Economic Multipliers (127)
Do you know what these are?
They help CREATE wealth in systems.
Not knowing what to do is a negative economic multiplier if something needs to be done.
Six months after the war started in Iraq (September 20, 2003), I sent emails to my Congressmen regarding an EXIT strategy. I have no idea whether any of those thoughts were read: I’ve just always thought that it is easy to start wars and VERY hard to stop them. I didn’t want the United States to be in a war in Iraq or American citizens (or ANY citizens globally) to get injured and killed. I also knew that the greater percentage of Iraqi citizens just wanted to have good lives and live in peace.
These were my thoughts:
Dear Senator Kohl and Senator Feingold:
Please take the time to read this thoroughly if you believe that the situation in Iraq is ‘out-of-control.’ Thank you.
First and foremost: EXIT strategy for Iraq:
The U.S. should clearly state that U.S. military troops (but not necessarily supporting personnel) will exit Iraq by ‘regions’ after it has been demonstrated (for 2 years) that Iraqi citizens of that region have the capability to prevent consistent acts of destruction within their own country / that region. This will allow troops to be pulled out incrementally (region by region) and allow for media to focus on what is going right. Likewise, it will encourage citizens of their respective regions to discourage ‘hostile’ foreigners from taking root on their soil.
As quickly as possible, Iraqi citizens should vote (the vote should include women) on the penalties associated with individuals creating havoc in their own country.
The U.S. should set aside $20 billion in an account managed by Iraqi citizens and U.N. personnel. The Iraqi citizens should be notified that this money belongs to every man, woman and child in Iraq and it will be used to pay for all destruction that is a result of terrorism from this day forward. At the end of 5 years, if there is any money left, every man, woman and child who is now 13 years or older (since this is clearly an adult problem and you don’t want to encourage an unnatural population explosion) will receive an equal distribution. (There can be no administrative or management fees placed on this account, it should be interest bearing, ‘regions’ should have individual shares of the pie and be credited individually, and if it can be proved that any individual crossed a regional border to destroy something, the money should come out of the region of the source of destruction). Iraqi’s should get a weekly summary (via media) of how much is left in each region’s account and how much they can expect to receive at the end of 5 years.
An oil revenue sharing program (such as that in Alaska) should be set up with once again clarity that this money belongs to the Iraqi citizens, it is going into an account and with a similar system as that above (U.N. and Iraqi citizen control) but with standard administrative / management fees. Iraqi citizens should be informed that revenue that’s shared will be depleted by the amount of dollars it takes to reconstruct things that are purposely broken. This money will be spent first (before the money previously mentioned) and the revenue sharing portion will increase as the oil industry returns to profitability. Iraqi citizens should be kept appraised of the status of this account (expect it to be zero for at least 2 years — which is why the previous account is SO important).
I appreciate how difficult the situation in Iraq must be for American personnel and many of these things are happening in part but to reinforce (related to ‘attitudes’):
Media attention (in Iraq and globally) must be diverted from angry men with guns to women and children and other men who are helping rebuild the country. You cannot silence the voice of violence but the voice of construction must grow louder.
Media should focus on areas where things are working and why they are working — daily segments should be run — sort of like infomercials — on how Iraqi citizens are making a difference.
Iraqi citizens must take greater and greater responsibility for restoring their schools and institutions while Americans take responsibility for the facilities destroyed by U.S. bombs / gunfire. It’s particularly important for communities to continue to ‘pressure’ their fellow citizens to return and repair things that belong to the public.
Every time an Iraqi citizen says someone else is not ‘saving the world’ quickly enough for them, they must be asked what they have done in the last week to improve the quality of their community (besides complain).
Iraqi citizens who are not working but who are receiving any kind of ‘government compensation’ should be required to fill out a very short form stating what they have done in the past month to improve the lives of their fellow citizens (even a completely disabled person can do 2 things — 1) smile and 2) try to minimize the burden they place on others).
‘Tool’ libraries must be set up (and run only by women until the nation / regions give up violence in exchange for ‘building’). Tools should be borrowable for a short period of time and have tool libraries have televisions / VCRs / DVD players with videotapes and DVDs and books covering how to do basic electrical work, plumbing, carpentry, etc. If these resources are stolen, it counts against the funds for Iraqi citizens.
