Creating Peace.

I got the following in an email (I’m on a Howard Dean local email list), and — since I had similar feelings back when the Peace Corps was instituted, I thought I’d pass it along here.
Expand the Peace Corps. Did you know that without a bachelors degree, you can’t even get into the Peace Corps today? Let’s devote 1% of the military budget to the Peace Corps. Restructure it so that, as in the military, you have officer and enlisted ranks. Also like the military, make enlistments binding and create a GI bill for Peace so that kids can work for a college education.
Imagine if we had done this in Afghanistan 20 years ago – if the Peace Corps had educated the Afghan people, do you think they would have gone Taliban? JFK had a great vision when he created the Peace Corps – it would be a truly effective way of projecting American values to the developing world – creating friends instead of jealousies and suspicions.
Hey, I realize that with the Governer’s position on the Iraq war it may not be a politically salable issue for the center of this country that supported the war – it may cause people to look upon the campaign with greater suspicion… but… 1% of the military budget could save a lot of military lives and a lot of money if it prevents just one war a decade… 4 billion dollars a month in
Iraq… it doesn’t always have to be this way…

Personally, I don’t like the military hierarchy as a model for the Peace Corps, and I believe there should be a flatter kind of management structure and, certainly, a more humanistic training program. But the idea of giving people this kind of opportunity to make a real difference and get a college education always seemed like a really good idea to me.

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