The Ministry of Silly Invasions
The best part of the recent story about the British special forces mission to Libya is that at some point in the past few days the following conversation must have taken place somewhere in Whitehall. Here is my transcript, which some artistic license as performed by Monty Python. Imagine the General and Officer as Graham Chapman and Terry Jones.
General: Feet up on desk, smoking a pipe, reading the tabloids. Shakes head dismissively at article.
Officer: Walks in hurriedly, grasping a paper. “Sir! …” before he is interrupted
General: Slaps tabloid with his hand. “Tell me Jenkins! How does he get his hair like that? Can you fathom it? Its seems one solid mass, I just can’t imagine it. Why are you so flustered, have you been running again Jenkins? Get me a cup of tea will you? Oh, and those orange biscuits.”
Officer: “…uh, yes sir. But, sir. We’ve got a report from that special forces mission to Libya.”
General: Brightens up, “What’s that? Special forces, oh, yes, trying to take out that Qadabybabi right?”
Officer: “Ghaffafi sir, its Maumar Ghaffafi. And they weren’t trying to take him out, they were just going to make contact with the rebels.”
General: Puffs, flustered. “Right well, don’t take all day I’ve important things to attend to”, shuffles papers, “Report!”.
Officer: Stands up straight, hands paper to General. “Well, sir, they’ve been captured sir.”
General: “Captured! Our elite special forces taken prisoner by that dictator? Outrageous! If he doesn’t return them immediately he’ll have to deal with…”
Officer: “Uhm, no sir, they were captured….by the rebels. ”
General: Goes pale, “Oh. Well. Well that’s, hmm. Captured by the rebels eh? Maybe they’re not so ramshackle a group after all if they can capture our best men, whatwhat?
Officer: Squirms uncomfortably, “Well actually sir, they were captured by guards…on a wheat farm. Then they were handed over to the rebels.”
General: Stunned silence.
Officer: “They flew in by helicopter you see sir. And no one knew they were coming so they assumed the worst. They were captured as soon as they landed, were interrogated and are now being treated well apparently. Eggs, sausages and tea, sir. We’ve spoken to them. They’d like to come home now if that’s alright sir.”
General: “Right. Well, I suppose they’re all trained and using weapons we supplied them?”
Officer: “Um, no sir, we’ve heavily supplied Ghadaffi’s army in the past and we haven’t helped the rebels yet.”
General: Picks up pipe. “Fine. Get them home. Tell the Libyans it was all a test, and they passed with flying colours. And get me that damn cup of tea Jenkins.”
Officer: “Right away sir.”