Absolutely Final al-Sahhaf Item

Unless he resurfaces in Tikrit.

The apparent disappearance from Baghdad of Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf lends a grim cast to a joke that’s been repeated lately in Riyadh and Cairo, according to an op-ed in today’s New York Times. (The op-ed is by Mamoun Fandy, who writes for an Arab newspaper based in London.) Here’s the joke: “When al-Sahhaf died they sent him 63 angels. Three of them are asking him questions about his life, and 60 are trying to convince him that he’s really dead.”

More likely, al-Sahhaf has retreated to Tikrit. Meanwhile, the inevitable Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf fan site has surfaced on the Web. Its creators record (via John Burns in today’s New York Times) al-Sahhaf’s very last public statement: “I now inform you that you are too far from reality.” They’ve also figured out who should play al-Sahhaf in the movies. Sydney Pollack, of course. Why didn’t Chatterbox think of that?