Dead Dove Disaster
By Al Kamen
Friday, June 18, 2004; Page A27
This just in from BBC News! While Americans are preoccupied with investigations of world terrorism, other nations have different concerns.
So we find that "the Sri Lankan authorities have ordered an inquiry," the BBC reported, "after a dove-freeing ceremony intended to symbolize peace went disastrously wrong."
Seems "one bird was dead before takeoff and 'dropped like a brick,' " the BBC said, quoting its cameraman, Sriyantha Walpola, "soon after it left the hands of the public security minister, Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, at a ceremony last weekend."
And it wasn't as if a flock was taking off. Seems the poor bird was one of seven being released at a recent U.N. ceremony attended by Lt. Gen. James L. Campbell, commander of U.S. Army forces in the Pacific. His bird flew off quite smartly.
So "instead of soaring majestically into the air to symbolize the government's commitment to peace and goodwill," the BBC reported, the bird nose-dived to the ground.
Not to worry.
"A three-member delegation of the military police," led by an army major no less, has been called in "to investigate the mystery of the dead dove." They will look into the circumstances and try to see if there was any sabotage, a defense ministry spokesman said.
Sure, maybe it was the fault of Tamil Tiger separatists. Or maybe it was keeping the birds waiting for a half-hour in 90-degree heat and excessive humidity?
Clear as Mud
Some folks in Congress are upset by our Saudi friends' occasional hallucinatory outbursts.
Crown Prince Abdullah -- remember, he's the enlightened one in the family, the one the Bush administration is counting on -- was shown on a tape obtained by NBC News blaming a recent wave of terrorist attacks on Zionists.
"Zionism is behind it," Abdullah said, through a translator. "It has become clear now. It has become clear to us," he said. "It is not 100 percent, but 95 percent that the Zionist hands are behind what has happened."
This might be a bit perplexing, since al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
But not to worry. Prince Nayef, the interior minister, explained what's going on. "Al Qaeda is backed by Israel and Zionism." Ah, but of course.
So Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has circulated a "Dear Colleague" letter asking for House members to condemn these "scurrilous and inflammatory charges."
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