Women must be a greater part of the solution. Women are the least likely segment of the population to pick up guns when there is a difference of opinion and they should be in the rooms where decisions are being made in the capacity of mediators, moderators, monitors and even decision-makers.
Women’s groups should be enlisted to solve basic ‘day-to-day’ problems in communities. If few women speak English, ‘tool libraries’ should be equipped with foreign language tapes. Monies for community development / education programs should be set aside (as part of the oil sharing program) specifically for women’s groups to spend on what they feel their communities need. It is less likely that this (small percentage of) money will be spent on weapons if it is designated specifically for women’s groups.
A public education campaign should be started regarding the difference between people who start wars (for what they believe to be good reasons) and people who create terror (to disrupt societies): Most of the people who create terror cannot see themselves fitting into society in a civilized manner and they very well might not have the skills to do so — they need to be educated.
Laws must be passed which prohibit adults from willfully providing education to children under 16 years of age on how to purposely create havoc in societies. ALL TRUE EDUCATION focuses on building societies up. Of course, you’ll run into problems here — something like this would never make it into law in this day and age because of all the gray areas — but the debate must begin (even the U.S. can’t get this one right). As part of this public education campaign / debate, we must talk about what happens when the world fails at this — how that failure has exceptionally broad ramifications. It should be possible to get the laws in place against planning to kill people and planning to destroy property (have this be part of the vote on penalties).
Some educational themes to be reinforced through media:
People who create terror in societies are few in number but they have huge impacts.
Every human being wants to be treated with dignity.
Iraq, in spite of any failings, has a long tradition of many wonderful things and the Iraqi population as a whole is very well-educated. You’ll find very few people who do not want their home, their family, their community and their nation thought of highly because each of those things are extensions of themselves.
Lastly, when you formulate an exit strategy, if it’s tied to violence (which it must be), you’ll find that people who would believe themselves to be at risk once U.S. forces leave and who would in any other situation be peaceful, may resort to violence to alter the course of events.
Now, most people spend their time finding every single reason why something can’t be done, why it’s too hard to do, etc. Unfortunately, there is no time to dilly-dally in Iraq or have lengthy debates. Iraq will be defined by one of two things: ‘construction’ or ‘destruction’ — as, ironically, will be the U.S. … (words written in 2003).
Words like these in and of themselves mean nothing. They are like the sound of a tree that falls in a forest when no one is there to listen.
Today, the United States is trying to ‘let go’ and let the Iraqi’s run their own country. Today, there are people in that country being killed who do not know where to turn for support. Today, infrastructure which cost a lot of money to build and repair is being destroyed.
I chatted with someone recently who noted that the United States had stabilized Iraq and now the Iraqi’s themselves are letting things get out-of-control.
I noted that there is no stability when you have to have a man with a gun standing at every corner.
You can measure stability by the number of police and security personnel, social service workers and mental and physical health care professionals you need (not necessarily that you have) in any community or nation.
The greater the number, the less the stability.
I have no answers.
I was glad to hear that Iran seems willing to help Iraq. No country gains value when an unstable country lies at its border. Ironically, at this point in time, if the Middle East desired peace within and among its nations, it seems like Iraq should be helping stabilize Syria versus Iran feeling a need to help stabilize Iraq.
Would the United States come to Canada or Mexico’s aid? I believe we would.
Of course, naïve people (such as myself) can’t understand how and/or why countries with so much wealth (in the forms of sand, saltwater, solar insolation and heat … and, of course, oil) can’t figure out ways to build up their countries as well as those of their neighbors and others globally versus tearing them down.
Even more naïvely, when, several years ago, I found out that Iran’s President and his wife were engineers, I had hoped that the ‘temperament’ of the Middle East had changed. I suspect that most of the young people in ALL the Middle Eastern countries had hoped for the same.
As a woman, I many times think that men thrust their children into wars when they themselves never grew up. It takes a lot of maturity and time to build and grow peaceful, wealth creating societies: It takes a mere moment to tear something down.
In a small way, this is also a message to ‘the flash mob kids:’ If you see something spiraling out-of-control, will you ‘flash mob’ sanity back into the situation? … or will you stand by and let a piece of your community be destroyed?
If ‘numbers’ can send something spinning out-of-control, ‘numbers’ can also reestablish sanity.