"Only be sure always to call it please 'research'."

Yesterday, via the Blogfather, I discovered this rather cynical idea for resolving both the Israel-Palestine conflict and the ongoing genocide in Darfur. It struck me as incredibly cynical, and reminded me of my own analysis of the Darfur situation of almost a year ago.

First, I went back and re-read my own piece. Had things changed much since then, invalidating my opinions of the time? Sadly, I had to conclude they have not. What I said last August is at least as true today as it was then.

Next, I thought I remembered something I had read a while ago. Someone had put forth a slightly less cynical version of Bert’s idea — get the Palestinians to provide peace-keeping forces for Darfur.

Not only would it avoid the problems inherent with having Americans intervene in the region I pointed out (for one, the Palestinians are mostly Muslim, as are the perpetrators of the genocide, neatly avoiding the “infidels attacking Islam” trap), but it would also be an interesting test for the Palestinians. Are they really ready to put their past behind them and join the civilized world? Could they find a way to apply their two greatest contributions to the world — the suicide belt and the unguided Qassam rocket — to ending the genocide?

Naturally, they Palestinians would need support. I would like the United States to provide transportation and logistical support, with other nations actually putting up any needed weapons and other equipment. The key element, though, would be that the Palestinians would be doing the actual work.

This idea struck me of questionable sanity. And when I have plans that involve both questionable sanity and Middle East politics, there’s only one name that should come to mind.

I IM’d Laurence and gave him a rough outline of the plan, mentioning in passing I thought I’d read something like it somewhere. He said it sounded vaguely familiar, too, then sent me this link.

Once Lair stopped laughing at me, he encouraged me to write this piece anyway. And once I stopped swearing at myself, I did.

I remember at the time thinking Lair’s idea was brilliant, and it was a shame it didn’t garner more attention. Almost a year later, I think it’s more relevant than ever.

And anyone who thinks the United States should intervene directly in Darfur, please go and read my own earlier piece here. If you can answer the questions I raised there, please do so. I’ve spent most of a year trying to find ones, and failed miserably.

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Anyone who doesn’t recognize the source of the title, it’s from Tom Lehrer. And if you’ve never heard of the brilliant Harvard professor of mathematics and musical satirist, shame on you.

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  1. cancon June 10, 2005
  2. lawhawk June 10, 2005
  3. John Burgess June 10, 2005
  4. Wendigo June 10, 2005
  5. bullwinkle June 10, 2005
  6. El Capitan June 10, 2005
  7. El Capitan June 10, 2005
  8. ryan June 11, 2005
  9. Carolyn Hileman June 13, 2005