By being in denial is to cause a self-inflicted wound, failure to acknowledge the facts will inexorably lead to one’s demise. Saddam Hussein punished one of his General for giving an accurate assessment of his imminent defeat during the first Gulf War. In the second Gulf War, the world witnessed the American tanks moving into the Iraqi capital, through the mass media. Ali Sahhaf, the Iraqi Information Minister continued to broadcast the imminent victory of the Iraqi forces, according to him the US troops were defeated and committing mass suicide at the gates of Baghdad, and that there were "no US tanks in Baghdad". For his performance, he was given the title of Comical Ali.
This disease of being in denial is not confined to secular Arabs; the religious ones also suffer from the same complex. During the first Gulf War, I was conversing with Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad about the situation, and to my surprise, he seemed optimistic. He stated to the reporters that the foreign forces would be annihilated; his reasoning was based on the battles that took place during the crusades, when the Muslim forces eventually expelled the foreign forces. Because the invaders were defeated and expelled in the past, it will happen again.
According to the Sheikh, Saddam Hussein laid a trap for the American forces, and when the Iraqi army took the town of Khafji inside Saudi Arabia, hopes were raised that American forces would suffer heavy losses. However, deep down I knew this is would be reversed quickly by the superior US firepower and technology. Indeed, it was, the entire event was televised like a movie. The fierce Apaches, F16s, Stealth Bombers decimated the Iraqi forces with ease, and Khafji was retaken easily. Iraqi Scuds were like crude slingshots of cave dwellers, when compared to the laser guided technology used by the US forces.