|What will happen to
U.N. inspectors who find weapons of mass destruction? Will
Saddam let them trundle back to headquarters to "rat him out?"
Or, will their skulls line his ball court of Terror? See
how an ancient Aztec game is being played today five centuries later,
and how the winners lose their heads when they are victorious.
11, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 455
Iraq's Deadly Game Of
"Terror-Ball", Where Losers Get Their Heads Cut Off
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, Dec. 11 -- The
ancient Aztecs played a game that is not dissimilar to the one U.N.
weapons inspectors are playing in Iraq as they search for weapons of mass
Back in 1500, just five centuries and two years
ago, the Aztec Empire was located in Tenochtitlan, and the favorite game
of the day was their version of Terror-Ball, a game called tlachtli.
Mesoamerican ball court in Monte Alban, Mexico
It was similar to a mix of basketball and modern
soccer, played by Mesoamerican people like the Azetcs, Mayans and the
ancient Terror-Ball game
Players entered an
arena and two teams battled it out before cheering spectators. The object of the game was to get
a five-pound rubber ball through a small stone hoop at one end of a court.
Players could not use their hands, just their feet and heads and shoulders
to pass and bump the ball. As in all Terror-Ball games, the
Losers paid a high price for their ineptness to keep the opposing team
from scoring. They all lost their heads.
The players were prisoners of war, enemies of the
Aztecs. When their heads were lopped off, the losers' skulls
were boiled and then placed into the wall forming "skull bricks" that
symbolized tribute to the Aztec deities, Amapan and Uappatzin, patrons of
the games. The play backers were like the George
modern baseball, and they honored the Aztec god of war, Huitzilopochtli.
Modern man hasn't progressed much from
Aztec ball court.
In Iraq, U.N. weapons inspectors are
playing a current version of ball court.
The inspectors sneak around their compound
and plan the next day's assault on Iraqi locations suspected of bearing
the fruits of weapons of mass destruction. To avoid being overhead
by secret microphones, they stroll in gardens or plot in busy, noisy parts
of the city of Baghdad ala James Bond. They don't want Saddam
Hussein to know where they are going to look next for his alleged stash of
weapons, or the tools to manufacture them.
Terror-Ball Game be replayed with a new team?
As the sun rises, the weapons inspectors gather
their detection equipment and proceed to the secret locations they have decided to storm
in "surprise attacks." They don't want to alert Saddam where
they will search for fear he might move whatever is hidden.
"Vigilance Violation" by the UN inspectors in Iraq?
At the gate of the U.N. weapon inspectors'
compound they meet and greet Iraqis who, like the opposing teams in ball
court, are waiting for them. Often, they shake hands and chit
Then, the U.N. inspectors climb into their SUVs
and drive madly, sometimes over ninety miles an hour, toward their
inspection target. Behind them is a flurry of Iraqi vehicles
giving fast pursuit.
While the U.N. inspectors try to shake their
Iraqi tails, they are less concerned about being followed than in reaching
the targeted inspection site before their "watchdogs" figure out where
they are heading and radio ahead to the site that the U.N. inspectors are
The idea of the game is for the U.N.
weapons inspectors to totally surprise the "target of opportunity," and
limit any prior notification by the Iraqis speeding behind them of their
It becomes a "catch-me-if-you-can," game of
intrigue, one that is rife with quick turns here and there in an attempt
to make a broken field run so that defenders will not know whether you are
zigging north, or zagging east, about to do a U-turn and head back where
you started. The more confused the inspectors can get
their Iraqi tailgaters, the better the chance of screeching to a halt in
front of the inspection site and rushing in unannounced and unforewarned
in hopes of finding some plutonium or biochemical gas being stuffed into a
I wouldn't want to be a U.N. inspector.
The Eye of
The Terror-Ball game seems to me to have
severe penalties for the U.N. weapons inspectors. Logic tells
me that if the inspectors were to get lucky on one of their daily plays,
and rush madly to a site that would affirm that Saddam Hussein was indeed
manufacturing weapons, that the Iraqis behind them playing
"catch-me-if-you-can" would turn instantly from being mere "tailgaters"
into instant "head loppers."
