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Cablegate: Saddam's Secret Weapon: The Mighty Mengash!

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS KUWAIT 001199

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ARP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SOCI PREL IZ KU
SUBJECT: SADDAM'S SECRET WEAPON: THE MIGHTY MENGASH!

1. Summary: The forced landing of a U.S. Apache attack
helicopter behind Iraqi lines in the early days of the war,
and the resulting implausible Iraqi claims that a heroic
farmer named Mengash was responsible, have spawned a cottage
industry of derision in Kuwait. Today's date (April 01), and
Kuwaitis' addiction to mobile-phone text messages, helped
turn the stream of jokes into a torrent. The mocking of this
exaggerated Iraqi peasant hero is perhaps the most satisfying
way the Kuwaitis have found to respond to their growing
isolation in the Arab world, letting them vent their anger at
the hostile Arab 'street' without losing their cool. End
Summary.

2. Those familiar with Kuwait are used to hearing the
incessant tones of incoming cellular phone calls and beeps of
newly received text messages. Along with those beeps these
days, however, one is liable to hear the accompanying
laughter of Kuwaitis who have just received the latest
Mengash joke.

3. Baghdad's rustic hero is sarcastically "credited" with
everything from fending off anthrax to shooting down the
space shuttle Columbia. While we have yet to see Mengash
T-shirts on the streets, the phrase "I (heart) Mengash" has
already flashed across the screens of mobile phones
throughout the country and been printed in newspapers. Why
did the latest missile attack on Kuwait fail? It was
Mengash, joke the Kuwaitis, who mistook an outbound missile
for an inbound one and shot it out of the sky, such is his
skill! He is the equal of ten Republican Guard Divisions and
an invincible leader! He is so awesome, he even shot down an
American submarine! The Iraqis should clone him! In fact,
it's already being done! Saddam started pumping money into a
cloning program to save his battered regime as soon as
Mengash performed his heroic feat. Indeed, with his WWI era
rifle and a steady aim, Mengash is the source of all Iraqi
military victories, at least in the Kuwaiti telling.

4. In Mengash, the Kuwaitis have found the perfect
psychological antidote to the Iraqi regime's over-the-top
propaganda. While the rest of the Arab world swallows the
noxious brew, Kuwaitis, who recognize it for what it is, no
longer have to seethe, they can laugh it off.
JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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