I wish this was a joke.
According to Yahoo News:
US Marines of the 1st Division dressed as gladiators try to control a horse and stage a chariot race reminiscent of the Charlton Heston movie–complete with confiscated Iraqi horses at their base outside Fallujah, Iraq, Saturday, Nov. 6 , 2004. For U.S. Marines tapped to lead an expected attack on insurgent-held Fallujah, the bags have been packed, trucks have been loaded and final letters have been sent, leaving one final task – the “Ben-Hur.”
(photos: YahooNews-UK: AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)