Tuesday, April 29, 2003

TWO SIMPLE IDEAS: With respect to Thomas Payne, I propose two simple ideas that, while not revolutionary, are still what I would deem worthwhile.

1. The US military should be offering cash money -or any other incentive that may prove enticing for that matter- for its personnel -especially those serving in the Gulf region- to enroll and complete Arabic language training of some sort or another. The "us versus them" attitude will only intensify as we increase our policing activities in the region without understanding a word that our new charges (for wont of a better word) say.

2. The NRA or some other like minded civil association (not necessarily American) should heavily promote gun responsibility in Iraq. Now, I'm not a gun advocate, but if any people deserves the constitutional right to bear arms that we enjoy for the reasons that our constitutional framers intended, it would be these citizens and former citizens of some of the most oppressive regimes on earth. Ideally, of course, the massive amounts of weaponry would be eliminated or at least reduced, but let's also be a bit pragmatic here. Not every AK will be eliminated, but wouldn't it be nice to have those fortunate remaining owners of shiny new assault rifles be instructed in the proper use of the weapon? Some tips might include: Refrain from ceremoniously firing your weapon in the air near heavily armed and nervous foreign soldiers; let children play with toy guns, they'll be just as happy as if they were given the real thing; when bringing your gun with you on routine grocery shopping, perhaps it would be prudent to remove the live ammunition clip and point the thing downwards; and much, much more! By co-opting the indigent gun population, perhaps they can be brought into the fold of the civilized and thusly mitigated as a threat.

As usual, I invite Thom Friedman (who has thus far refused my entreaties) to comment.

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