Tuesday, December 29, 2009
* Stopping the Underwear Bombers: It's the Poverty, Stupid!
If I understand the two experts on PBS News Hour tonight (one a former Ambassador to Yemen), the big problem in Yemen which makes it a fertile ground for terrorists (even rich, spoiled, post-pubescent, lonely ones) is not Al Qaeda, it is the failure of the Yemeni government to deliver services to citizens and elevate the poor to a level of greater opportunity. Poverty breeds anger,even poverty experienced vicariously by the likes of the wealthy underwear bomber.
In short: It's the poverty, stupid!
The ONLY thing that is going to lure young, post-pubescent fanatics away from the salvation and paradise promised by the terrorists, is the salvation and paradise
which money cannot merely promise but can DEMONSTRATE on the ground (not the heavens) to those who don't have money.
Enter Hillary (LAW '73), stage left!
The new concept of a State Department which engages not simply in diplomacy, but in economacy or diplonomics, is the mustard seed of hope in a government which is mired in generations of spending money the WRONG ways, from the money-bags-Defense-Department to the piggy-bank-Foreign-Aid-budget.
Economacy? Ugly to the ear. Diplonomics sounds better.
Translate that to "Raising the poor out of poverty for Diplomatic Benefit to the USA": Giving people what they need and want and then advertising the fact and bragging about it, the way Hamas does to the Palestinians.
Or translate it as: Spending the same BIG BUCKS on making peace as we spend on making war; only, instead of being a Hamas, we'll be a U.S. Aid.
And we (not an Al Qaeda, or a Hamas) will become indispensable.
Sound too neat? Glib? Shallow?
Who's ever tried it.
Maybe the new millenia will be the BH and AH era( Before Hillary and After Hillary era).
It couldn't hurt to experiment.
And let's do it where the poverty, political dangers and inequity are worst. Put strings on that money----LONG strings---that ensure it gets into the correct pockets.
Easier said than done?
Ask Todd Beamer:
Posted by Paul D. Keane, The Anti-Yale at 7:00 PM