Anorak News | Beyond A Joke

Beyond A Joke

by | 17th, December 2003

‘IF morale among American troops in Iraq wasn’t low enough after months fighting off ambushes and guerrilla attacks, they have just had to contend with a visit from Robin Williams.

Another Vietnam

No prizes for guessing the words with which Williams began his gig – a carefully-scripted variation on his signature line from the 1987 film Good Morning Vietnam: “Good Moooooooorning Baghdaaaad.”

The presence of Williams prompts the Times to comment on the relative quality of the entertainment provided to the US and British troops.

They get Williams and Bruce Willis; we get Jim Davidson and Bjorn Again. All of which sounds like a no-score draw to us.

Then again, the Yanks did have Shannon Tweed, a former Playboy Playmate of the Year, wrestler Curt Angel and stock-car racer Mike Wallace. We had Nell McAndrew (albeit briefly).

The Times joins the 200 GIs to listen into Robin Williams’ gig and hears him tell them: “I’m looking at a group of heavily-armed people here.

“I’m telling myself, ‘If you’re not funny, it’s a problem’.”

And it’s a problem that a lot of Iraqis have faced recently, their jokes clearly falling as flat as most of their homes after a visit from coalition troops.

The Indy reports on how at least 18 Iraqis were gunned down on the streets of three major cities, with dramatic videotape showing unarmed supporters of Saddam Hussein being shot dead by US troops as they fled into the semi-darkness.

Robert Fisk says that the US insists the dead were insurgents, just as they did in Samarra a fortnight ago, when the only confirmed victims were a nine civilians, one a child and one an Iranian pilgrim.

Even Jim Davidson might struggle to make a joke out of that.’

Posted: 17th, December 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink