MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924
Ignore Kyoto. Global warming isn’t this morning’s headline.
The world’s colder. It needs a warm draft.
America doesn’t need a stop-the-commie cold war or kill-a-terrorist hot draft. It needs a draft that lifts all boats in a sea heaving with medical, economic, and environmental waves.
Our armed forces serve in 146 countries. A warm draft should deploy another million Special Forces to increase world safety and, in time, reduce military costs.
Draftees could choose from six divisions:
· The Peace Corps, where service in over 100 countries builds economies, fights poverty, starts businesses, establishes civic organizations and improves health. PCVs nation build. They immerse into the culture, language, and economy, obtaining the best human intelligence. PCVs may believe they learn more than they give, but their elementary successes establish the connections that enable the global village.
· Americorps, where America’s poor need more than today’s 6,000 VISTA volunteers to reduce their economic handicap. Ballyhooed private volunteerism hasn’t erased poverty where Americorps could.
· Head Start, where joining bolsters 1,578,000 volunteers and staffs whose efforts have brighten 21,214,295 children’s lives. Is their service gentler than teaching our children?
· Habitat for Humanity, where lovingly swinging a hammer adds to the 150,000 homes built to eradicate substandard housing in 89 countries, including America. Americus, Georgia, Habitat’s headquarters, is the first America city to eradicate substandard housing. A proud, owned home is the best classroom from which the most loving teachers raise productive world citizens. Terrorists don’t walk near Habitat’s doors.
· Doctors Without Borders, where you reinforce the 2,500 annual volunteers in 80 countries who treat tuberculosis, malaria, and AIDS; assist with the medical and psychological problems of street children and marginalized populations; and bring health care to remote, resource lacking areas. These medical tenders are never forgotten.
· Our present military and continue fielding the world’s best fighting machine. The world needs our disciplined warriors. But to endanger them less, we need draftees serving on the frontiers of deprivation from whence wars and ‘isms’ arise.
Of our 10,000 overburdened soldiers in Afghanistan and Pakistan, over 1,000, without our government’s confirmation, have reportedly died. Maintaining each of today’s 1.4 million soldiers costs $297,000, not including later pension, medical and psychological costs.
Unfortunately, not every soldier wins hearts and minds. War’s maiming and killing multiplies hatreds and terrorists.
It’s cheaper and faster to eradicate terrorism and safeguard America via annually:
· Building a Habitat Global Village home at $6,500;
· Assisting the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize winner Doctors Sans Borders at $22,400;
· Teaching a Head Start child at $7,165;
· Funding Americorps programs and each of its volunteers at $66,818;
When too many narrow-minded leaders and tribes are turning too many uneducated against America’s ideals, these bargain prices, much cheaper than warring, would build a healthier world.
When John Kennedy started the 1961 Peace Corps, he wanted a million Peace Corps volunteers (PCVs) serving yearly by the 1970’s. Annual volunteer costs were then under $9,000, when soldiering in Vietnam cost $149,600. Forty-three years later, only about 160,000 have served in 137 countries, returning without socially burdensome psychological or medical costs. Fielding each of today’s 7,533 PCVs in 71 countries costs $40,000.
Almost every PCV wins hearts and minds, multiplying smiles and rooting out terror by planting crops, skills, and improved living conditions.
Afghanistan and Pakistan’s 168 million people reflect much of the world -- poor, illiterate, tribal, and susceptible to propaganda. By 1979 and 1967 respectively, the last of only 2,201 PCVs served there to offset the conditions and narrow-minded ideas that promote stupid-isms.
At the Democratic National Convention, Teresa Heinz Kerry painted the faces that in the long run erase stupid-isms:
“… one of the best faces America has ever projected is the face of a Peace Corps volunteer.
That face symbolizes this country: young, curious, brimming with idealism and hope, and a real, honest compassion…
In this draft, America’s characters, not withstanding many of our government’s policies, win hearts and minds -- making the global village
smarter, more supportive and interdependent. We need a warm draft.
Dwayne Hunn, Ph.D., served as a PCV in the slums of Mumbai (Bombay), India. In 1989 Congresswoman Boxer introduced his resolution in the House calling for a joint Soviet-American Peace Corps as a means to have cold warriors work together on world problems.