A Better Debate, Part 2

September 29, 2008

Continuing from my previous post…

6. If US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan largely ends during your first term, how would you then change the American military based on your reading of its potential roles?

Well, this TED Talk might have a good idea about this problem.

[Aside:  PLEASE go to http://www.ted.com .  You would be hard pressed to find a larger database of interesting talks anywhere on the web.  Education, Science, Literature, Geopolitics, Economics, Environmentalism, Humor, TV, and infinitely more!]

The main idea is to break the military in two.  Have the Big Stick Military keep upgrading weapons and inventing new and interesting ways to kill people.  This force will be almost exclusively young men, ready to kill every one and every thing in sight.  Next, have a Speak Softly Military which works on reconstruction, nation building, etc., and is more evenly divided between genders and is older and more experienced.

The Big Stick comes in, conquers the country before the next episode of Lost comes on, and leaves.  As it is leaving, the Speak Softly comes in and keeps the country pacified, gives it a functioning democratic government, etc.  By the way, the Marines would NOT be part of the Big Stick.  Instead, they would be part of the Speak Softly.  Reasoning:  If anyone EVER messes with the Speak Softly force, the Marines will be in there within 38 seconds to disembowel and explosively decapitate the offenders.

No, this guy is no peacenik, wanting to turn the military into the largest daisy distribution center in the world.  He means business.  And we should listen.

7. The international community has helped reduce extreme poverty by almost half a billion people since 1990. What would you do to reduce poverty in other countries, especially in Africa, in addition to what President Bush has already done?

See my previous post and read what I say about a League of Free Countries.  If we require genuine economic and political freedom to gain the benefits of entry, leaders of the poorer countries will reform themselves (or a revolution will put in new leaders that will).  WE in the first world countries cannot, by ourselves, bring them into first world status.  THEY also cannot bring themselves there without our assistance.  Right now, almost all foreign aid is still going to enrich the already rich in poor countries.  We must encourage genuine reform and reward it accordingly.

8. Every president who has tried to solve the Palestinian question has failed. How would your approach be different?

Frankly, I do not know.  I am in favor of a 2 State Solution, but I have heard plenty of people on all sides declare that solution to be worse than the problem.  Ardent Pro Israelists say they deserve all that territory.  Ardent Pro Palestinians say they deserve all the territory.  Some moderates say that the Israelies and Palestinians should live together in one state, side by side, in peace.  I wish those moderates could be right, but I am a bit more pessimistic than them.

9. Is it possible to greatly reduce illegal immigration from Mexico by helping improve the quality of life in that country? How would you do that?

Of course!  If they had no economic incentive to move here, they would not.  Many anti-immigration policies use this idea.  They propose making it so hard for illegal immigrants to work here in safety that they will not be able to keep any kind of job.  Once that economic incentive is gone, they will leave.

Well, perhaps a better way would be to help them find good jobs in their own country, instead of gathering them in as a local menial worker caste.  We may be able to do this using the League of Free Countries.  If the League focuses on helping a few countries at a time, we could stop many of these kinds of problems.

10. Name three things the United Nations does well.


Blame Israel.

Spend money.


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