Depressed by the middle east

Last night, I watched a most fine documentary on SBS which talked about the historical (archaeological) evidence for and against the Biblical story of exodus, and surrounding the origins of Israel. It was refreshingly objective, but it left me thinking about the middle east as it stands, and how impossible it seems to root out hatreds whose origins are already the subject of unverifiably ancient myth. Time clearly has not healed this wound.

My workmate, currently on holiday, left a copy of a recent Time magazine on his desk. The cover article was all about the current resurgent conflagration in Beruit and that whole part of the world.

I propose a solution. I can’t help but think that I am probably not the first person to suggest this:

  1. Define a region which covers the contested area.
  2. Evacuate everyone who can be peaceably removed from that area, given that you have explained to everyone in the region why they’re being moved. Those who violently insist on remaining will be deemed to have waived all right to aid or further consideration.
  3. Dust the entire contested area with radioactives of several thousand years half-life. Dust heavily enough that the area is no longer survivable for periods of more than a five minutes. Make sure the ‘dust’ agent is heavy and non-soluble, so that it will stay where it’s put, forever.
  4. If conflict expands to go around this region, expand the region. If there is eventually no human-habitable land between Yemen and Turkey, between Suez and Tehran, so be it. Humanity as a whole has forfeit the right to these lands.

Disclaimer: This idea may be a measure of my slightly depressed frame of mind. It is certainly not a serious suggestion, nor do I pretend to hold moral superiority or judgement over any party in the present conflict. Violence begets revenge. We would be a better species if we had outgrown this kind of behaviour, but we haven’t, and we’re not.

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