Iraqi Minister of Information Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf followed a simple code: When life hands you lemons, insist that, despite the heinous lies of the infidels, they are in fact lemonade. In a war that produced no Scud Stud, al-Sahhaf emerged as a strange sort of cult icon, appearing daily before a bank of microphones in Baghdad to bark, "There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!" and "God will roast their stomachs in hell at the hands of Iraqis."
An Egyptian woman called al-Sahhaf "the only entertainment we get in this god-awful war." We never warmed to Joseph Goebbels quite this way--but then the Nazi didn't have that funny hat. A website WeLoveTheIraqiInformationMinister.com--deluged with up to 4,000 visitors a second--explains al-Sahhaf's terrier-like appeal: "His message is consistent--unshakable, in fact, no matter the evidence." Dee Dee Myers, former press secretary to Bill Clinton, deadpans that a spokesperson should "make sure your words would make sense down the road--say, in a day. This was certainly not his forte." Sadly, the minister disappeared just before he had the chance to spin the fall of Baghdad, leaving his viewers no choice but to believe their lying eyes. --By James Poniewozik. Reported by Matthew Cooper/Washington