Information Warfare: May 18, 2004


Several shipping containers of Spam (the pork kind, not the email variety) are headed for Iraq, and this might result in a major new media firestorm of bad publicity for coalition troops there. The Arab media has made indignation over all the infidel (non-believer, meaning non-Moslem) troops in Iraq a major news issue. All those infidels are seen as a blot on Arab, and Moslem, honor. Al Jazeera, and all the other major Arab news outlets, compete furiously for stories about outranges against Arab honor and customs. With that in mind, how did all this Spam get sent to a country where even touching pork is forbidden by Islamic law?

It seems that as the U.S. Army was looking for units to replace those that had spent a year in Iraq, it found a reserve engineer battalion (the 411th) in the Pacific that could replace the 389th Engineer battalion in Iraq. The units of the 411th Engineer battalion are from many American island territories in the Pacific. One of those islands is Guam, whose people consume more Spam per capita  than any other people on the planet. Pork has always been a very popular dish in the Pacific, from the Chinese to the Polynesians (the people to live on most Pacific islands.) Spam was invented during World War II, as a way to turn various pork byproducts (Spam stands for Spiced Pork and Ham) into a canned meat product. Spam was shipped to the troops in large quantities. While it was never very popular in the United States, when people in the Pacific came across it, they quickly adopted it as a delicacy. When the Samoan GIs found out they were headed for Iraq, they filled up several shipping containers with Spam, so they would not be without their favorite food while they served in Iraq. Samoans also tend to be very large people, and not the kind of guys you want to get on the wrong side of. Should any Arabs try to get between the Samoans and their Spam, there could be trouble.


Article Archive

Information Warfare: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close