Al Sahaf is real? I'm not falling for it.

A few years ago I was in The Netherlands on business. I had checked into the hotel too late for dinner, but that wasn't a problem. I remembered seeing just up the street a McDonald's. What a comforting feeling to be able to get a familiar meal at an American franchise in a foreign country.

McDonald's is paving the way for other industries. For example, what started out only a few years as a local LA radio show now has a Baghdad franchise. I'm speaking of course, of the Phil Hendrie Show. The premise of this show, as you recall, is various fictional characters who espouse easily attacked indefensible viewpoints. Listeners are baited to call in and try to set the misguided idiot straight.

The Baghdad version of the Phil Hendrie show is known as the Al Sa-ha-ha haf comedy hour.

Al Sa-ha-ha haf pretends to be a minister of information (reporter, in the western world) but he has absolutely no idea what's going on. Most of his "reports" are just hilarious fiction he makes up on the fly.

Just like his American counterpart, Phil Hendrie, Sa-ha-ha haf always has to have something in his story to alert even the most foolish of listeners that the whole thing is just fictional entertainment. For example, while the US military is surrounding the Ministry of Information in the heart of Baghdad, he might say that the forces are defeated and are nowhere near Baghdad. If people are really dense and not cluing into the shtick, he might say that the Republican Guard has beaten back the infidels from the airport even though people can see American jets landing at the place.

And, like his American counterpart, Al Sa-ha-ha haf has no shortage of listeners who are so duped they think he's for real.

The Iraqi Minister of Information illustrates how confusing
the English system of measurement is to foreigners.

Alternate: Why you should never trust Iraqi measuring equipment