A breaking news story, brought to you by People’s Daily: Monkeys trained as battlefield killers in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents are training monkeys to use weapons to attack American troops, according to a recent report by a British-based media agency.
Reporters from the media agency spotted and took photos of a few “monkey soldiers” holding AK-47 rifles and Bren light machine guns in the Waziristan tribal region near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The report and photos have been widely spread by media agencies and Web sites across the world.
According to the report, American military experts call them “monkey terrorists.”
So we’ve got an unnamed ‘British-based media agency,’ an equally unnamed ‘experts,’ as well as a mysterious lack of images depicting these monkey shock troops. The article also left a number of other deeply important questions unanswered — such as, for instance, what variety of monkey the Taliban is using. Inquiring minds want to know.
The only primate in Afghanistan other than humans is the rhesus macaque, but Waziristan is in Pakistan, not Afghanistan, so perhaps the source of the monkeys is a bit farther east. If we’re going to include Pakistan as a possible sources for armed monkey terrorists, we can add gray langurs to the list, but for a variety of reasons the Rhesus is a far superior species from which to recruit monkey guerrilla troops. And, as you can see from the adorable photo below, rhesus macaques are already embedded among troops stationed in Afghanistan.
Judging from this photo, I conclude that People’s Daily got the story entirely wrong. Armed monkeys are indeed playing a significant role in the conflict in Afghanistan, but it is the U.S. rather than the Taliban that is responsible for recruiting monkey warriors.
Despite this, People’s Daily — a Chinese media outlet — is falsely alleging that the monkeys are terrorists, in order to weaken the morale of American troops.
In a sense, the emergence of “monkey soldiers” is the result of asymmetrical warfare. The United States launched the war in Afghanistan using the world’s most advanced weapons such as highly-intelligent robots to detect bombs on roadsides and unmanned aerial vehicles to attack major Taliban targets. In response, the Taliban forces have tried any possible means and figured out a method to train monkeys as “replacement killers” against American troops.
Analysts believe that apart from using “monkey killers” to attack the American troops, the Taliban also sought to arouse Western animal protectionists to pressure their governments to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
Although I have conclusively shown that the monkey soldiers are in fact part of the American military, the mysterious “analysts” quoted by People’s Daily must believe that the Taliban are a fiendishly clever foe. While we have been at war in Afghanistan for nearly a decade, once PETA gets involved in the anti-war effort, America will be forced to withdraw from the conflict in a matter of weeks.
Update (from Michael): The Dallas Blog provides some historical context for the Taliban monkey fighters: “If President Barack Obama withdraws from the war in Afghanistan, he would be the first commander-in-chief in American history to surrender to an army of monkeys.”
Update #2: A video of a Chinese newscast on the Monkey soldiers has now been released.
That is some pretty epic CGI’ing, there. Unfortunately the CGI primates appear to be chimpanzees, which it is pretty much impossible for the Taliban to have acquired. Although the pictures depict rhesus macaques, so at least they got that right,