Friday, August 11, 2006

War Of The Words

In 1939, David O Selznick released Gone With The Wind and the US Civil War was defined for generations of Americans. It would seem that after over 65 years there would not be much disagreement on what a civil war is, but that definition is once again being challenged by critics and defenders of the Iraq adventure.

The critics point to the fact that Sunni and Shiite Muslins are killing each other at a rate of several hundred a day. They are blowing up each other’s mosques, businesses and homes, and invading each other’s territory. The defenders of America’s current policy dispute that a civil war is underway. US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld points out that “Iraq isn’t in a classic civil war at this stage…certainly it isn’t like our civil war…”

H I has managed to obtain a copy of the briefing paper that Secretary Rumsfeld requested to settle once and for all whether there is a civil war going on in Iraq:

To: Sec Def

The Pentagon, Washington DC

On the surface it’s easy for your critics to assume that there is a Civil War in Iraq. Iraqis are deeply divided and Sunnis and Shiites are killing each other every chance they get. Cities are under siege and bands of fast moving raiders are staging bloody hit and run attacks. But that’s where the similarity stops.

If you look deeper, it’s clear that there is no Civil War in Iraq. No one is wearing blue or grey uniforms and the southerners from down Basra way don’t own a single slave. Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army does not refer to him as ‘Stonewall Sadr’ and there are no Delta Force reports that they ever sit around a fire at night singing ‘Dixie’.

Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the former Prime Minister, has never been called ‘Honest Ib’. NSA analysis of satellite imagery of the country clearly shows that Falujah does not look anything like Gettysburg from the air and no stern wheel riverboats have been observed on either the Tigris or Euphrates rivers.

Perhaps the most important reason that events in Iraq should not be defined as a Civil War is that everybody, whether they are from the south or the north, hates Yankees.

We suggest that you say, ‘Iraq isn’t in a classic civil war at this stage…certainly it isn’t like our civil war…’ with full confidence.

PS: If anyone asks when we will able to withdraw our troops from Iraq, the current Joint Chiefs of Staff estimate is four score and seven years.

H I’s Wolf Scarlett has taken a poll of Iraqis in Baghdad as to whether they think they are in a civil war. Ninety seven per cent responded, ‘Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn’.


Blogger Jorge said...

Your resources never cease to amaze me! Loved the punchline.

9:40 PM  

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