Persian Gulf, 1995 | Sojourners

Persian Gulf, 1995

Editor's Note: The fog of war and humor columns is thick with uncertainty. This column, for example, was really quite funny at press time, but may look a little dated and erroneous now. It seems you just can't count on wars being long and drawn out anymore.

We would have updated It and made it a little more ... uh ... accurate. But we couldn't. We had to spend all our time changing the rest of the magazine ...

Persian Gulf, 1995

JAN. 10: White House spokespersons announce the renaming of Operation Desert Storm to Operation Desert Quagmire.

JAN. 24: Pentagon officials again alter their estimates of Iraqi Scud missile strength after overnight attacks on Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Pakistan, Thailand, and New Zealand. Pressed by journalists to correct previous claims that all Scuds had been destroyed, a Pentagon spokesperson replied, "I guess they had some more."

FEB. 6: Saddam Hussein announces via Jordanian radio that his forces have, to date, shot down 3,135 enemy aircraft. Reminded by an aide that enemy air forces number fewer than 2,000 planes, Hussein ordered the aide whipped and then said, "Oh."

FEB. 10: Relieved Department of Commerce officials in Washington announced that, after intense negotiations, the last American company not producing military goods had finally agreed to make the weapon of its choice. The manufacturer, which previously made school blackboards, has begun retooling to produce USO ashtrays with pictures of little Patriot missiles on the bottom.

FEB. 15: U.S. trade officials express optimism at the growing international market for America's Patriot "Scud-buster," saying they have been contacted by "a number of potential customers in Europe, Asia, and ... uh ... the Middle East."

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