflicted."

"Today we slaughtered them in the airport. They are out of Saddam International Airport. The force that was in the airport, this force was destroyed."

"Their forces committed suicide by the hundreds. ... The battle is very fierce and God made us victorious. The fighting continues."

"Yesterday, we slaughtered them and we will continue to slaughter them."

"We will push those crooks, those mercenaries back into the swamp."

"We have retaken the airport. There are no Americans there. I will take you there and show you. In one hour."

"We defeated them yesterday. God willing, I will provide you with more information. I swear by God, I swear by God, those who are staying in Washington and London have thrown these mercenaries in a crematorium."

"It has been rumored that we have fired Scud missiles into Kuwait. I am here now to tell you, we do not have any scud missiles and I don't know why they were fired into Kuwait."

"This boa, the American columns, are being besieged between Basra and other towns north, west, south and west of Basra....Now even the American command is under siege. We are hitting it from the north, east, south, and west. We chase them here and they chase us there."

"By God, I think this is rather very unlikely. This is merely a prattle. The fact is that as soon as they reach Baghdad gates, we will besiege them and slaughter them....Wherever they go they will find themselves encircled."

"Listen, this explosion does not frighten us any longer. The cruise missiles do not frighten anyone. We are catching them like fish in a river. I mean here that over the past two days we managed to shoot down 196 missiles before they hit their target."

On the Western Media

"Just look carefully, I only want you to look carefully. Do not repeat the lies of liars. Do not become like them. Once again, I blame Al-Jazeera before it ascertains what takes place.

Please, make sure of what you say and do not play such a role."

"I blame Al-Jazeera - they are marketing for the Americans!"

"Search for the truth. I tell you things and I always ask you to verify what I say. I told you yesterday that there was an attack and a retreat at Saddam's airport."

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

On George Bush and Tony Blair

"These cowards have no morals. They have no shame about lying."

"Blair...is accusing us of executing British soldiers. We want to tell him that we have not executed anybody. They are either killed in battle, most of them get killed because they are cowards anyway, the rest they just get captured."

"When we were making the law when we were writing the literature and the mathematics the grandfathers of Blair and little Bush were scratching around in caves."

"They do not even have control over themselves! Do not believe them!"

Britain "is not worth an old shoe."

"W. Bush, this man is a war criminal, and we will see that he is brought to trial."

"I think the British nation has never been faced with a tragedy like this fellow [Blair]."

"Iraqi fighters in Umm Qasr are giving the hordes of American and Brtish mercenaries the taste of definite death. We have drawn them into a quagmire and they will never get out of it."

Resources and Further Reading