Web Site for Iraqi Minister Rocks Cyberspace

Reply Fri 11 Apr, 2003 05:05 pm
Web Site for Iraqi Minister Rocks Cyberspace

Fri April 11, 2003 10:49 AM ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A member of Saddam Hussein's vanquished regime has sprung up as an unlikely hero in cyberspace on a Web site embraced by both supporters and foes of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Television news junkies transfixed by daily briefings by Iraqi Minister of Information Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf are now logging onto a day-old Web site featuring his finest invective against U.S. and British "infidels."

The site, (http:/www.WeLoveTheIraqiInformationMinister.com), is a "coalition effort of bloodthirsty hawks and ineffectual doves" united in their admiration for al-Sahaf and his pronouncements, such as: "I now inform you that you are too far from reality."

Among al-Sahaf's now-famous declarations was: "There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!"
Writer and former Greenpeace activist Kieran Mulvaney, a Briton living in Alaska, said he and friends got the idea for the site while watching cable news coverage of the three-week-old war.

"I mentioned to one of my friends that the best part is watching this guy," Mulvaney told Reuters on Thursday. "He is so brazen that I could almost admire him."

Mulvaney and his friends designed, built and put up the site in three days. Within hours of going live on the Internet, the site "has exploded," Mulvaney said. The same day, U.S. troops marched into Baghdad and al-Sahaf disappeared, or in the view of his new Web site, went on "administrative leave."

"I hope he is alive somewhere so he knows how famous he has become," Mulvaney said. "We've had all kinds of e-mail from literally all over the world. We even had a few e-mails from within the Pentagon saying, 'We really like this guy and we miss him.'"

The site already is offering T-shirts and mugs bearing al-Sahaf's best-loved statements ("My feelings -- as usual -- we will slaughter them all!") and has selected actor and director Sydney Pollack to play the information minister in the Hollywood version of the war.

In the meantime, Mulvaney said he will appeal for sightings of al-Sahaf, and there are plans to poll fans about what the beret-wearing minister should do after the war.

One fan has advocated an urgent campaign to spare al-Sahaf if he is found: "He is too much of a global asset to be murdered/shot/stabbed or otherwise wasted."

Obviously, many people felt the same way about the new "superstar". In fact when I attempted to access the site, I found this:

Due to overwhelming support for welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com. We will be bringing it back on a brand new web server that will be dedicated to the task of serving this comical view of history's funniest straight man. This should be up in 24 hours from now.

Note: from the webmaster
The site was so popular that 4000 visitors per second showed up from around the world and overwhelmed this shared server for over 8 hours until we turned it off in self defense. It basically put a 100 other businesses out of business for a day. If we had known it was going to be this popular we would have put it on it's own server from the beginning.
What started out as a private joke to be shared by a small group of friends has turned into a hit. Check back in 24 hours or so while the internet routers figure out where the new web server is that replaces this old one. The site consists of lots of bandwidth hogging pictures and animations that you'll love once you see it on its new home server.

Are YOU going to be checking out this site tomorrow?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 913 • Replies: 3
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Reply Fri 11 Apr, 2003 05:34 pm
This is like a scene from a satirical novel isn't it?
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Reply Fri 11 Apr, 2003 05:48 pm
dlowan- If the whole thing weren't so tragic, it would be hilarious.

I saw a story where an Iraqi was in Baghdad on the last day that the Minister of Information was at his post. The Iraqi saw the Coalition overrunning the city, while the Minister still insisted that Saddam's forces were winning the war.

The Iraqi burst into tears. He said, "Do you mean that we have been lied to for the last thirty years?" I felt such pity for that poor man
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 11:53 am
Mohammed Saeed-al-Sahaf has obviously been corrupted by the Decadent Western Infidels. He is an Instant Celebrity, well known for being well known.

He is providing a bit of light-hearted amusement--and the Iraq's need some light-hearted amusement. He might even pass into legend like the Caliph of "The Arabian Knights"

"If Saeed says so, it must not be true."

By the by, have you noticed how happily the Iraqi's are blaming the American troops for shortages, looting and civil unrest? They are starting to germinate the seeds of grass roots democracy.
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