Friday, May 21, 2004

Your chance to fix the Middle East 

Another small milestone in the world of Chrenk - celebrating 40,000 visits since the blog began on 31 March this year. It's been a great eight weeks. Thank you all for your visits, support, and feedback. For all the recent arrivals, here's a link to a post with a bit more about my background.

To celebrate, a small competition for the readers:


Let's face it - the British and French imperialists have stuffed up the job after the First World War, and most political developments in the region since then have largely served to make the situation even worse.

To our numerous enemies we are already neo-conservative neo-imperialist Orientalist crusaders who want to impose their radical vision on the Middle East and remake the region in our own image. So why not actually pretend for a minute we're God (or a god), and have a think about what to do to make the Orient a bit less of a mess than it is now (or better still, to actually make it work for its long-suffering residents). Think regime changes, think shifting borders, think whatever you want to think. It doesn't have to be realistic, after all, we're not the policy makers. Post your ideas in the comments or email them to me directly. In due course I'll publish the best entries. Who knows, I might even forward them to Paul Wolfowitz.

Just to kick off the discussion, I remembered this old post by Virginia Postrel:

"How about we tell the Palestinians they can have Saudi Arabia if they'll move and leave the Israelis alone? The Palestinians are hard working and entrepreneurial, unlike the Saudis, so they might actually make something of the opportunity afforded by all that oil. And, while their leaders are thugs, it's unlikely they'd be any worse in the terrorism, oppression, and fundamentalism departments. The Palestinians aren't going to get Jerusalem. Maybe they'd settle for Mecca and Medina."
Hey, I said it doesn't have to be realistic. I have some ideas of my own, but for the moment let's just say that the Palestinians will have to end up with some sort of a state of their own, and that the Kurds deserve at least a great deal of autonomy.


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