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Treasure hunt this summer

Published: May 2, 2008
Section: Opinions


As Brandeis students pack their bags for the summer, they are faced with the daunting prospect of what to do to fill the long months of June, July, and August. Why not, then, do they not embark on a quest? A quest to find the great unknown treasures of Arabia! Like Aladdin’s Lamp and the riches of Ali Baba, these hidden caches are as intriguing as they are deadly, including:

1. Weapons of Mass Destruction

Ah, an easy one. In one State of the Union address Bush triumphantly declared the discovery of ‘WMD-related programs activities’. The President then outdid himself and announced (albeit on Polish television) that WMD had indeed been found, and all of Saddam’s conventional weapons stockpiles are now safely in the hands of sectarian militias. But obviously no radical armed movement is going to want to fiddle around with plutonium or nerve gas, right? So logically the WMD must still be there. As Donald Rumsfeld pointed out, the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence…although I suppose abandoning the whole concept of deductive reasoning to rationalize a war isn’t the smartest thing a nation has ever done.

2. Arab Radio Broadcasts

Specifically, the ones from 1947-48 which told the Palestinian Arab population to flee to make way for the incoming Arab armies, thus giving rise to the Palestinian refugee problem. These broadcasts are mentioned in hundreds of textbooks, pamphlets, et cetera, not to mention that several major intelligence services were closely monitoring the region at the time, so finding them shouldn’t be too hard. It would, of course, be nice to know the names of these radio stations, who delivered the directives, and what exactly was said. My search for a transcript or audio recording was completely fruitless. Perhaps, then, these orders to flee came not from the radio but from newspapers or some other source of information? Alas! Any and all inquiries to the Crown Center and a search of the library were also in vain.

3. Osama bin Laden

At last, something that definitely exists. Of course, it isn’t certain that bin Laden is actually in the Middle East. He could be on Long Island, for all the public knows. Iraq is probably out of the running since the downfall of his good buddy the quasi-secularist infidel Saddam Hussein. ‘Super Size Me’ filmmaker Morgan Spurlock has just released a movie about this very topic, so prospective bin-Laden hunters had better get a move on before this Harry Houdini of terrorists retreats to his lair in a hollow-out volcano or something.

Fame and fortune await whichever intrepid adventurer is brave enough to find them. So pack your bags, roll up your sleeves, re-read your back issues of the Weekly Standard, and get to it!