Twenty-one million serving Americans can help right the ship.
Greatness is not found in possessions, power, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and character.
Implementing People's Lobby's American World Service Corps Congressional Proposals addresses whether we still have the right stuff, can right the injured Ship of State, and other needs better than any other national service proposals now being considered in Congress. By fielding twenty-one million Americans volunteers over the ensuing twenty-seven years in their choice of such governmental and non-governmental organizations as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Head Start, Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, and State Conservation Corps"- we involve enough Americans to help build the foundation that will lift us from the economic and public policy depression into which recent policies have dumped us. We are seeking original cosponsors to join Congresswoman Woolsey in sponsoring the AWSC Proposals in the 111th Congress.
America's ignorance of the real world allowed us to be led into a $3+trillion war that is the primary contributor to the breaking of our economy. Our continued failure to implement a smart, long-term strategy will destroy the economics, common sense, and moral ethic that made America special.
In our Revolutionary War, whether we knew it or not, we followed the tenants of an earlier foreign warrior, Sun Tzu:
1. All war is based on deception.
2. The supreme excellence is to subdue the armies of your enemy without fighting a battle.
3. He wins who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
The terrorists have done a better job of following those winning tenants than we have. The terrorists also seem to better understand that their goal is to destroy public support for once respected America, while winning enough hearts and minds to do violence against the increasingly repugnant America.
Deceptions lead us into war. In war, we are deceived as to who the enemy is. Too often and too easily in today's guerrilla warfare, a uniform disguises the allegiance of warriors' hearts and minds. Lulls in warfare deceive us into believing we have won, while hidden and growing armies of terror decide when and where to strike next. Those abiding by Sun Tzu's strategies will come closer to determining winners of 21st century wars than will nuclear powered aircraft carriers, uranium tipped bullets, and night goggle driven Hummers.
Until a sane and healthy world is created, one may never totally win this kind of war. In the interim, terrorism must be contained, squeezed out, and then expunged. Filling the world with a million missiles, lasers, and Vader-like storm troopers is not a viable 21st century containment policy. Filling the world with a million public health workers, builders, energy designers, etc., is a winning containment policy. The AWSC provides those teams who can set the foundation for a Global Marshall Plan that relies on peaceful interaction, education, and hard work.
In those 21 nations containing the Middle East, South and East Africa, and Indonesia, where 910 million mostly Muslims reside, we need many more Americans, like Greg Mortensen, drinking Three Cups of Tea and building schools, bridges, and businesses -- not drones raining laser guided missiles on some bad and many innocent people.
In December 2000, the Saudi publication Ain-Al-Yaqeen reported that one of the four major Wahhabi proselytizing organizations, the Al Haramin Foundation, had built "1,100 mosques, schools, and Islamic centers," in Pakistan and other Muslim countries, and employed three thousand paid proselytizers in the previous years.The most active of the four groups, Ain-Al-Yaqeen reported The International Islamic Relief Organization, which the 9/11 Commission would later accuse of directly supporting the Taliban and Al Qaeda, completed the construction of thirty-eight hundred mosques, spent $45 million on "Islamic Education," and employed six thousand teachers, many of them in Pakistan, throughout the same. By offering free room and board and building schools in areas where none existed, madrassas provided millions of Pakistan's parents with their only opportunity to educate their children. "I don't want to give the impression that all Wahbabi are bad," Mortenson says. "Many of their schools and mosques are doing good work to help Pakistan's poor. But some of them seem to exist only to teach militant jihad. Apo calling Wahbabi madrassas beehives is exactly right. They're churning out generation after generation of brainwashed students and thinking twenty, forty, even sixty years ahead to a time when their armies of extremism will have the numbers to swarm over Pakistan and the rest of the Islamic world." "Three Cups of Teas" Pages 243-245
We have blown $3 trillions on unnecessary warfare. Had we followed John Kennedy's visionary proposal today's global village of 7 billion people would be more peaceful, healthy, and smart. John Kennedy quickly wanted the Peace Corps to field 100,000 volunteers per year. When it hit 1 million, he believed the Peace Corps would make a significant impact on the world. Almost 38 years later, only about 180,000 have trained and served, and our public policy IQ reflects that too few have served and learned.
When Kennedy proposed and Sargent Shriver created the Peace Corps in March of 1961, only some of the world considered us Ugly Americans. Those opposed to us propagated the image of rich, swaggering, soft Americans luxuriously cruising the world. But most of the world had the belief that Americans were special and longed to know Americans and America. When we lost Kennedy, we lost the grand vision that would have given us a much more peaceful world today. The largest annual number of Peace Corps volunteers fielded was about 14,000 in 1968. Almost without exception, those small contingents of PCVs were admired worldwide. Those relatively few serving Americans erased the then growing Ugly American image.
Failing to field tens of millions of PCVs over the last two generations has caused us to become illogically fearful of little brown people who grew rice in Vietnam. It has caused us to buy into the false premise that economic development is best delivered by major corporations and economic hit men. It has allowed poverty, climate disasters, and ignorance to spread because we didn't move enough Americans off of their couches and into the frontiers of service either at home or abroad. It allowed comfortable Americans to allow ignorance to spread at home and fundamentalists in Africa and the Middle East to plant hatred over there in the minds of those who struggle on a couple dollars a day, as well as with those receiving higher educations. It allowed those Americans unconcerned about the plight of the masses to instill fear in the minds of those Americans who had not received the opportunity to serve and learn in the world. It allowed too many Americans to buy into myopic talk radio's too prevalent hate banter leading to conclusions that bombing was better than building. It allowed too few comfortably cocooned Americans to learn through hard and honest work how to develop logic and common sense.
Unfortunately, if you are ensconced in a comfortable cocoon where peaceful and productive service and learning is not part of your nation's life, then you ignorantly conclude that costly bombing is the winning path. From there, your nation's character and economy can only go downhill.
"Never forget that the purpose for which a man lives is the improvement of the man himself, so that he may go out of this world having, in his great sphere or his small one, done some little good for his fellow creatures and labored a little to diminish the sin and sorrow that are in the world."- William F. Gladstone