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April 10, 2003

Surface to Air?

The 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon resulted in many dogfights between Syrian and Israeli jet fighters.

In the end, the Syrians lost over 80 planes and had a number of SAM batteries knocked out, while the Israelis lost no planes.

Sometime later, the Syrian Defense Minister was shopping for weapons in Moscow.

His host, the Soviet Defense Minister, was embarrassed about the scorecard from Lebanon.

He told his Syrian guest, "Take anything you want - our best tanks, rifles, or surface-to-air missiles."

"No, no - you don't understand!" the Syrian replied. "Last time you gave us surface-to-air missiles. This time we need surface-to-*jet* missiles!"

Posted by Peskie at April 10, 2003 12:00 PM


Don't get it.

Posted by: Ravages at April 16, 2004 07:04 AM

The play is on the phrase *to air*. A "surface to air" missile is fired from the ground at a target in the air (as opposed to say "surface to surface", "ship to air", etc). In this case, due to a technology gap between the American designed fighters and the Russian designed missiles, the missiles were literally "to air" (exploding without impacting on the target or simply unable to reach the target).

I should probably have footnoted this explanation in the joke - sorry.

Posted by: Ozguru at April 16, 2004 07:04 AM

here is a little Navy humour
Every ship is a mine sweeper, once.

Posted by: Skipjack at April 16, 2004 07:04 AM