Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Homeopathic peacekeeping force

Peace through weakness
  (+17, -2)(+17, -2)
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Homeopathy is based on two fundamental principles:

1. Like cures like.

2. Dilution increases effectiveness.

So, consider: When conflict situations arise, the "world community" (i.e. rich countries who worry that their trade might be affected) get together and send in a "peacekeeping force" (Oxymorons already). These are usually large groups of heavily armed, well trained and equipped military folk and as such are bl00dy expensive.

However, the main symptom of "war" is soldiers. These should be treated homepathically. Instead of sending 5000 armed troops, the U.S., sorry, U.N., should send two soldiers - one officer and one NCO to carry his bag - diluted by 4998 ordinary people (tourists). Tourists are cheap, expendable, easily replaced and to a large extent self-financing.

The soldier and his oppo will wander round, talk to both sides and take notes. The tourists will wander round, take photograps, speak slowly and patronisingly to the locals, demand "proper" food like fish-and-chips and Watneys Red barrel, start fights in all the bars, and steal the ashtrays. They will buy up all the rubbishy souvenirs in the shops and make loud, offensive comments about local customs, habits and traditions that have worked perfectly well for centuries.

Pretty soon the locals will have divided into two camps; those who hate the tourists, and just want them to leave - and those who hate the tourists, but don't want them to leave until they've spent all their money. The likelyhood of being able to sustain a civil war while at the same time trying to run three bars, a small family hotel and a car rental agency will be too much and the conflict will just sputter out.

8th of 7, Jun 21 2002

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       This from the same person who recently ranted against the "sneering, cynical...society"?   

       Also, for this peacekeeping force to mirror the principles of homeopathy as it's actually practiced, the force must be diluted to the point where there are no military personnel at all, and none of the tourists can ever have come in contact with anyone who has ever even read about a military person. I do think, though, that your proposal at least has a better chance of effectiveness than actual homeopathic "remedies."
beauxeault, Jun 21 2002
  

       Beauxeault: Sorry for the inconsitency. Some days we forget whether it's our turn to be the good twin or the evil twin.   

       Your point about the Avogadro dilution is entirely correct. The initial dosage we propsed would be strong enough to deal with minor regional problems. More severe problems i.e border disputes between states, would require a stronger and therefore more dilute dosage. You would have to select tourists who had not only never been in the armed forces, but had never been in contact with anyone who had, and had never even read a book or watched a TV programme about war, owned a gun, or walked anywhere in a brisk and purposeful manner. In the case of a risk of world war, you would just move the entire civil population of the planet to different countries at random.
8th of 7, Jun 21 2002
  

       Oooh, ouch - I think I've been there; a foreign croissant to you.
lubbit, Jun 21 2002
  

       UnaBubba: "On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me .... "
8th of 7, Jun 21 2002
  

       This isn't an idea.. its a short history of northern ireland. and it does kindda work... kindda.
etherman, Aug 05 2004
  

       Maybe they should be diluted in alcohol.
caspian, Oct 05 2009
  

       //those who hate the tourists, and just want them to leave - and those who hate the tourists, but don't want them to leave until they've spent all their money//   

       I'm sure I've already been there. Several times. In different locations.
wagster, Oct 05 2009
  

       Just hire military people from third world countries. Choose only the best among the soldiers and give them a few hand me down high tech weapons and gadgets that would help the soldiers because these guys are poor and their government can only give them basic equipment. That way you save money and give third world countries indirect aid.
vmaldia, Oct 05 2009
  

       Sp. Watneys.
pertinax, Dec 28 2018
  

       Sp. fixed.
8th of 7, Dec 28 2018
  
      
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