The Ditch (of Brotherly Love)!

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World War One trench warfare is returning? Say what? The plan now is to secure Baghdad by surrounding it with a ditch to keep out the nasty buggers. Twenty-eight checkpoints will be set up along the major highways in and out. All other roads will be closed. And the population can rest at ease knowing their heads won’t be lopped off. All because of a ditch!

This has to be a joke. What, are they gonna conscript Big Abdul to dig it "for the white gentlemen to hide in?" I’ve heard of "military intelligence" being an oxymoron but this takes the cake.

With a circumference of roughly sixty miles, this means the Coalition Forces (another oxymoron) are going to have to dig one honkin’ big hole in the ground! How wide shall it be? How deep? How long in reality, 80 miles, one hundred, more? Are they going to fill it with British foot soldiers waiting to "go over the top"? And what sort of grandiose title shall we give it? Hm… Matrix of Control is taken. How about The Baghdad Gutter? Oh whatever. Let’s just call it The Ditch (of Brotherly Love).

So let’s see, how is The Ditch going to work? Well, you’re not supposed to be able to drive a car across it. Fine. How about just walking across or laying down some boards? Wonder if they ever thought of that? So let’s see, the bloodthirsty insurgents bent on mutilating some folk drop a couple guys off at a remote part of The Ditch with all their PTD (power tools of destruction). Then they drive through the checkpoint looking like your typical innocent Camel herders and go pick up their waiting buddies. After that they go about their business of murdering and dumping. Naw, that would never happen. There’s The Ditch!

I also suppose in a tiny little Hamlet like Baghdad where only about seven million people "live," there are no guns stashed away or nasty, head lopping knives. It’s impossible. There’s The Ditch!

Maybe I’m missing something here. Maybe the military plans to fill The Ditch with something really nasty like E. coli tainted spinach! What am I thinking? Halliburton needs that to feed to our troops.

Oh I got it! They’re going to fill The Ditch with water and friggin sharks with friggin laser beams attached to their friggin heads! Cool! Hey! Don’t laugh! I know it’s a desert but there is the polluted Tigris river nearby! Of course they will have to add some salt and a filter system but that should be a cakewalk. I mean if we can build the biggest, most deluxe US embassy in the world, in the heart of total chaos, we can make a salt water, aquarium style ditch. Saddam even built a prototype.

Say… I wonder how much this little project is going to cost? So what! It will probably be a tiny sum in the big picture. Besides, we can just use all that money flowing in from Iraqi oil to pay for it. No wait a minute. That won’t work. Iraq oil production is down. Besides, the money from that oil doesn’t actually go into the destruction… excuse me! rebuilding of Iraq does it? Hm… just where does the money go? Oh well, Congress can just issue Dubya another blank check. It’s just paper after all. And Baghdad needs The Ditch!

On the other hand it might be a bit dodgy to excavate. You don’t suppose the insurgents just might not like the idea of The Ditch do you? You don’t suppose they might try to blow up chunks of it as they are completed? Naw… no one’s gonna mess with The Ditch!

In fact, the insurgents might actually welcome it. It could even bring the Iraqi people together. The insurgents could use it as a pit into which will be dumped the dead mutilated bodies. And then the Health Ministry (still another oxymoron) of Iraq won’t have to risk building those huge new refrigerated morgues to house the slaughtered! Great idea! If the friggin sharks with friggin laser beams on their friggin heads don’t clean up the, yum yum, dead and decaying bodies, the stench of putrefaction alone should keep the insurgents at bay!

Then Bush could lend a helping hand with a wall or two or three. Eventually they can really seal off Baghdad so tightly it can be used as a maximum-security prison! Once that’s completed all the insurgents can be safely corralled inside. Disney can make a movie staring Kurt Russell and Adrienne Barbeau titled Escape From Baghdad. Then we can use the money from the movie and its sequels to pay for everything!

The more I think about The Ditch, the more I dig it.

Elizabeth Gyllensvard edited and contributed to this article.

Tom Chartier [send him mail] played lead guitar in legendary Los Angeles punk band The Rotters for 26 years until their final appearance in January of 2004. He has lived in Tokyo, Japan as well as Los Angeles working in the entertainment industry. He is the primary caregiver of his eleven-year-old son and currently resides on Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean.

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