It doesn't make sense the Iraqis
would let weapons inspectors march out of a known weapons site with
evidence to convict their head coach, Saddam Hussein, of global
"unnecessary roughness." It would seem to me the U.N. weapons
inspectors would meet with an untimely death, or "horrible accident," en
route to their compound with the evidence. Or, they might just be
blown to bits without any attempt to cover it up.
In this case, the Winners would
become the Losers.
Saddam's ball court already has the
skulls of more than 50,000 Kurds stacked up on its walls. In 1988 he
gassed men, women and children--his enemies--as a tool to remind all his
people that he was more than capable of "killing anyone anytime" who
opposed him. A few weapons inspectors would go unnoticed on
Hussein's ball court skull wall.
Hamida Hassan, 32, in a hospital bed, is still suffering from burns
and disfigurement she incurred when the Iraqi Air Force struck her
village during the attack by what was believed to be mustard gas in
A few thousand miles away, Head
Coach George Bush, is screaming over his headphones on the sidelines at
the U.N. weapons inspectors to do this and do that. He's scratching
out this play and that play, trying to move the team to places where they
will find evidence and probably get those who uncover and discover such
evidence instantly killed.
The players, however, are
listening to Mr. Bush with deaf ears. They refute his
leadership and look to the United Nations as their head coach, and claim
they are "playing the game for the global community," and that their
player contracts are not with the United States, despite Bush's demands
that he is the ultimate referee as well as Head Coach, and he will decide
when Saddam has been "offsides" or not.
Of course there are others waiting
for their heads to be lopped off in the event the game comes to a
conclusion, which, all games eventually do.
Iraqi citizens are hoping the
12,000-page report issued by Hussein sates the appetite of the U.N. and
results in an agreement that Saddam has long abandoned the development of
such weapons as he was mandated to do in 1991 following the Gulf War.
They don't want their heads lopped off by shrapnel from U.S. and any
allies who back the U.S. in a war against Saddam.
Then there are U.S. and allied
citizens--military troops, many thousands of which are massing now in the
Middle East ready to intrude into the Iraqi ball court and try and bounce
the rubber ball into the concrete hoop. There is a great fear Saddam
Hussein will unleash weapons of mass destruction in case of an invasion,
or that street fighting in Baghdad will be so severe that many U.S. and
allied casualties will result.
Thus, more skulls will line the
ball court of Iraq.
The Vietnam war ball court has
over 2,000,000 such skulls bleaching in the sun. A couple
million of them are Vietnamese, and over 50,000 are Americans plus any
Then there's the skulls from
the Korean War, and World War II, millions upon millions of civilians and
military casualties honoring the Beast of Terror who seems to feed on
human violence as thirstily as a camel who has been a month-long trek
through the Sahara.
Hussein stack more skulls for Iraq's ball court?
The Skulls of War are of all shapes, little children,
women, grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, loved
ones. War is indiscriminate in its executions.
it interesting in the news this morning that the U.N. weapons
inspectors rushed to a site listed in the 12,000-page report
from Iraq. That must have been a relief for
the Iraqi tailgaters. I can imagine the radio communications
back to Saddam's headquarters:
off...they're speeding...clouds of dust...they're turning east...north...ooops,
they almost ran over a little boy...they're going eighty...hmmmm...they're
heading toward the Karamah Public Company at Taji....we're six
miles north of Baghdad...stupid people...they can't be going
there...we put Karamah on the list...oh, praise Allah, they
are...what dolts...they are spinning their SUV in front of the
gate...blocking it so no one can get out...yes....praise Allah,
they are so stupid...they are rushing into the Strategic Storage
Unit...yes, they are looking exactly where we told them to look...ha
ha ha ha....we can relax today...tell the guys with the axes
they can sharpen them for tomorrow...today is a vacation...I'm
going to Starbucks and then McDonalds...no sweat here...Allah
has given us a day off."
the scenario I described above is relatively true. Reuters
reported this morning that U.N. inspectors did indeed rush to
the Karamah Public Company at Taji, one of the sites listed
by the Iraqis in their disclosure document.
the U.N. inspectors have decided to play Terror-Ball the safe
way--inspecting only sites they know will have no weapons.
That way they can go home with their heads intact.
Mayor Faces Bicycle Terrorism
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