Sober message underlies Iraqi official's comic obstinacy

Ridiculously persistent bluster by Iraq's now deposed information minister provoked laughter in the US.Even as coalition tanks rolled into Baghdad, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf remained defiant."They are going to surrender," he declared. "They are going to surrender or be burned in their tanks."On Apr. 9, when cheering Iraqis taunted the fallen 40-ft statue of Saddam Hussein in the center of Baghdad, Saeed was nowhere to be found.Funny? Sure. But a sobering message lies beneath the comic obstinacy.What does an Iraqi information minister do? Until Apr. 9, he administered information on behalf of a murderous tyrant. What do information ministers do in any unrepresentative government? They ma...

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