Some handy hints for people serving in Iraq
1) Anybody flying a helicopter in the region of the gulf...find yourself a different job and very quickly.
2) Journalists who might have noticed any of the coalition commanders looking at you in an angry manner...find yourself a different job and very quickly.
3) Hospital workers in Baghdad...find yourself a different job very quickly.
4) Coalition forces organisers...for fuck's sake find yourselves a different job and very quickly. We'd be better off with a bag full of jelly babies in charge of the invasion!
Day four...or is it five? I'm not sure now...one day of smashed expectations and collateral balls-ups seems much like any other. Whatever the case the entire war effort appears to have turned into some sort of badly scripted Carry On film. (Not that that's unusual in itself...all of the Carry On films were badly scripted...with the possible exception of Carry On Screaming which I quite enjoyed...if only because Harry H Corbett was in it.)
George Bush's initial promise of a "...precise, surgical action that'll last a maximum of four days..." has been almost one hundred per cent accurate so far, apart from one tiny detail. It was total bullshit. As of now the war is growing increasingly slower...bogged down by major resistance from the oh-so-happy-to-see-the-coalition-troops Iraqis...the allied casualties are rising, the hostilities are getting thicker and the several soldiers have reported roses blooming in the desert from the vast amounts of bullshit that's been hurtled around.
Saddam Hussein, previously missing presumed dead (or at least short of several limbs and coughing rather badly with a plaster on his nose) has been on Iraqi television this morning. Iraqi television was previously also believed dead. The B52s must have bombed a 'dud' mast. This time there was no question about Saddam's authenticity as he referred to recent events (the unexpected fighting around Umm Qasr, the coalition push towards Baghdad). Officials in Washington are still unconvinced, however, and have accused Saddam of playing silly games by pretending to have been killed. "We weren't fooled for a moment," said a spokesman. "It's how we meant things to happen all along just to prove what an evil and childish man Saddam is."
Elsewhere American forces have allegedly uncovered a chemical weapons factory south of Baghdad, begging the question, 'Why did Saddam leave it in the middle of nowhere where he wouldn't be able to use the weapons, even as a last resort?' A suspicious truck with the words 'Prescott's Pies' written down one side was last seen leaving the Powdered Baby Milk factory and heading off towards O.J. Simpson's house.
Meanwhile the White House has changed its mind about broadcasting images of American POWs. After a quick debriefing, during which several pairs of boxers were shredded beyond recognition, propaganda experts convinced Dubya that the pictures would outrage public opinion into a more pro-war stance. The images have been condemned as 'flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention' despite the fact that Western television has been showing images of captured Iraqis all week. 'Captured Iraqis' that the Iraqi regime now claim were civilians being kidnapped and used as extras in the much depleted Oscars ceremony.
Humanitarian aid is still unable to get through to much needed areas...such as the whole of the country. God alone knows what the death toll from this is. The Washington Administration blames the delay on 'those selfish Iraqi bastards who continue to fight our brave soldiers...showing what unsporting and despotic monsters they are'.
An Apache helicopter was forced to make a landing in Iraq this morning. It was immediately seized by evil local civilians and broadcast on Iraqi television. The helicopter was carrying two cruise missiles. "Proof if proof be needed," commented Donald Rumsfeld from the toilet following a heavy breakfast of sausage and beans, "That Iraq does have weapons of mass destruction...well, at least they do now."
Reports are just coming in that two angels have collided over the Heaven and fierce fighting has broken out around the Elysian Fields. Meanwhile Lord God Bush and his offspring Jesus Harold Blair (still carrying his 'Moral Cross of Public Opinion') have marched on the celestial city to claim their rightful thrones. Church leaders around the world have condemned this rumour as "spurious shite".
This is Terry Lloyd, ITN, at what's left of the Pearly Gates.