Wesley Clark, criticizing the Bush administration for being too quick to seek military solutions to the world’s problems, has proposed increasing American foreign aid and creating a cabinet-level Department of International Assistance to oversee it.
I didn’t really think that General Clark was all that sharp before, but this clinches it. To suggest a whole department whose interest is to give money to other countries is among the worst ideas I have heard. That their whole focus would be to determine what governments to give money to and their only milestone of achievement would be how much they spent. Do you think that whoever held this cabinet level position would ever come in and say “We are spending too much this year, we need to cut back.” The whole power of this position would be in spending money on whatever countries they deem require it.
To believe that giving foreign aid to a despotic regime would help to move them away from despotism is totally mistaken. Jimmy Carter wrangled that deal with the North Koreans where we would give them tons of money in return for them pretending not to build a nuclear arsenal. Does Clark really believe that sending money in the guise of aid to Saddam would have resulted in anything but bunkers, palaces, and tacky erotic art for his sons?
Kucinich recently submitted a bill, H.R. 2459, to establish a Department of Peace — a measure initiated by an old war vet named O’Kelly McCluskey and backed by the National Veterans for Peace.
Maybe we do need a Department of Peace run by the peace activists. It would be highly entertaining. Whenever there was any kind of threat to the country we could mobilize our shock troops. They would train constantly and in a moments notice could disrobe and make peace and anti-war signs with their naked bodies. They could specialize in empty symbolism and infiltrate enemy missile silos where they could pour bottles of their own blood on these missiles; that would really convince them.
Even better we could combine the Department of Peace with the Environmental protection agency and call it Department Of Peace and Environment (DOPE).