27 June 2007

The Middle East 3,000BC-2007AD

It is with great sadness (and not a little alarm), that As A Dodo must today report what is understood to be the imminent passing of the Middle East - that part of the world that saw the creation of civilisation, the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and (partly as a consequence of those three births) the fomentation of several thousand years of conflict and destruction - following news that a Mr Tony Blair, former resident of Downing Street and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, is to be appointed as Special Envoy to the region.

The Middle East was born in about 3,000BC when peoples in and around Egypt, Gaza and Mesopotamia became tired of the boring aspects of a life of itinerant goat-and-camel-herding (the boring bits being just about everything to do with goat-and-camel herding, especially all the getting spat at and butted by those they were responsible for (1)) and decided to build themselves a more settled and less goat-and-camel-intensive existence by setting up mighty city states.

Now free from the constant butting and spitting that had so distracted them in their past lives, the people of those city states were able to go about the business of creating the foundations of civilisation, such as reading, writing, mathematics, politics and having really good wars. This last was particularly aided by the habit of those in the region of coming up with new and mutually incompatible religions.

The millennia would see the rise and fall of many civilisations and empires in the region: the Sumerians, Babylonians, Ancient Egyptians and Assyrians were all to find themselves on top at one point and wiped away the next. Soon the Romans were getting in on the act, incidentally deciding to sow the seeds of future conflict by destroying the Jewish temple and abolishing the land of Israel. The (initially) pagan Romans themselves were later replaced as regional rulers by the Christian Byzantines. By the 7th Century AD they were to find themselves having to share space with the newly arrived Muslims. With Jews, Muslims and Christians all reluctantly sharing the same land and all convinced that the region of Palestine was really, really sacred to them, the conditions for a really good scrap were now set.

Over the next several hundred years, the peoples of the region - along with various Crusaders, Turks, Mongols, Ottomans, Germans, Italians, French, British and Americans - would do their best to ensure that the fighting never ceased. Yet somehow the region managed to survive ... until today. For today it became clear that the powers of Europe, Russia, America and the UN had chosen to give responsibility for assisting peace negotiations in the Middle East to none other than Tony Blair, a man whose policies on the region have proved so unpopular with his own people that he has been forced into a premature resignation.

Mr Blair impressed reporters with his immediate pledge to "do whatever is necessary" to find an "enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue" ... provided always that "whatever is necessary" didn't mean disagreeing with President Bush. He is expected to set off for the region - guitar in hand, crucifix in pocket and cilice round thigh - as soon as possible to re-start peace negotiations, a process it is understood that he plans to assist by lightening the current awkward atmosphere by persuading his good pal Sir Cliff Richard to sing a couple of choruses of The Millennium Prayer to the assembled representatives of Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Hamas and Fatah before calling - like President Bush before him - for all those present to show a little Christian charity to each other ... and then suggesting the whole Middle East problem could be resolved by bombing Iran.

The Middle East will be buried under large piles of rubble and a weatherbeaten "road map for peace" at St Tony's Church of the Legacy. It will be survived by increased oil prices, nuclear proliferation, numerous terrorist groups and 15 iPods the captured British sailors left behind in Iran.

(1) Interestingly, these same things are today the most boring bits about being a Premiership referee.

PS As A Dodo readers wishing to revel in contemplate the Prime Minister's departure may wish to click on our obituary for Tony Blair's Premiership.

1 Comment:

fake consultant said...

americans will have to spend the next several years apologizing for our bad electoral choice-so allow me to start now.

sorry about that whole "president who probably never heard the words anatolia, sunni, or fallujah before everything blew up in our face" thing.

our bad.

we'll try to do better next time.