I really don't know how else to describe this. The once brilliant Peter Gabriel has created a group of 'Elders' to resolve conflicts worldwide. But the group is formed of morons, whose answers to conflict in the past seems to have been for those in the right to step aside and let evil run wild:
Nelson Mandela announced the formation of this new group, The Elders, yesterday in a speech he delivered on the occasion of his 89th birthday.
“This group can speak freely and boldly, working both publicly and behind the scenes on whatever actions need to be taken,” Mandela commented. “Together we will work to support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict, and inspire hope where there is despair...”
The Elders will use their unique collective skills to catalyze peaceful resolutions to long-standing conflicts, articulate new approaches to global issues that may cause immense human suffering, and share wisdom by helping to connect voices all over the world. They will be working together over the next several months to carefully consider which specific issues they will approach. The Elders’ criteria are not only the magnitude and importance of the challenge, but a deliberate view that their role could contribute significantly to solving the problem.
Obviously, Jimmy Carter is a part of this group. As smug and sanctimonious as he is, he'll fit right in. I bet he'll try to get the Elders to confront the evil George Bush.
The article mentions one vignette that might guide us on how the Elders will operate:
For their model they looked to traditional village elders, trusted by their people to resolve conflict within their communities. In 2001 they took their idea to Nelson Mandela — which even led to an agreement of Mandela and Kofi Annan to travel to Baghdad and meet with Saddam Hussein with the request for him to stand down (too late as it happened)...
Perhaps I'm being unkind. It might be more positive to say that the group seeks to resolve conflict the way Christ or Ghandi would have -- by turning the other cheek. While it didn't work with Saddam, I bet Kim Jong Il and Ahmadinejad will fold like a house of cards.
To the ElderMobile!
Update: Welcome Bloggingheads viewers and thanks, Mickey & Bob for the link. Let me stipulate that if you have viewed the Bloggingheads segment, I'll concede Bob Wright's points that Jimmy Carter is not a moron, and that Nelson Mandela showed both courage and wisdom in helping to prevent a 'retributive bloodbath' in South Africa.
However, this is still a very goofy idea. And to have the faintest hope that it might prove fruitful, you'd need to convince me that the Elders do believe that conflict is at times the best of a bad range of options. And I have no confidence that this team could acknowledge that.
Get Henry Kissinger on board and we can talk.