Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf Prize
The Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf Prize (formerly the Nobel Defeat Prize) is awarded annually by the Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf Prize Foundation to the person who has best exemplified the ability keep a cool head and stubborn determination for victory, even in the face of certain defeat.
The Nobel Defeat Prize was first given in 1908 to William Jennings Bryan after his third unsuccessful campaign for the US presidency. Despite losing by a bigger margin each time, Bryan was given the prize after he insisted that he would be a cinch to win a fourth run; he then swallowed several handfulls of pennies and nickels, pounded his chest, and announced that the planet Neptune was "beginning to bother" him.
In 2001, the prize was awarded to George W. Bush for his actions during the events of September 11 when he continued to listen to My Pet Goat as his country faced its worst ever attack. The award was controversial however; some critics charged that his subsequent actions—jumping into Air Force One and flying all around like a panicked chicken—made him unworthy. These complaints were quelled after White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer explained Bush's behaviour as "a surveillance flight. He had a big telescope, and was scanning the countryside looking for the terrorists so he could personally kill them in hand-to-hand combat if he found them."
Bush thus became the first serving leader of a country to be given the award (all previously leaders were no longer serving).
A New Benchmark
In 2003 the prize was renamed in honour of Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf (aka "Comical Ali" or "Baghdad Bob"), the Information Minister of Iraq who exemplified the ideal of the award when he continued to publicly defend his country in the face of almost certain colonisation by George W. Bush. He earned the prize with his ebullient performance during the "Shock and Awe" phase of the invasion when, shells whizzing past his head as he spoke, he assured the world, "I triple guarantee you, there are no American soldiers in Baghdad". He finished by predicting that every infidel would be destroyed within days: "I can say, and I am responsible for what I am saying, that they have started to commit suicide under the walls of Baghdad. We will encourage them to commit more suicides quickly."
George W. Bush became the Prize's first repeat winner in 2004 for declaring "Mission Accomplished" after only the first 2 weeks of what quickly became an interminable and unwinnable Iraq quagmire. He then walked off with the Prize again in 2005 for his upbeat support of Michael Brown's handling of the Hurricane Katrina response, and in 2006 for his defense of mentally challenged Attorney General and felon Alberto Gonzales as "a man of great shubstiss and integerty". Bush's monumental achievement in taking the award for three consecutive years has the Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf Prize Foundation considering renaming the Prize again, this time "The George W. Bush Prize".