HARRISBURG, Penn. -- Militants from Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas advanced on Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported today. A small contingent of the Pennsylvania National Guard and park rangers from the National Park Service are trying to hold them off, while reinforcements are being brought in from the Dauphin County Sheriff's Department, the Adams County Sheriff's Office and the City of Harrisburg Bureau of Police.
A pitched battle is set to begin within the day, said Adams County Sheriff Raymond W. Newman.
Asked how this many insurgents could get into the U.S. at one time, Elbridge Grebey of the Adams County Historical Society proposed three theories: one, by land; two, by sea; and, three, by air.
The first hypothesis had been that they had crossed into the United States through Mexico. "I don't know how anyone would expect us to stop them. How are we supposed to tell them from undocumented Mexicans? They're both stubby people with black hair and brown skin,' said the commander of the Pennsylvania National Guard Major General Jessica L. Wright.
"Even if we did interdict them, we might stop the insurgents but we'd also stop the critical supply of lawn care workers as well. I know that Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas fighters are dangerous but have you ever seen the Harrisburg Garden Club when they're up in arms? Now that's scary," added Major General Wright.
The second possibility on how the insurgents got into the U.S. is via ocean-going shipping container. Robert W. Palaima, who supervises Camden, New Jersey's busy Beckett Street Terminal, said they are continuing to investigate an empty, air-conditioned freight container which has the distinct aroma of extra virgin olive oil, humus and tabouli.
The third theory on how the insurgents got to Pennsylvania is that they came through the Dulles International Airport just outside Washington.
"We realized that a chartered flight from Tehran via Damascus with over 270 young Muslim men could be a threat, but to single them out for closer scrutiny clearly would have been racial, ethnic, gender and religious profiling. We don't do that. That wouldn't be America," said John F. Lenihan, Federal Security Director at Washington-Dulles International Airport.
An examination of Transportation Security Administration records from the day of the Tehran/Damascus flight showed that most the TSA's personnel had spent their time randomly examining individuals returning from London to Harrisburg as part of the "Better Gardens of Britain" tour.
Asymmetric warfare expert at the U.S. Military Academy Lieutenant Colonel Robert F. Hahn II, the Director of the Army After Next Urban Warfare Project, said flawed army intelligence was part of the problem.
According to Hahn, "We knew we were 'at war' with Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas, we just didn't know we were 'at war' with them. For insurgents, terrorists and guerrilla fighters, it is a very clever strategy to fight a conventional nineteenth century war. We were not ready for that, and I don't think we will be for a while.
"It took decades for the U.S. military to adapt to fighting unconventional warfare, it will probably take us just as long to convert back," said Hahn.
"Why are they attacking Gettysburg?" asked Elbridge Grebey of the Adams County Historical Society. "Symbolic significance, I figure. Gettysburg has profound historical meaning. I guess they want to do what the Confederacy couldn't -- defeat the United States on its own ground."
In other news, future President Barak Obama, aides report, is already scheduling an Amtrak ride to eastern Pennsylvania in preparation for a brief working vacation at his Gettysburg address.
Copyright 2006, Douglas Salguod