Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Any volunteers for Lebanon?

The Israelis have called for a 20,000-strong international force to police a buffer zone in South Lebanon in order to prevent future Hizbollah attacks.

The media has expressed scepticism about the willingness of countries to get involved in such a volatile situation, which prompted the following proposed solution:

Instead of putting troops in, why not put in 20,000 media people, drawn from tv, press, radio and internet around the world. This would probably represent only about 1% of the media commentators who feel qualified to freely offer their opinions and advice on the problems in the Middle East on a regular basis. Public Service Broadcasting organisations which are publicly funded, such as RTE, should send sizeable teams.

There would be two possible outcomes:
(a) The intervention is a success, proving once again the power of the media.
(b) The intervention fails and the 20,000 media people are completely wiped out in the battle between Hizbollah and the IDF.

Both are good outcomes. In the latter outcome, the rest of us would hopefully be spared overly simplistic media analysis of a highly complex geopolitical situation for up to a week. Then, sadly, normal transmission would probably recommence.

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