The first piece in this series, Peace Corps, Bin Laden, JFK, Sarge... chasing hearts & minds? graphically presented why a much bigger Peace Corps has been missing for a couple generations, which has cost the world millions of war ravaged lives and trillions of dollars.
How has recent history treated such a common-sense but visionary PC approach to public policy?
Today many voters research and experience little outside of a small screened text box. They prefer celluloid over experiencing or reading. Too many quickly buy into simplistic propaganda at the rantings of a determined radio or television voice who tells them what to think about CIA agents, whistleblowers, Russian bears, and Muslims, whom they lump together as Mujahedeens, Talibans, Osamaites, ISies, and commies.
These extremely well-compensated ranters hate doling out foreign or
domestic aid to the needy, only sometimes recollect that Iraq
and Afghanistan have and continue to be costly problems, like jumping into wars
to settle problems, and see warring as a simple patriotic solution to a bevy of
complex problems; although caring for vets after wars becomes too expensive to many of them.
So let's jump to some celluloid in the hopes that some complex "logicing" takes place in neuron space.
The 2007 film, Charley Wilson's War, was nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, including "Best Motion Picture. Unfortunately, as Robert Parry reminds us here, the truth behind much portrayed in that 1980s mercenary funded hidden battle with Russia is much uglier. Its geopolitical realities should, but probably won't, remind a majority of the electorate to heed Marine General Smedley Butler's warning that "War is a racket."
Hopefully, Parry's reporting, research, and analysis helps citizens realize that Iran Contra was another Reagan White House-staged war to shuffle guns and drugs over a couple oceans. It was a war that made guys like Ollie North rich talk-show ranters for crimes that truly defiled the Constitution and cost lives.
If you read the detailed Robert Parry link above, you may realize thanks to White House "perception management" that taxpayers were sending guns and money to un-vetted Afghan players. The presumed prime mover of billions in military aid was Texas Democratic Congressman Charlie Wilson.
Charlie Wilson and a proclaimed billion taxpayers' dollars were spent on guns that helped push an occupier, whose economy was already teetering, out of Afghanistan. That stealthy unconstitutional investment also paid for the stage set for Osama bin Laden's future deeds and multiplied costs to us.
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and many other nations in that part of the world are today's tinderboxes. Their enlightened leaders know that bringing education, jobs, health, and a democratic lifestyle to their citizens will not be a quick or easy process. Such accomplishments generally take several generations.
JFK recognized this need for long-term foundation building a couple generations ago, when he tried to brand the U.S. as the nation who would most help struggling nations build solid foundations by sending them his fledgling Peace Corps.
After our stealth $1 billion was smuggled through Pakistan and elsewhere to give Afghans the guns and missiles to win the Afghan Russian 1979-89 war, even Charlie Wilson tried acting like JFK.
After the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan in 1989, Charlie was invited to a celebration at CIA headquarters, where on the auditorium's giant screen a huge quotation from Pakistan's President, General Mohammad Zia ul-Haq read: "Charlie did it."
Shortly thereafter in a congressional subcommittee meeting Charlie, Congress' $1 billion Afghan Rhett Butler gun runner, pleaded for $1 million in foreign aid, or a .001 (1/1000th) gun-running kickback, to rebuild schools in Afghanistan.
Before congressional reps, he pleaded, "Let's spend one million for school reconstruction. One-half of their population is under 14, under 14... Think how dangerous that is."