Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2003-04-02 Entry: "Moroccan Mine-Clearing Monkeys"

Is it just me, or have some of the news reports surrounding this war been downright bizarre? We've got a "Coalition of the Willing" that includes at least six nations with no army whatsoever. Quite a few of those who are on the list, upon being told such, have rejected such claims and proclaimed their support for a United Nations approach.

The loss of one north African nation was replaced by another, in this case Morocco, offering two thousand mine clearing monkeys! Now, it might just be me, but how do you train monkeys to clear mines? Alright, yes, they probably just use them as cannon-fodder, releasing them in an area suspected of having mines and watching them explode, but even that concept is a little bizarre...

One of the US Navy's mine-clearing dolphins (which actually are trained to detect mines and tag them for clearing) went AWOL for 48 hours. The British troops have managed to acquire a racing pidgeon that obviously went off course. Sea lions (or was it seals... not that I can tell the difference anyway) patrol the waters of the Gulf stopping enemy divers from sinking the Coalition ships. Next we'll have reports of Dr. Doolittle and his Giant Sea Snail being sighted in Umm Qasr - Polynesia is probably needed to translate for those poor marines who can't put up "Stop your car or we'll shoot you" signs where they're maintaining roadblocks.

And now we find that in the wargames they played before this the Iraqi's won. And it wasn't even a close run thing - half the Coalition navy was sunk before Dubya's forty eight hour deadline has expired. Of course, we'd never let a little thing like loss of an aircraft carrier get in the way of a good game, so we'll just refloat the navy and carry on as if nothing had happened.

I'm not sure this war can get any more bizarre, but perhaps instead of expensive wargames, they could have just used Civ 2 - I mean, when you take an enemy city there, you're forced to eliminate a bunch of underarmed but tenacious enemy partisans who pop up in the surrounding countryside in defiance of your evil act. The war on Iraq seems to be playing out in much the same way. Lets just hope we haven't got to sit through any "We Love The King" days!

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