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"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.

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.

Comments (9)

isn't the problem that the ... (Below threshold)

isn't the problem that the Palestinians probably agree with the Janjaweed, that black Africans, even if Muslims/Sufis are inferior, and somehow the Janjaweed are justified in their violence, though Palestinians are still less fundamentalist than the Sudanese Arab crowd although the rise of Hamas would suggest the times they are a changing......

in fact knowing the Pals I am sure they could come with a rationalization for the Janjaweed that would boggle our minds

Have you been poisoning pig... (Below threshold)

Have you been poisoning pigeons in the park again? Or not caring one whit where those damn rockets you fired as a kid came down?

I knew you were.

Seriously though, I can think of one good reason for the US intervening in Dafur - national security grounds. Anyplace that there are seriously lawless regions (Somolia anyone?), terrorists congregate and breed like roaches. If the US even sends a token force - they'd be able to scout and possibly thwart terrorists from taking advantage of the humanitarian crises.

Oh, I know - this means that the US would be over extending its military, but the way I see it, having our troops on the ground in these lawless regions makes it less likely terrorists will be able to run free and do as they please (plan for massive attacks against US interests at home and around the world). Sitting back really isn't an option.

Though putting blue hats on the Palestinians seems a tad much (after all, some have already dressed up as UN officials and kidnapped and killed Israelis along the Israeli/Lebanese border). But, if they can put aside their genocidal urges against Israelis, I guess they're worth a shot.

Hmmm... since Uganda was on... (Below threshold)

Hmmm... since Uganda was once considered as a place in which Zionism would be made manifest, it would also work to move the Zionists to Uganda! And if you'll insist on it being Darfur, well, it's close enough on a map.

It would equally solve the political problem of two groups fighting over the same ground... at least in one part of the world. But it would crank it up, of course, in another part.

There are a lot of men, wom... (Below threshold)

There are a lot of men, women and children officially classified as Palestinians who aren't killers of any description, much less suicide bombers. All of whom are just as affected by Israel's containment wall as the terrorists are.

Strange that this is about Muslims and Israel, though. Since the Janjaweed are primarily acting against black Muslims. Of which there are many in Africa.

Not to mention, with our sharing intelligence with the Sudanese government now, taking down a militia that's allegedly sanctioned by their government may not be high on our list:


Why don't we just send some... (Below threshold)

Why don't we just send some Greyhounds and haul the Palestinians to Darfur and take the Christians back to Israel? It would take quite a while before the Palestinians advanced their missile technology to the point of being able to reach Israel. The Christians would get along fine with the Jews and we all know how well Muslims get along with each other. It would be amazing to see the difference in the living conditions if a group of people moved into the Gaza Strip that were more interested in improving things than murdering people and more interesting to see if anyone would admit it. How many billions of dollars have the terrorists gone through and they didn't even have a hospital that could treat Arafat?

Nice Lehrer reference. I s... (Below threshold)

Nice Lehrer reference. I see someone else caught it too!

And I really should read th... (Below threshold)

And I really should read the extended post before commenting...

Jay Tea:And let... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea:

And let's not forget that we have no real interests in Sudan apart from humanitarian. I hate to sound so cold and mercenary, but we have no major economic, historic, or security ties to that region. It's hard to get the American people involved in a cause that doesn't hit them where they live, and western Sudan just doesn't have any real relevance to the vast majority of Americans.

To me, this seems to be the most important reason why we arent involved in whats going on in Sudan: humanitarian issues are not enough, and most Americans really arent all that concerned with some distant African country, regardless of whats happening to people there.

It was the same for Rwanda, where 500,000-800,000 people were killed in about 100 days.

This is where the humanitarian rhetoric behind our invasion of Iraq falls short. If we really are so concerned with human rights violations, then we would be in places like Sudan as well. The reality is that unless there is something to be gained from the endeavor, we wont be going there. From a pragmatic perspective, that makes sense. But I wish that some people would stop lying to themselves and realize that we invaded Iraq more for our own reasons than to free Iraqi people. We have alot to gain from a stable Iraq, but not so much to gain (economically) from a stable Sudan.

This is depressing because genocide is occuring...people are dying by the thousands. What is the Unites States supposed to do? What is our role?

2,819Written by: C... (Below threshold)
Carolyn Hileman:


Written by: Carolyn Hileman

Total number killed in attacks (official figure as of 9/5/02): Number of people who lost a spouse or partner in the attacks: 1,609, Estimated number of children who lost a parent: 3,051. Total number of Human rights activists fighting for their rights, 0. Time the burning towers stood: 56 minutes and 102 minutes. Time they took to fall: 12 seconds. From there, they ripple out.

Today there are people who are telling us that we are being cruel to our detainees, we should close down the prisons, and we should set them all free. We should learn to forgive and forget. Forgive maybe, forget never. Let’s do a little comparison shall we? Our people were given a choice between jumping to their death or burning to death, theirs are made to bark like a dog and listen to Christina Aguilera. We have been accused of pouring water on their heads; I suppose our people would have given anything to have water poured on their heads that day.

Our detainees are forced to stay awake by listing to pop music; the 3,051 children who lost their parents that day are kept awake by the images of the towers falling and bodies falling from the towers. You will have to forgive me if I tend to think that this crap about closing down our prisons is out of the question. If we close the prison, where do you suspect those people are going? Dick Cheney said that we must remember that these are bad people, that sir is an understatement. These are people whose sole goal in life is to kill Americans. They are trained from the time they are old enough to walk to hate America and Americans, to assume otherwise is ludicrous.

It seems that we have a bunch of people out there including a former president that care more about terrorist rights than ours. I have yet to hear one of them say that we need to worry about the families that lost a member on 9/11, but we need to be nice to the detainees. Where is all of their concern for the 1,609 spouses who lost their partner? Where is the concern for the 3,051 children who lost one or both parents? Yes, they had concerts and gave them money, wrote songs and poems for them. But did they stand outside with signs saying stop killing Americans? No the only time they showed any true passion was when they wanted to save the Iraqi’s and detainees. Am I questioning their patriotism no, because I think I already know the answer.






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