morocco offers US monkeys to detonate mines

The Moroccan weekly “Al-Usbu’ As-Siyassi” [This Week in Politics] published a piece that “accused the government Monday of providing unusual assistance to U.S. troops fighting in Iraq by offering them 2,000 monkeys trained in detonating land mines. Morocco offered the U.S. forces a large number of monkeys, some from Morocco’s Atlas Mountains and others imported, to use them for detonating land mines planted by the Iraqis. A highly-informed source was quoted as saying, “that is not a scientific illusion but a well-known military tactic.”
When I heard about that, I just laughed. I know Morocco is a staunch U.S. ally, but monkeys? And “Al-Usbu” doesn’t really have a great reputation for journalistic seriousness so I thought it was a hoax and moved on. But by Tuesday the item was picked up by the fearless fact-checkers at United Press International and the conservative Washington Times, and today by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Only the Washington Post seems to have thought it a joke: “An official at the Moroccan Embassy could not confirm the presence of monkeys in the coalition of the willing.”
Then someone pointed me to this link: Dolphins Help Spot Mines in War. So hmm…if Dolphins can do it…

4 Responses to “morocco offers US monkeys to detonate mines”

  1. Jos Says:

    Hassan II did use the monkeys in 1975. It

  2. moorishgirl Says:

    If anyone should know how to spot land mines, it should be the Moroccans, given all the mines that have been planted in the disputed area of Western Sahara.
    But Jose, don’t disappear. If it’s indeed true, help me out with a link on the whole story behind this!

  3. Big John Says:

    Dolphins were used in experiments as far back as Viet Nam. Rumor has it that they have even been trained to kill enemy frogmen, and attach limpet mines to ships.

  4. moorishgirl Says:

    Some friends in Morocco tell me that this is turning into a big joke over there. So at this point, I’m going to go with my gut instinct and consider it a hoax until I see something more official. Besides, maybe the newspaper meant it metaphorically, so as to embarass the government (back in 1990-91, 2000 Moroccan troops participated on the coalition side.)

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