Thursday, January 30, 2003

The van vogtian Jay Manifold quotes a Reuters story on the UN

Iraq is in line to take over as chairman of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament in May ...
India now holds it and will be followed by Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland and Israel as countries take the job in alphabetical order.

There is an episode of Yes, Prime Minister in which the predecessor of Jim Hacker at number 10 has died, and the funeral is being arranged and representatives of many foreign governments are attending. Civil servant Bernard Wooley is having a series of rapid phone conversations. One is essentially this.

No, you can't arrange the seating in the abbey in alphabetical order. You would have Iran next to Iraq, and Israel on the same pew. You'd start World War Three... No, Ireland doesn't make it better. Ireland doesn't make anything better!...

I also recall that two or three (soccer) World Cups back, the final Asian qualifying tournament was played in Qatar, and the six finalists were North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. I still don't know how thay managed to play that tournament without starting even one war. I would have thought that two or three were a possibility.

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