Sunday, January 04, 2004

All about Spider Holes

wow! just discovered that there was a hoopla on the net about "spider holes" just bcos Saddam was found in one. LG Ricardo Sanchez, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, had referred to Saddam's hiding place as a "spider hole." Actually, I think it's more befitting to call it a "rat hole".

u can google "spider hole" or see this MSN article. Apparently William Safire also joined in the fray in NYT.

Apparently the term has been used by US Marines in WW2 in the Pacific, referring to small one-man concealed holes dug by the Japanese snipers. This is basically a suicide position, the Jap soldier will wait for US Marines pass by and pop up behind them and shoot as many as possible before being despatched by grenades and flame-throwers.

similar tactics were also used by the Viet Cong against US forces in the Vietnam War (or American War from the Vietnamese POV).

A Cornell entomology prof and arachnologist (one who studies spiders) was somewhat perturbed by the linkage between Saddam and spiders. Spiders has been getting the short end of the stick when it comes to Hollywood portrayals and simply bad PR. Hey, wasn't there a eight-legged spidey monster in ROTK! (Shelob in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King)

do leave Jumping Spiders alone when u see them at home. they catch mosquitoes and flies. most ladies (and quite a number of men) will scream at the sight of the long-legged Huntsman Spider roaming your home at night but they are harmless and eat cockcroaches.

In Singapore's nature areas, u can still find the large Singapore Tarantula. we still have trapdoor spiders who actually construct well-camouflaged, silk-lined tunnels with hinged-doors. they wait quietly for their prey to stroll pass, then spring out and grab them. Much unlike Saddam who cowered inside his "spider hole", hiding from US troops who were trying to grab him.


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