Sunday, March 30, 2003

In the realm of "Don't let a good ambiguous headline get in the way of the facts".

British troops find chemical warfare equipment near Basra

"Chemical warfare training equipment including nerve gas simulators, vials and a Geiger counter were discovered by British troops near the besieged southern city of Basra, officers said.

"Until further tests are carried out on the vials of chemicals we have found here we do not know exactly what the material is," Captain Kevin Cooney of the Joint NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) Regiment said.

"To my eye it looks like training equipment to teach people how to identify if there is something like Sarin (nerve gas) in the air and what to do in the event of a nuclear attack.

"Further tests will have to be done and this is now a matter that has been passed up the chain of command for further consideration," he said.

The equipment, found in 13 wooden cases marked "Ministry of Defence, Baghdad", was found in an Iraqi ordnance facility south of Basra in territory now controlled by coalition forces.

There were also gas masks, chemical warfare suits and "Combo Pens", devices carried by troops which deliver a small but concentrated dose of antidote against nerve agents when injected into the thigh.

A journalist embedded with the British troops said the boxes included two packets of glass vials containing coloured crystals with what appeared to be instructions on how to use them for detection of nerve agents, including Sarin, Soman and V-Gases."

The fact is, it would seem that British troops found anti chemical warfare equipment. Surprise, surprise! Still no smoking gun to justify this madness. Another instance of the Iraqi regime (still not quite as "regime changed" as the script would have it) not playing by the rules.

Report from Peggy Farcus bedded down with the Australian Special Forces.

Australian Special Operations Personnel have found 13 wooden cases marked "Ponds Institute, Baghdad" in the bombed out wreckage of the Baaa'aaaaath Party Head Office and Childcare Centre. A journalist embedded with the Australian troops said the boxes included two cartons of Mary Kay Velocity® shine it!™ Lip Gloss, 5 containers of REVLON™ Triple Lifting Night Cream and 2 dozen bottles of Pantene "It Won't Happen Overnight, But It Will Happen" Shampoos of Mass Coiffure.

Brigadier Bruce McBruce said that the discovery was significant. "It tells us that Saddam Hussein is still alive. A recurring theme in reports from our intelligence sources close to the Iraqi leadership group is Saddam's defiant vow that he wouldn't be seen dead without his make up."

Brigadier McBruce went on to confide, "I know you embedded blokes and blokesses won't let the wombat out of the bag, so I can let you in on our plan to smoke out the Butcher, Baker and Candlestick maker of Baghdad. In what we have designated "Operation Ding Dong" it is planned to have Privates Chooka, Robbo, Wocka and Dazza from 6th Division to visit every house still standing in Baghdad (fortunately that reduces our target area quite significantly) disguised as Avon ladies. O.K. I know there has been a lot of loose talk about the Genevieve Convention but I've had this operation cleared with both PSYOPS and the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs who administer the Fair Trading Act and the Door to Door Sales Act.

We at Command Centre believe Saddam will be lured out by this month's "Sheer Sparkle Crystal Vision Nail Enamel Two for One Special Promotion" . As soon as he offers his hands for the free demo we shall slap on the cuffs and Bob's your cross dressing aunty. Quite often the simplest plans are the most effective."