Tuesday, January 4

Surely no one would bite the hand...

Wretchard at Belmont Club has a fascinating analysis of the quiet contest taking place between the U.S. and the UN over who should run the relief operation. One UN official actually said the organization wanted U.S. and Australian troops to wear the blue UN uniform rather than their own colors.

Wretchard also poses the crucial question: What would happen if local jihadi types fire on U.S. or Australian troops as they're delivering relief supplies? In that event he believes that Kofi will say "I told you so" and Bush will get blasted in the U.S. and world media for insisting on forming a separate relief core group rather than letting the UN run things.

Several commenters countered that it seemed most unlikely that any shooting conflict would occur, since it would seem the height of stupidity for locals to shoot at the people who were trying to deliver supplies to heal their countrymen and/or keep them from starving.

Certainly that's logical. However, I think shooting is inevitable. If there are any local extremists (which appears highly likely), the prospect of taking control of a barely-guarded warehouse full of food and medicine (which could then be selectively distributed to vastly increase their influence) would seem too tempting to resist.

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