Friday, October 26, 2007


Keeping us safe from...

Around 40 years ago, early in George Carlin’s career, the comedian included in his “Newscast” routine[1] a small item touting five new signers to the nuclear-test–ban treaty. Those countries were Chad, Sierra Leone, Upper Volta,[2] Monaco, and Iceland.

Of course, the joke, for those who aren’t sure, was one of irony: those were some of the last countries anyone would worry about, from a nuclear-weapons point of view.

Ha ha ha.

But, hey, wait: don’t laugh too much. Looky here:

The State Department with great fanfare on Tuesday signed an agreement with landlocked Mongolia that will allow Mongolian ships to be boarded and searched if they are suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction.

This despite the fact that Mongolia — a vast land that’s home to the Gobi Desert, windswept steppes and largely populated by nomadic yak herders — has no navy at all and lies thousands of miles from open waters.

You can’t make this stuff up, you just can’t. What was a joke during the Johnson administration is now... reality.

[Hat tip to my blogless friend Susan for the pointer.]

[1] It’s included on his album “Take Offs and Put Ons”.

[2] Yes, I know it’s Burkina Faso now. It was Upper Volta then. Deal.


Michelle said...

Hey, don't underestimate the Mongolians! They're scary, with their funny hats and there.. um other scary stuff.

The Ridger, FCD said...

Yes, but Mongolia is a flag of convenience. It's true they don't have lots of ships flagged, but ... baby steps.

Which seem to be all we're capable of these days - but that's a different rant.

Ray said...

That misplaced comma still bothers me. I guess I should get a life :-)