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Iraq for Sale -- How to avoid buying into more wars… Build & send American World Service
The highly regarded British Medical Journal The Lancet attributes 665,000 Iraqi deaths to our preemptive war. The war’s visible cost is now over $334 BILLION. The National Intelligence Estimate tells any thinking American what they knew. We are making more terrorists, not less, with our killing power. The citizen-initiated American World Service Corps (AWSC) Congressional Proposals wins heart and minds. To win this 21st century war, it must be major part of our strategy.
Over 3000 people donated to make Robert Greenwald’s new film, Iraq for Sale. Shown at homes, group parties, campuses, and small independent theaters, it represents guerrilla marketing of information, providing a living to artist and reporters in this era of corporate and governmental concentration.
President Eisenhower warned us over four decades ago to beware of the military industrial estate. Today Iraq for Sale, as well as Greenwald’s other movies, such as the Outfoxed, Uncovered, and the High Cost of Low Price, details the devastating effects giant, concentrated powers have on the lives of everyday folks during an unprovoked war.
The devastation doesn’t end with the war’s end. Foreign and domestic civilians, soldiers, truck drivers, widows, and children will suffer varying degrees of posttraumatic stress disorders decades after our troops leave Iraq, where some of our corporations, CEOs, and mercenaries receive big, comforting paychecks.
Thanks to guerrilla information sources, Americans are slowly – perhaps too slowly -- becoming aware of how concentrated power is debilitating our middle class and growing our lower class. The rest of the world, however, has more quickly decided that America’s policies are ugly. A recent PEW Poll has 75% of our allies unfavorably viewing our policies. In Middle East and Asia, those percentages are higher.
There have been several real life examples of how we could reverse this growing Ugly America trend.
Shortly after the devastating 2005 Pakistani earthquakes, a handful of New York paramedics went to help. From valley to mountainside villages, they mended wounds and won hearts. Ignoring dangers and hardships, they set a gold standard for the caring and frontier breaching that Americans were once expected and admired for doing.
Only after American volunteers responded to the devastations of the Tsunami did the increasingly angered and largely Muslin population of the Indonesian basin begins rebuilding respect for America, or at least some Americans.
Even in our short but storied history, American volunteers provided us the answer to the shortsightedness of concentrated power. Back in King George’s times, a small number of hard working American volunteers led us to independence. Their attitude then led us toward becoming the strongest, most respected nation in the world.
In today’s global village, respect for us is shriveling while hatred is cresting. In the process, the foundations of our economic power are crumbling, as is our military’s morale and readiness. Also disappearing is our once renowned ability to understand and conquer the most difficult of frontiers.
Concentrated military and corporate powers have limits in today’s global village. Productive, can-do American volunteers, however, have untapped and unlimited potential to tame today’s frontiers and again turn the world toward a healthier, smarter future.
Eisenhower was a leader who understood the importance of relying on America’s best resource – its everyday, hard working Americans. His GI Joes won the last real war that was fueled by Hitler’s fascist state, which relied on an alliance between his crony run government and concentrated business. Ike’s GIs were just hard working volunteers, for back then Americans knew that the frontiers that needed taming were on European battlefields and in Pacific Islands.
Only a colossal misunderstanding of history, technology, and current affairs would lead us to believe that the 21st century frontiers requiring taming are still bloody battlefields.
In today’s global village, America has stumbled into its first preemptive war. Iraq is a quagmire. Iran is a civil war in which only concentrated corporations, which Ike would see as the military industrial estate, wins dollars bloodied by our volunteers.
In the process of winning bloodied dollars, Ike’s Willie and Joes, immortalized by Ernie Pyle and Bill Mauldin, come home in coffins, missing appendages, and suffering traumas for decades, but hidden from view by concentrated media obeying our government’s black out rules.
If we want more Americans not to buy into future Vietnams, Iraqs, etc., and to more quickly end today’s military quagmires, we need to rekindle the American spirit that seeds the barren frontiers that lead us into war.
We have not seen answers come from this fractious Congress or form this narrowly focused administration.
We can lay the groundwork for a lasting answer to buying into war by quickly building a citizens movement that pressures the next Congress to enact the citizen-initiated American World Service Corps (AWSC) congressional proposals.
What are they and what would they do?
If enacted in the next Congress, each year for the next seven years approximately 140,000 Americans would voluntarily choose to serve in their choice of the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Head Start, Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, OxFam, Mercy Corps, State Conservation Corps, etc. By the seventh year one million American World Service Corps members of all ages, or less than .6th of 1% of those aged 20-60+, would annually serve for a year or two at home or abroad. After 20 years, Congress could consider sun-setting the AWSC legislation.
What would that do?
Sending productive, can-do Americans into today’s frontiers would tame today’s frontiers overflowing with poverty, ignorance, and hatred. On that battlefield, Americans could peacefully battle those enemies that too often allow Americans to buy into wars. Implementing the AWSC would reduce war and its causes. And reduce the battles our soldiers are thrust into.
Previous leaders scared Americans into believing that we had to contain nations lest they fall like dominoes and encircle us. They scared Americans into believing a flawed and failing communist economic system would bury our vibrant economy and military
So, with warheads, missiles, and 50,000 dead and 500,000 wounded Vietnam Vets, we marched into our previous military quagmire. Now the scare of who started out living in caves in little Afghanistan has led in another debilitating quagmire.
To avoid continued and future wars that will mark the end of the America’s era of power, we need to send a one million strong team of peaceful, American guerrilla warriors into today’s impoverished, illiterate, wanton frontiers. Doing so will alleviate the conditions that too often lead to war.
Of course, we must back them up with a strong, agile, and respected military prepared to protect Americans doing good around the world. As Sargent Shriver once said,
“If the Pentagon’s map is more urgent, the Peace Corp’s is, perhaps, in the long run the most important. What happens in India, Africa, and South America -- whether the nations where the Peace Corps works succeed or not -- may well determine the balance of peace.”
In the 21st century, America must field robust teams that build stability at home and abroad. We need teams that American feel proud working with who build, not destroy, homes, schools, and hospitals. The citizen initiated American World Service Corps (AWSC) Congressional Proposals needs your help to make that happen in the 2007 session of Congress.
Learn more at http://www.WorldServiceCorps.us and then ask your elected representatives, congressional candidates, and statewide office seekers whether they support quickly passing the AWSC early in the next Congress. The world can’t wait for us to send our best.
Iraqi quagmire by Frank Galasso
AWSC win hearts & minds
original image ( 811x1068)