Tuesday, December 06, 2005

let's see. it's been quite a long time, but i am back. looking for that fulfillment that only spouting off on the internet can provide.

so let's talk about this article in the post today. just because september 11th was in the year 2001, and just because countless government resources have been utilized in investigating that day and coming up with wise recommendations on how to prevent another such day, does not necessarily mean that our current elected officials will find it compelling enough to actually act quickly and decisively.

to move to a broader scale, past the emergency preparedness which katrina helpfully pointed out is woefully inadequate, one of the more interesting recommendations of the sep 11 commission (as published before the co-chairs had to go on meet the press and reiterate that we're struggling) can be found on page 378: the international youth opportunity fund. this idea of a group working together to help fund primary and secondary schools in poverty-stricken islamic areas is one has a lot of potential but is rarely discussed. "education that teaches tolerance, the dignity and value of each individual, and respect for different beliefs is a key element in any global strategy to eliminate islamic terrorism."there are a lot of questions: who controls the curriculum? how do you avoid these schools being considered pawns of the united states? how do you legitimize such an expense to an american public struggling with education in our own backyards?

nonetheless--it is the idea of making a more rational and deliberate paradigm shift, one from defense to protection through peaceful and meaningful action. through the planning ahead that is so lacking in all areas of our current government. there will always be time for guns and fumbling defense secretaries (or so it seems) and absurd defense contracts; can we divert some of that money to a consulting firm to outline how such an international youth opportunity program would even work?

the counterargument, i suspect, will circle around the fact that the hijackers were well-off, were well-educated in the united states, were familiar with our culture. the point, however, is not necessarily to directly intervene with such lunatics but to build public pressure in arab countries against such behavior and to lift the general socioeconomic status to a point where anything remotely resembling democratic debate can occur. (re: democracies do not go to war with other democracies.) as the commission said: "...when people lose hope, when societies break down, when countries fragment, the breeding grounds for terrorism are created." that is one thing we continue to ignore at our peril. (psst..neocons...please do not try to argue that this is exactly what we are working on in iraq. we can't even start to get into the fumbles at this hour.)

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