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Posted: Saturday, December 11, 2004 6:42 am

Supposedly there’s nothing new under the sun but what Thailand tried Sunday strikes us as genuinely original. And a little nutty. In an effort to bring to an end long running battles with Islamic separatists, the government airdropped 100 million origami cranes, paper artfully folded to resemble those stylish birds.

It was a massive nationwide effort in hopes that the cranes fluttering to earth would induce peace through an "enormous, positive psychological effect."

Specially marked cranes offered prizes and scholarships. Sadly, carpeting the landscape with origami cranes does not appear to have the desired outcome. The guerrillas began the week with a fresh round of attacks.

Still, the government is ready with 30 million more cranes to be delivered by more conventional means. Even though the idea seems outlandish, you have to give the Thais credit for trying. After all, what if it had worked? Iraq would be a foot deep in paper by now.

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