THIS JUST IN . . .

AFP, 7 April — The ground war in Iraq heated up yesterday when the Coalition revealed plans to airdrop a platoon of crack French existentialist philosophers into the country to destroy the morale of the Iraqi and Islamic zealots by proving the non-existence of God. Elements from the feared Jean-Paul Sartre Brigade, or ‘Black Berets’, will be parachuted into the combat zones to spread doubt, despondency and existential anomie among the enemy.

Hardened by numerous intellectual battles fought during their long occupation of Paris’s Left Bank, their first action will be to establish a number of pavement cafes at strategic points near the front lines. There they will drink coffee and talk animatedly about the absurd nature of life and man’s lonely isolation in the universe.

They will be accompanied by a number of heart-breakingly beautiful girlfriends who will further spread dismay by sticking their tongues in the philosophers’ ears every five minutes and looking remote and unattainable to everyone else.

Their leader, Colonel Marc-Ange Belmondo, spoke yesterday of his confidence in the success of their mission. Sorbonne graduate Belmondo, a very intense and unshaven young man in a black pullover, gesticulated wildly and said, “The Islamicists are caught in a logical fallacy of the most ridiculous. There is no God and I can prove it. Take your tongue out of my ear, Juliet, I am talking.”

Marc-Ange plans to deliver an impassioned thesis on man’s nauseating freedom of action with special reference to the work of Foucault and the films of Alfred Hitchcock.

However, humanitarian agencies have been quick to condemn the operation as inhumane, pointing out that the effects of passive smoking from the Frenchmen’s endless Gitanes could wreak a terrible toll on civilians in the area.

Speculation was mounting last night that Britain may also contribute to the effort by dropping Professor Stephen Hawking into Iraq to propagate his non-deistic theory of the creation of the universe.

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