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Raiders

October 30th, 2003 - 12:38 am

If you go back and re-read your Old Testament, you’ll find that the Ark of the Covenant was no prize. Everyone wanted it, since it contained the original Ten Commandment tablets, personally etched by Cecil B. Demille’s special effects department, and once held by Chuck Heston, himself. But everyone who got the damn thing ended up being sorry for it. Wherever the Ark went, disaster followed: war, disease, starvation, and, as I recall, melting Nazis.

Everyone wanted it, everyone was sorry they got it.

The quest in the Middle East these last 25 years or so has been for Weapons of Mass Destruction. Syria, Iraq, Iran — they all want WMDs for the same reason. They’re useful for scaring dissidents, threatening your neighbors, and killing Jews. Come to think of it, that’s exactly like the Ark of the Covenant.

Until Pakistan got a nuke — and Pakistan is more South Asia than Mideast — the guy with the Ark was our buddy Saddam Hussein. That Saddam had WMDs isn’t debatable. He gassed the Iranians, he gassed the Kurds, he gassed the Marsh Arabs, he was caught trying to buy kryton switches needed for a nuke, etc. But disaster soon came, in the form of Norman Schwarzkopf and the US Third Army. If you want to talk Old Testament-style Wrath of God, look no further than the Highway of Death.

(No, I haven’t slipped my rocker and gotten all religious. I’m just trying to make a point here, however badly.)

Now it looks like Saddam slipped the Ark to his Ba’ath buddies in neighboring Syria:

U.S. intelligence officials Wednesday released an assessment that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction have been transferred to neighboring Syria.

The officials, in the first assessment of its kind, said the transfer occurred during the weeks prior to the U.S.-led war against the Saddam Hussein regime.

Saddam bought himself a clue. He must have figured that if his neighbors had the Ark, maybe God would go smite them instead.

Well, it wasn’t a very big clue — because he kept telling everyone the Ark was still right where it belonged. Meanwhile, we’re digging like Belloq in all the wrong places, when the Ark is really buried a little over to the west.

So was our wrath misplaced? Hardly. Even if Saddam had come clean, he’d had the Ark before and was going to try to get it back again. Besides, we needed to set somebody straight over there, and Saddam’s Iraq was a good place to try.

The point of all this is: If Syria has the Ark, do they really want to keep it? Death, destruction, and melting Islamofascists seem to follow wherever it goes.

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