Sunday, August 20, 2006

Blessed Are The Peacekeepers

By agreeing to United Nations Resolution 1701, the world body decided to send 15,000 troops to Lebanon to enforce the ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah. A highly placed source in the UN Food and Beverage Secretariat reports that the nations of the world are engaged in a frenzied attempt to put the new force together. According to H I’s informant, “These guys are going through Château Petrus ’85 and caviar canapés like the world depends on it”. Happily for global peace, the UN is making real progress.

Bangladesh has made an offer of 2,000 if someone can provide transportation. Malaysia and Indonesia have offered 1,000 each as long as they don’t not have to recognise that Israel exists. Nepal has offered 1,000 so that some of their soldiers can get a break from their own civil war. Italy may kick in 3,000 after the August holiday season, and Germany has offered to despatch its naval forces to keep Hezbollah’s aircraft carriers bottled up in Beirut harbour. Discussions are being held with forty-five other countries from Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia to see if they can send troops. There are also parallel negotiations underway for the dispatch of 35,000 translators to the region so that the basic rules of operation can be sorted out. The world is not ready for an armed conflict between Ecuador and Lithuania over who gets to park their tank in the shade.

At least it looks like the overall command of this powerful new force for peace is in place. With an impressive contribution of 200 troops, France has accepted the challenge. General Jean Pierre Vauban-Maginot, spokesman for President Chirac, said, “as ze leading countray in ze wearld, France ees raddy to mak zees hoffair”. Shortly after the General’s comments, the UN announced that they were considering increasing the number of translators. The United States Congress sent a strong message of support to President Chirac by officially changing the name of ‘freedom fries’ back to ‘french fries’. President Bush was quoted as saying, “if Jacks and the rest of those countries take care of Hizbuller, I can take care of that Almajonnybob fella in Iran. And it’s good to see a South American country like Nepal steppin’ up to the plate.”

Of course the world should not be carried away with a false sense of optimism. The actual rules of engagement for the UN force have not been defined. The prospect of 15,000 guys in blue helmets and who speak 53 different languages wandering around a war zone looking for a place to buy a carpet or get a shag is a bit daunting. And if the Château Petrus ’85 runs out back at headquarters, Kofi may wind up talking to an empty room. Luckily there may be a back-up plan.

There is one country that has experience in sorting out the complex issues of the Middle East since 1095. No one has had the nerve to attack them in over 400 years. Their army has been constantly training since 1506 and was originally composed of 15,000 soldiers. It may be time to bring in the Vatican. The uniforms of the Swiss Guard make those blue helmets look like camouflage gear. Every document they ever handled is in the library so they must still have the plans for the crusades. None of their troops are Jewish or Muslim and they all speak the same language – Latin.

The Vatican might go for this plan. After all, if anyone has a shot at being a blessed peacekeeper, they have the inside track.


Anonymous Janet said...

I adore the idea of using the Vatican's Swiss Guard! On a daily basis, those guys have to contend with speeding tour bus drivers, Pope groupies, art students, religious zealots, and surly tourists, many of whom are Americans wondering why the local pizza doesn't taste right. What better training for international peace-keepers?

I've seen photos of young children being escorted to their damaged school by nervous parents across dangerous streets. The idea that these tiny students could instead be dutifully shepherded along by strapping 6 foot blonde dudes carrying giant bronze halberds and wearing puffy striped satin knickers appeals to the romantic in me.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Homo Insapiens said...

Janet - good to know there are still girls who are attracted to a man in a uniform...must be the shiny, satin knickers


9:38 AM  
Blogger Patty said...

What the F*ck give the uniforms to hezbollah.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Amal said...

Trust you to make me smile about a situation that is absolutely intolerable. :))

10:03 PM  

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