As war looms - I feel like we're in a state of suspended animation at the moment - there is some very interesing action being taken by metaphorical rodents in the region.
In typical survivalist manner - say what you want about their hygiene and eating habits but rats WANT TO LIVE - the rats are getting the hell out of Dodge:
- A prominent Iraqi tribal leader, previously loyal to Hussein, said on Monday he had joined forces with a Kurdish faction and predicted the United States would rapidly triumph in a war on Iraq.
''No one is going to fight for Saddam,'' Jowhad Herki said. ''The war will finish very quickly because the people are very tired. They have seen nothing but destruction.''
Herki told Reuters that he had shifted his support to the Kurdistan Democratic Party. He said Iraqis are tired of years of conflict and want Saddam gone.
''Even people very close to Saddam want him to leave,'' he said. ''When Saddam leaves, Iraqi people will live a better life. Even military commanders think the same way.'' [USA Today]
But the lemmings - the stupid, ideological, blind lemmings - are headed in the other direction because life is just too long:
- A Palestinian in Amman who was getting into a taxi for Baghdad smiled when asked whether he was going to join with Saddam Hussein's troops.
''Look, I don't have anything against the British and American people, but I do want to kill British and American soldiers,'' said the man, who gave an assumed name of Abu Hassan. ''This is the only way to get the message across that the Arab world is against this war. The American government says the people in Iraq will not fight, but they are wrong, very wrong.''
....''People forget that Saddam supported us when no one else would and, well, the British and Americans are like brothers to the Israelis, right?'' he said. ''When you kick a snake, the tail and head are the same.''
As he speaks, another taxi pulls up. Arabiyaa, an Iraqi woman who says she lives in Amman, is in the front seat, her face covered by a veil. She says she is leaving her husband and family to fight in Baghdad.
''I want to stomp on the heads of American and British soldiers,'' she says, her dark eyes peering through the gap in her veil.
Um, yes, that's a bit more aggressive than the human shields - who says Islamic women are passive?