Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Iraqi soldiers eat frogs, rabbit at handover ceremony

You ever get the feeling that you may be on a completely different page then the people you are talking to?

Iraqi soldiers bit the heads off frogs and ate the heart of a rabbit as signs of courage on Wednesday at a ceremony to transfer Najaf province, home to one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest shrines, from U.S. to Iraqi control.

Perhaps after the ceremony we can pray for rain or throw rocks at the sun or something.

A U.S. general called the transfer, under a plan to gradually hand over security and allow the withdrawal of 135,000 American troops, a major step in strengthening the Iraqi government as it seeks to stop sectarian violence.

Yes, it's a major step to hand over control to an army that has so far been able to control nothing. Progress, you gotta love it.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has said Iraqis can take control of all Iraq's 18 provinces by June, despite doubts about capabilities and the sectarian loyalties of the army and police.

Another question. You ever get the feeling that you're the only one who sees the tidal wave bearing down on everybody and as much as you want to warn them, sometimes you feel that everything getting washed away might actually be for the best?

Politicians, tribal and religious leaders and soldiers watched displays of military prowess and one demonstration, hailed as a display of courage, in which five soldiers stopped before the grandstand to bite the heads off frogs.

Great, you can kill frogs. Wonderful. You're ready. Oh you're so ready.

A sixth holding a live rabbit slit open its stomach and ate its heart before tossing the carcass to his comrades to chew on.

So the Iraqi army is more a pack of wild dogs than an army. I foresee nothing but happiness.


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