Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Everyone hates everyone

The Hatfields and McCoys are at it again in the Middle East. It's all very complicated, involving an incendiary mix of oil, politics, history, religion and the Great Pumpkin. To test your knowledge of the latest chapter in this centuries-old conflict, here's a short quiz.

Who really has the rights to the land currently occupied by the state of Israel?
a. The Jews.
b. The Palestinians.
c. Either Irving Weinblatt or Hassan al-Rashid of Brooklyn N.Y., both of whom have come forward with identical winning lottery tickets, though Pope Clement claims his Aunt Tilly left Israel to him in her will and has documents to prove it.

Why do Muslims and Jews hate each other?
a. They're very cranky because it's so hot and they keep getting sand in their tighty whities.
b. They have religious views with a common ancestor but totally different interpretations of God's wishes because the Torah-Bible-Koran transcribing secretary was out sick for a couple of weeks and they got this really lame temp.
c. Their dad was away on business a lot and their mom was usually stoked on Valium so they competed for their parents' attention and didn't learn to share.

How will the dispute finally be settled so everyone can live in peace?
a. The United Nations will mediate a complex geopolitical arrangement whereby the Palestinians get to keep the West Bank but Israel gets custody of the Saudi Arabian oil fields every other weekend and the oil visits America during summers and school vacations, as long as the Syrians behave themselves and keep up their grades.
b. Rock, paper, scissors.
c. Penalty kicks.

Here's a reminder from Cindy Sheehan (not an unbiased source, obviously) that at least for America, the Iraq war (like all others) is basically a get-rich-quick racket for corporations like Halliburton. I love how the Pentagon says it's going to end the no-bid multibillion-dollar contract for Halliburton subsidiary KBR in Iraq and rebid the project -- once the current contract expires in 2009. Why even bother? The root of the problem is that the public doesn't seem to be able to learn from previous instances that wars basically suck for almost everyone not in business or politics. A majority of each new generation seems to think it’s a pretty good idea to have a war until they learn otherwise first-hand. Especially when there are lofiter goals to be achieved, like finding weapons of mass destruction... uh... making life better for the Iraqis through regime change... no, wait... bringing peace and stability to the region... oh never mind.

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