Humor in wartime

OK, these are hard times, what with thousands of innocent Iraqis caught in the crossfire between an invading/liberating Anglo-American Army, and US and British troops dying in freak accidents or suicide bomb attacks. But there are some lighter moments at home, like this anecdote from P.J. Corkey of the San Francisco Examiner:

"Yesterday morning around ten, a dozen ragtag demonstrators marched up Market near Second, evincing support for the U.S.A. The group was mostly school kids, led by a few adults. The grown-up leader carried Old Glory and an impromptu eternal flame, made of aluminum foil and an old Tiki torch. ... As the leader called out chants, the kids responded in kind. So as he said, "Support our troops!" the kids chorused, "We support our troops!" And as he said, "God Bless the U.S. of A," the kids returned with, "We are still blessed!" When the leader yelled out, "We are God-fearing!" the kids were momentarily taken aback. Then one yelled out, "We are still afraid!" ...

No doubt you've heard that Morocco offered 2,000 monkeys to help detonate land mines in Iraq. Dolphins, one of which has defected or gone AWOL, seals, dogs, chickens and pigeons have also been enlisted to do grunt work in Gulf War II. The Marines were given 43 chickens to detect biological or chemical attacks, but in a week and a half, 42 were dead! (Jarheads, you weren't supposed to eat them!) Which species will be the next sent to fight in Gulf War II, elephants, or maybe horses?

I don't know about you, but I have trouble believing that Salam Pax is really a "gay Iraqi architect living in Baghdad." You can read his blog for yourself, and let me know what you think. Actually, he hasn't posted in a week, so if he was in Baghdad, he could be dead by now, along with thousands of others.

In non-war news, the Bush administration has decided to respect California's ban on oil and gas exploration off its coast line. Of course, the leases were set to expire in 1999, but then-President Bill Clinton's Interior Secretary, Bruce Babbitt, extended them. I can only imagine that Interior Secretary Gale Norton made the following statement without laughing:

"Our administration strongly supports environmental protection and understands the importance of this issue to the people of California."

"Strongly supports environmental protection"? I'm sorry, but naming does not equal protection. The Healthy Forests Bill has nothing to do with "healthy forests," nor does the "Clean Sky Initiatives" protect air quality. Can't these people come clean with the American people and tell them that they're just returning favors to their wealthy corporate donors?