Friday, February 19, 2010
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - Under pressure from U.S. ambassador Howard Gutman, Belgium has agreed to up the ante in Afghanistan by sending specially trained truffle hogs and a colorful post card collection to NATO headquarters in Kabul. "The Belgians didn't want to send anything," said American embassy spokesperson Cybil Gnomen. "But Ambassador Gutman really turned up the heat." NATO will introduce the four pigs (trained to locate truffles) into Helmand province, providing alternative employment to the cultivation and sale of heroin poppies. "Everyone here loves truffles," said Gnomen. "So if the Afghans find some, they can sell them to the Belgians. It's like the circle of life only with truffles." In addition, the Belgian government has included a stack of postcards showing the Antwerp city hall and a fountain in Bruges featuring a naked boy peeing on a dog. While their use in the war zone seems opaque, Gnomen was proud. "Hey, it's high quality paper. I'm sure the people there can use them as artwork in their homes. The truffles and postcards are symbols of what can be accomplished when you put aside jingoist chest-beating and rely on smart diplomacy."