Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Cuisine-Based Theory of Military Intervention...

... or, Mmmmm, Democra-licious!

Problem #14, 932 with our current clusterfuck in the Middle East is that Iraqi food is, well, Shiite. Now this may not matter much to you, me and Bob down the road right now, but it will in about 5-10 years. History is clear: war-torn nations spit out refugees, some of those refugees become immigrants, and some of those immigrants open restaurants. Often, the resulting addition of the cuisine of those immigrants to the available local dining options is just about the only positive to emerge from years of horrible bloodshed. It's not much of a silver lining, but in the case of Cuba, or Vietnam, or Afghanistan, it's just about all we can point to. Or, for a more personal example, consider that I used to work in a French cafe run by Mongolians who immigrated to Philadelphia by way of Paris.

So in a few years, you can expect to see...well, what, exactly?
Because the cooking habits of Iraqis were so strongly influenced by neighboring Turkey and Iran, Iraq joins Israel as one of the only Middle-Eastern nations to lack a unique cuisine. Like the Turks, Iraqis love to stuff vegetables and eat a great deal of rice, lamb and yogurt. Like Iranians, they enjoy cooking fruits together with beef and poultry. [link]
OK, so we might get some more shawarma out of this debacle. But from now on, I think we ought to consider the native cuisine before we go attacking some poor bass-ackwards country on false pretenses. My recommendations would be Lebanon (for the grape leaves, and because you can never have too much falafel) or Greece (souvlaki, moussaka, octopus, and wonderful olives, plus it'd be ironic for us to try to bring democracy to Greece). Sure, those are crappy reasons to invade a sovereign nation, but are they any worse than anything actually put forth by our leaders over the past couple of decades? (The way things are going, it'll be about 6 months before Liberating the Native Cuisine becomes the administration's latest rationale for invading Iraq.)

Y'know, CIA stands for both Central Intelligence Agency and Culinary Institute of America.

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