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Bring In the Real Pros

May 25, 2003

So the war in Iraq (remember that?) went well, which means quickly. But now, weeks after victory, neither plodding United Nations arms inspectors nor eager American weapons hunters can seem to find Saddam Hussein's suspected hidden caches of weapons of mass destruction. The reason is clear as day: You've got men looking for these things.

Recall those prewar videos of U.N. inspectors poking through unused Iraqi factories as cluttered with meaningless litter and refuse as any teenager's room? They were all men. Did you see any of those men stopping to ask for directions? Of course not! Real men don't ask for directions. Fact is, most men are terrible at finding things, even in their own closets. They stand there helplessly waiting for someone to offer help in spotting a favorite blue tie, which is hanging right in front, and hand it to them. "Oh, there it is," they say with engaging obliviousness.

And men are even worse in front of the refrigerator. Have you noticed? Again, they stand there with the door open, chilling the entire kitchen, looking and looking with those blank faces and silent mouths, apparently unable physically to move even the tiniest jar in their not-so-diligent search. When help arrives, again, the sought-after item is typically right in front.

So it's no wonder that Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, or WMDs, have gone undetected by men. The weapons are probably parked just behind U.N. headquarters.

Right now, this week, before schools get out, call in the world's top finder of hidden things: Mom. All the president has to do is slap together a team of highly trained, eagle-eyed American moms. They have long experience in the rugged combat zones of upstairs closets, in the drawers of vacant teens and blind husbands and under the bed where no sentient life lives but many things end up. And they have invaluable experience stepping in where lost men already stand.

It really is uncanny. Somehow moms just seem to know where things are, even things that aren't theirs. Many a mom has been on a business trip when the cell phone rings and it's some male from back home wondering where his black T-shirt is. The amazing thing is, most moms will know exactly where it is, even from 800 miles away.

What we could do is ship over to Iraq a battalion of Recon Moms. Call them WMDs (Women Mobilized to Detect stuff). Tell them a son has hidden a huge stash of Playboy magazines somewhere in Iraq, probably under a bunch of dangerous weapons. Chances are you'll find every last one of those weapons before dinner. And the Playboys.

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