‘Mickey Mouse Peace Plan’ urged

Canadian Press, Mar. 12, 2003

TORONTO — A Middle Eastern Disney World would ensure lasting peace in Iraq by easing fear and anger among children, according to Dr. Deepak Chopra, an American self-help guru, the National Post reported yesterday.

The idea is one of 10 suggestions Chopra outlines in an essay that is to appear today in several European newspapers. He also suggests free access to CNN news and MTV music videos would encourage Iraqis, who face the imminent threat of a U.S.-led attack to unseat their president, Saddam Hussein, to “feel like part of the world.”

“These children are in enormous peril, not just from bombs but from cultural isolation,” Chopra says. “Let children breathe free air at a place where fun and joy abide (Disney World). What better way to reduce fear and anger?”

Jack Layton, leader of the federal NDP and an advocate for peace in Iraq, praised Chopra’s proposals Monday and called him “a great mind of our time.”

But a military analyst said the “Mickey Mouse Peace Plan” is doomed to failure because Saddam would divert profits from the theme park to fund his totalitarian regime and probably put a statue of himself beside Mickey Mouse. Moreover, the park would be unaffordable to most Iraqis, said John Thompson, director of the Mackenzie Institute, a military think-tank.

Chopra also suggests war can be averted if the world congratulates U.S. President George W. Bush on already having won his battle. Although he stopped short of this, Prime Minister Jean Chretien said on Sunday Bush has succeeded in containing the threat of Iraqi aggression.

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