Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

February 17, 2006

Special Forces Llamas

As Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up:

New special forces vehicle kicks ass — the llama

Friday, February 17, 2006

TEL AVIV — Israel’s military has found the perfect vehicle for special operations forces — the llama.

After extensive tests, the uncomplaining work-horse animals were found to easily out-perform donkeys. What’s more, they need refuelling [sic] only every other day.

Military sources said the Israel Army plans to use llamas for reconnaissance and combat missions in enemy territory, Middle East Newsline reported. They described the llama as ideal for special operations missions in Lebanon against the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah.

“The llama is a quiet and disciplined animal that can carry huge loads,” a military source said. “Vehicles make noise and need roads and fuel. We’ve tried donkeys and they are not suitable for such missions.”

I’m sure the anti-Israel folks over at PETA will condemn the “conscription” of llamas.

Why do I call PETA “anti-Israel”? Because, three years ago, the Palestinians used loaded up a donkey with explosives, left the donkey by the side of a road, and detonated the explosives by remote control when a bus passed by. One bus passenger was injured, but the donkey was of course killed. And this, PETA President Ingrid Newkirk found worthy of a protest letter — in the form of a fawning, obsequious plea to Yasser Arafat to “please add to your burdens my request that you appeal to all those who listen to you to leave the animals out of this conflict?”

They didn’t have any objection, apparently, to the use of human beings — even mentally retarded boys — as suicide bombers. Nor do they object to the killing of hundreds of Israeli civilians, tourists, and other visitors. As Kerry Dougherty put it in the Richmond Virginian-Pilot:

Perhaps Ms. Newkirk would prefer that the Palestinians used suicide bombers instead of burros. Oh, that’s right, they usually do.

Lisa Lange, PETA’s vice president of communications, told me yesterday that Newkirk’s letter was written after their offices had been bombarded with calls from PETA members who had learned of the donkey bomb.

Lange said it’s PETA’s philosophy that human cruelty often begins with animal cruelty.

The Washington Post this week [of Feb. 6, 2003 --DR] asked Ms. Newkirk if she had “considered asking Arafat to persuade those who listen to him to stop blowing up people as well” as animals.

Her response should be required reading for all would-be members of PETA:

“It’s not my business to inject myself into human wars,” Newkirk told the Post.

How does one respond to such moral ambiguity?

How about a body count of human bodies?

In January 2003 — the month in which the donkey died — 21 Israelis and eight foreign nationals were killed by terrorists in Israel, and 127 others were injured.

Yet PETA weeps for the a$$ .

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