Where Is Our New Marshall Plan?

Miller_weekly_120415Who didn’t feel revulsion, horror, sadness and even dread after hearing the news from Paris? Hundreds were killed or injured, merely for taking part in the pleasant, civil, convivial activities of a comfortable Paris evening.
These are not the actions of people who are merely “evil” or “insane.” They are neither. Those words, repeated a million times during the last week, imply that these acts are borne from a personal nature or aberration that can’t be controlled and is thus excusable.
In the hysterical din, what will we believe?
Until very recently, the official web site of Fox’s Bill O’Reilly still offered “Boycott France” bumper stickers.
Republican Presidential candidates all blamed President Obama and his weak leadership, not long after they were calling him an authoritarian dictator for acting in Syria when Congress refused to take a position. Talk about blaming America first. For 200 years, American politics “stopped at the ocean” and Congressmen of both parties were careful to make sure that our President wasn’t undermined in international dealings. Even the debate on the First Gulf War (Kuwait) could honestly be called non-partisan. What century was that? What country?

Candidates and governors calling for banning the 10,000 Syrian refugees Obama has agreed to admit unwittingly advertise for ISIL. Contrary to outright lies being broadcast now every hour, these 10,000 are being handpicked after extreme vetting by U.S. security agencies. They are mostly women and children, some of whom were tortured by ISIL. Calling for bans and religious tests echo the ISIL mantras to young, alienated, marginalized men on the edge: You are not wanted here. They hate you. You are not one of them. The perpetrators in Paris were French and Belgian citizens, turned against their own.

Mr. Trump, scoring political points before a cheering rally, said that the President is trying to let in “hundreds of thousands” of undocumented, burly young men. He may well be elected President next November in this developing Brave New America.
Parisians showed their grit last weekend by letting stranded strangers into their homes for the night.

From which will Americans take their cue?
A report by the Southern Poverty Law Center found that right-wing radical “lone wolves” conducted violent attacks somewhere in this country every 34 days, on average, between April 1, 2009, and Feb. 1, 2015. The Department of Homeland Security disbanded its non-Islamic domestic terrorism team in early 2009 because Republican Congressmen and others complained that Obama was targeting their supporters.
Turkey, our ally, has provided financing to ISIL, operates a hospital for wounded ISIL fighters and gives free passage to ISIL into Syria. ISIL is Turkey’s ally in their war against Kurds. Saudi Arabia, our ally, where a 17-year-old protester was recently sentenced to be crucified and a blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, flew 500 ISIL soldiers from bases in Turkey to Yemen. ISIL is the Saudi’s ally in their genocidal war against the Houthi.

It’s time for us to completely re-evaluate this entire mixed-up “War on Terror.”
After the Second World War, the United States said to the people of Greece, Turkey, Italy, France and 13 other European countries, “We will help rebuild your infrastructure and your economy if you reject the Communists.” It was great for American business, but even more importantly, it demonstrated to millions that we were the good guys.
The Marshall Plan solidified teetering democracies. It cost $135 billion in today’s dollars, which is about one-fifteenth of the direct costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not including the cost of treating wounded veterans and other ancillary costs.

Today, people and businesses in Baghdad cannot rely on electric power running 24 hours a day. Our drone assassination program kills about seven bystanders for every intended target eliminated. The unemployment rate among Arabs 30 and under is over thirty percent.
Where’s our new Marshall Plan?

Michael Miller (mmillercolumn@gmail.com) has worked in state and local government. He lives in New Hyde Park. The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the publisher or Anton Media Group.

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Michael A. Miller
Michael Miller (mmillercolumn@gmail.com) has worked in state and local government. He lives in New Hyde Park. The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the publisher or Anton Media Group.

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