I've finally reached 2002, and now that I have some Canadian friends (which I didn't, back in 2002), this story is a little homage, just for them.
"Canada Warship Seizes Tanker in Arabian Sea" -- Reuters, Feb. 8, 2002
CANADIAN WARSHIP SEIZES TANKER IN... WAIT...
CANADA HAS A WARSHIP?
Oh Right, and Switzerland Has Nuclear Weapons
Arabian Sea (SatireWire.com) — Canadian television reported Friday that a Canadian warship in the Arabian Sea had seized a tanker suspected of smuggling oil from Iraq, leading many to suspect that the report was a hoax.
| The Halifax Class frigate Vancouver.|
"You're kidding, right? Canada has a warship?" asked U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "Like for war?
"Does Canada know?" he added.
"Nobody was more stunned than we were," said Kali Omari, first mate of the seized vessel. "We saw this frigate steaming toward us, and we were worried, but then we saw the maple leaf on the flag, and we thought, 'Oh, Canadians. What the hell do they want?'"
When an officer of the HMCS Vancouver announced that the tanker was about to be boarded, the crew of the detained ship was confused, said Omari, but their confusion quickly turned to anger when they saw what the Canadians sailors were carrying.
"They were armed. With guns," said Omari. "Canadians. With guns. And a warship. What is this world coming to?"
"They were pretty rude, too," Omari added. "They started asking us all sorts of questions, like 'Where did that oil come from?' But first we wanted to know who gave them the damn warship."
According to Canadian defense officials, the Vancouver is one of four frigates deployed in the region to assist in the U.S.-led Afghanistan conflict. The tanker was stopped, officials said, because its cargo of crude oil violated United Nations sanctions, which prohibit Iraq from selling oil unless in exchange for food and medicine.
The U.N. said the incident is already under investigation, and promised swift action against those found responsible for giving the Canadians guns. Initial findings indicate that the Vancouver crew may have been watching too many American television shows.