Random Shots: More Mines for Ronnie

Against the Current, No. 10, September/October 1987

R.F. Kampfer

REAGAN’S STUMBLE towards war in the Persian Gulf really requires Kipling to do it justice:

Khomeni has sunk old Reagan’s ship,
That was old Reagan’s pride.
With a silkworm between the wind and the water,
That left a great hole in her side.
Well Reagan he swore a mighty oath,
And soon made up a plan.
He’d take his fleet into the Gulf,
And soon subdue Iran.
Then up spoke a gray-haired Admiral,
When he heard the ghastly news: “Whatever you dare, beware, beware,
The deadly Straits of Hormuz.
There is sand to starboard and sand to port,
With the shallow sea between.
And oft you may hear the radar lock on,
Though never a launcher is seen.”

It’s understandable that the Navy might have forgotten to consider the use of sea-mines in the Persian Gulf, since they’ve only been in general use since 1862.

One would think that Reagan would have some vague memory of mines, since he and Nancy did their their big love scene in front of a huge pile of them in “Hellcats of the Navy.”

Military observers generally believe that both the U.S. and the Soviet Union have long since laid nuclear mines in the Straits of Hormuz and every other oceanic bottleneck. In the event of a real war, any fleet in the Gulf will be as harmless as a bee in a bottle.

Trade Ollie for A Draft Choice

IN THE LATEST round of Arms Control negotiations, Gorbachev has agreed to accept the Star Wars system in exchange for banning the Cessna 500.

The Germans took about 15,000American hostages during the Battle of the Bulge (December 1944), but nobody suggested trading anything for them.

In a last-ditch effort to clear up the lranscam scandal, Edwin Meese has suggested that the case be transferred to People’s Court.

If there is any justice, Ollie North will be reincarnated as a Gerbil.

Political Observations

JESSE JACKSON says that the Democratic Party has a progressive wing and a conservative wing, but it takes both wings to fly. We know what’s in the pot at the end of that Rainbow.

Hart should have used the same response that Kennedy made when asked if he’d slept with another woman: “Not a wink, Jackie.”

Reagan is using the same defense-in­depth as the gentleman charged with wrecking a neighbor’s car. First, that he never borrowed it; second, that it was in perfect condition when he returned it; and third, that it was already damaged when he got it.

Humanity Marches On

THE LATEST FAD for yuppy-scum is designer gardens. Purchasing, transporting and installing one full-grown exotic tree can cost as much as $30,000.

Claymore mines can be emplaced to shred trespassing dogs.

Many anthropologists believe that the main motivation for early humanity changing from nomadic hunting bands to settled agricultural communities was the invention of beer.

The Role of the Individual in History

IN HIS EULOGY for CIA director William Casey, Reagan praised his covert operations in the OSS, saying his “determination and personal courage in the clandestine effort against Adolf Hitler meant the difference between victory and defeat.” Apparently all those troops just came along to hold his coat.

Meanwhile, in American Film magazine, July-August 1987, Alexander Cockburn tells us that without Ian Fleming “We would have had no OSS, hence no CIA. Sir Anthony Eden would not have embarked on his mad Suez adventure. President John F. Kennedy would in all likelihood be alive today. The Cold War would have ended in the early sixties.

We would have had no Vietnam, no Ronald Reagan, and no Star Wars.” That would make Fleming the most influential writer since Lenin.

Midlife Crisis

MIXED EMOTIONS is when you discover that your teenager is carrying condoms.

September-October 1987, ATC 10

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