joking about no laughing matter

Dan Brickley
Fri, 28 Feb 2003 21:49:44 -0500

So there's a whole load of anti-French jokes doing the rounds.

Here's one I've seen a few times today, most recently via

Q:	What do you call a Frenchman advancing on Baghdad?
A:	A salesman

This strikes me as a very peculiar choice of subject matter for 
the pro-War crowd to choose to joke about. It's as if they'd forgotten who
helped arm Saddam not so very long ago... (but before there were weblogs?)

Meanwhile, in other news,,2763,904509,00.html

	How 1 billion (uk pounds) was lost when Thatcher propped up Saddam
	David Leigh and Rob Evans
	Friday February 28, 2003
	The Guardian

	For more than a decade, yellowing paper files in a government 
	store have hidden the story of the way 1bn of Whitehall money 
	was thrown away in propping up Saddam Hussein's regime and 
	doing favours for arms firms.

	It took place when many in both the British and US 
	administrations were covertly on President Saddam's side. 
	But as yet another war against the Iraqi dictator looms, 
	what may be the final skeleton in Britain's arms-to-Iraq 
	cupboard has been uncovered. 

	Some information about the Thatcher government's duplicitous 
	record in selling to Iraq emerged in the mammoth Scott inquiry 
	of 1996. The judge found that although Conservative ministers 
	had restricted major "sharp" arms sales to President Saddam, 
	they had also connived at ways round Britain's supposed neutrality.

	During Baghdad's prolonged and bloody invasion of Iran in the 
	1980s, the inquiry discovered, officials shredded documents 
	after deliberately smuggling Chieftain tank hulls made by the 
	then royal ordnance factories to Iraq via Jordan. 

He may be a monster, but he's our monster. 
Or he used to be (that's the trouble with breeding monsters...).