August 22, 2006

PGA: Peacekeeping

PGA: Peacekeeping

Chris’s Post-Game Analysis

A little more peace-keeping experience at Jacques Paul Klein’s level would be helpful all around. If the chiefs had to calculate, before the war, how many choppers, hospital beds, translators, and Bangladeshi cops and such would be required in the aftermath, they would scotch a lot of these adventures a la Lebanon before they begin. A relentlessly practical executive, Jacques Paul Klein struck a thematic note that I wish we’d pursued: to the effect that the Arab-Israeli conflict begins to seem to him quite literally hopeless. The implication being: it’s an incurable and nonetheless contagious affliction that begs (mixing metaphors) for a formal declaration of bankruptcy and something like receivership. Which means a much more focused US engagement, of the sort that our guest Richard Murphy was advocating and that Brent Scowcroft of G. H. W. Bush’s White House outlined in the Washington Post last month:

The eastern shore of the Mediterranean is in turmoil from end to end, a repetition of continuing conflicts in one part or another since the abortive attempts of the United Nations to create separate Israeli and Palestinian states in 1948. The current conflagration has energized the world. Now, perhaps more than ever, we have an opportunity to harness that concern and energy to achieve a comprehensive resolution of the entire 58-year-old tragedy. Only the United States can lead the effort required to seize this opportunity.

Brent Scowcroft, Beyond Lebanon, The Washington Post, Sunday, July 30, 2006

Last night’s comment thread was disappointing, to say the least. We know that these Middle East shows can make tempers and allegiances flare, but the sniping and back-biting made this thread practically unreadable.

Many of these comments seem intended to derail the broad goals of the host and producers, subdue contrary views, and drive away posters that contribute to lively discussion.

I don’t back down from trolls, bullies, or lunkheads, but I do tend to lurk when the timbre becomes monopolistic, childish squabbling. I know others feel similarly. Who wants to step into a dogfight?

huck finn, in a comment to Open Source, August 22, 2006.

How do we bring the conversation back into our threads? Huck finn suggested limiting number of posts per hour. If you agree, or if you have another suggestion, join us in The Meta Discussion.

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