Not the news item, I mean, but the Taliban and every other small-minded mean spirited "political" movement out there. People who just don't get that our similarities vastly outweigh our differences, and life would on the whole be a whole lot happier if everyone just got the hell off of everyone else's collective backs.
In this category of stupid petty conflict, I include just about every civil war simmering in Africa, the Taliban militia takeover of Afghanistan, the Israeli/Palistinian conflict, and possibly even the whole Catholic/Protestant thing in Ireland. These are all cases where the parties involved seem more interested in stubbornly sticking to their positions, even if it damns them to an eternal state of strife and misery, rather than trying to come to some sort of agreement by which both sides can avoid blowing up each other's cars or shooting each other on the streets. These are cases where the parties are all essentially saying "I'm right [usually because God says so] and thus I refuse to be satisfied until you're dead." Moronic.
Frankly, I'm getting pretty damn fed up with it. It's clear to me that the Israelis don't actually want peace. If so, they wouldn't be bulldozing Palestinian houses, even if they contend that the Palestinians are on "their" land. If the Palestinians actually wanted peace, they wouldn't be sending suicide bombers into Israel to randomly kill Israeli citizens and whoever else happens to be standing nearby, despite their contention that the Israelies are on "their" land. If the Protestants wanted peace with the Catholics in Ireland, the Orange Order wouldn't insist on holding marches in Catholic neighborhoods (or is it the other way around? the sides look about the same to me so I have trouble keeping them straight).
None of these people seem to really want peace, yet we (meaning the rest of the civilized world) keep spending time, effort, and money trying to help them achieve it. Stupid. I should note, of course, that in just about all of these countries, the actual majority of the populace does seem to want peace--it's the dipshit hothead minority who form their little terrorist groups to go around and keep the pot stirred up. (Israel is possibly an exception here, as it's the official Israeli military that does things like bulldozing Palestinian houses, under the direction of a more-or-less elected prime minister.)
This leads to why I'm posting at all. I voted "Other" in the poll, so I should explain what I'd do about these twits if I were King of Everything. Simple: since these radical minorities don't seem to really want peace despite what their majority bretheren want, then fuck 'em. And since the majority bretheren could do something about it if they were motivated enough, I say help them achieve that motivation.
First, as King of Everything (or possibly as U.N. Secretary General), I would issue a warning. It's all well and good to just say "fuck 'em" and get on with things, but to be fair even idiots deserve warnings. So I'd issue a proclaimation stating that they have exactly 1 year (plenty of time, really) to settle their stupid differences and get their houses in order, Or Else.
Second, after the year expired, get together a large number of troops, gunboats, tanks, SAM batteries, etc. (as King of Everything, this shouldn't be too hard), and station them along the entire border encompassing the disputing parties. The job of this military force would be simple: nothing goes in, nothing comes out. At this time, carpet-bomb the isolated region with leaflets stating that we're sick of their shit, so they can figure it out on their own and when they've learned to play nice, they should let us know.
Harsh? You better believe it. But nothing else seems to be working. As is, so long as these groups believe that the civilized world is going to keep trying to help them out, keep giving them material aid, etc., they have very little reason to act any differently than they do now. To change their behavior, you have to change that underlying belief, which this radical isolationist policy would do. The way I figure it, this radical isolationism would play out in one of several ways:
- The parties could keep fighting. Eventually they run out of bullets and resort to rocks and sticks. One side finally defeats the other. Peace is established, and in the meantime, the blockading force provides a robust jobs program for the rest of the world.
- The parties realize that they're acting like children, decide that they really can't live well without the support of the world community, and come to a mutual agreement whereby they can live peacefully (if not together, then at least side-by-side).
- The peace-desiring majority within the region quickly realizes that letting the vocal (read: stupid) minority continue to control events will cause life to really suck, really soon. They locate the vitriolic few (c'mon, they know who those people are already), and deal with them in whatever way suits their fancy. If the hotheads see the light, great. Throw 'em in jail? Dandy. Tear them limb from limb instead? Well, fine by me. You figure out what's going to work for your particular little conflict.
In general, I wouldn't really have any qualms about using such tactics in situations like these, because to be quite honest my sympathy for these people is totally used up. The Taliban situation is the one that gives me the most pause, because its victims are mainly its own people (namely, women). Still, if they knew that help was not coming from the outside, maybe these women would act in their own defense. If not, well, then the Taliban fad is destined to last for about 1 generation because they'll run out of women to bear them children.
It would be prudent, of course, to monitor the situations inside these isolated regions while you had them blockaded. Use spies, satellite photos, radio intercepts, etc. That way, you could periodically carpet-bomb with more leaflets to remind them of what they need to be working on or to encourage them to choose smarter options.
Anyway, that's my solution. It's borne out of frustration, I know, but I can't help but think it would work. It might take a long time, but If so, then at least it provides jobs for the rest of the world and gets this stupid crap off of the nightly news.
--Believing I had supernatural powers I slammed into a brick wall.