A Marshall Plan for the Middle East

A Marshall Plan for the Middle East

Our latest volunteer, Jenny, is a lover of the arts, especially music, a hopeless liberal, existentialist, wife and Mom. Here’s her take on rebuilding the Middle East, in the spirit of the post WWII era.

Will there be a Marshall Plan for the Middle East? The Second World War destroyed much of Europe leaving its historic cities in ruin. Thanks to the vision of General George C. Marshall and Democratic President Harry S. Thruman the United States infused 12 Billion Dollars in the European Recovery Program to rebuild the architectural wonders of cathedrals and other historical structures reproducing cities that were left in annihilation. In addition, modern transportation systems were constructed and financial aid was used to help struggling economies work their way  back into healthy thriving democracies.

Today those same democratic nations are threatened by an unparalleled influx of desperate refugees fleeing from man’s latest devastation. The Iraq War waged on a false premise by Republican Neo-Cons has led to the utter destruction of many ancient mid-eastern cities and the surrounding countryside, loss of thousands of innocent lives of men, women and children and the end of an ancient cultural world.  A larger US military budget and an increase in the threat of warfare which is now being proposed will never be the final solution.

Who then will suggest a Marshall Plan to restore the countries and peoples of the Middle East? Certainly not the President Trump Presidency with its strident slogan of “America  First”! The demonizing of government service and government programs over the last three decades by American conservatives offers no real hope of opportunity for the poor and middle class of our land, but even less hope for relieving the misery of Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia, Syria, Sudan and Yeman. With what ease modern nations can use technology to destroy one another, but what nation will rise up to support a new Marshall Plan to restore the nations of the Middle East and stop the need for mass migrations of war-weary peoples?


Photo: See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Large protests erupt over Trump Administration travel ban

Large protests erupt over Trump Administration travel ban

Large protests have erupted in multiple cities across the United States, in opposition to the Trump Administration’s executive order banning visitors, visa-holders, and refugees from seven muslim-majority nations from entering the United States, for up to three months. A federal court has temporarily blocked deportations based on the new order, but detentions are still possible.

The executive order, widely derided by liberals, and a few prominent republican leaders, including Senator John McCaine, and Charlie Baker, the Republican Governor of Massachusetts, affects travelers from the following muslim-majority nations: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lybia, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia. According to the Trump Administration, the purpose of the order is to allow time for “extreme vetting” of people entering the U.S. from nation’s with a higher risk of terrorism, in order to ensure the safety of the American People.

Ironically, though, no terrorist attacks on American soil are attributed to people who came from those nations, while countries with more direct ties to terrorism and recent histories of attacks on U.S. citizens, like Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia (where the majority of the highly destructive 9/11 hijackers came from) were not included in the ban. Fueling the outrage is the apparent correlation between the ban and President Trump’s business dealings: muslim-majority nations where Trump’s company does business weren’t included.

Originally the executive order was intended to include Green Card holders, which outraged the international community, but the administration has backpedaled on that interpretation. Green Cards holders are permanent legal residents of the U.S., and getting a Green Card is an important precursor to citizenship. Many Green Card holders have lived in the United States for decades, and have jobs and families in the U.S., though they may still travel abroad on business, and for important family events, like weddings and funerals.

A ban that includes Green Card Holders would cause great hardships for many law-abiding families, and American businesses. Also hard hit are foreign students with visas, and visa-holders working in American companies, all across the country. Many industries, particularly Silicon Valley companies, and biotech firms, employ foreign nationals holding H1B visas, for highly skilled, well-educated workers doing important work, so a ban on these individuals could really hurt American companies, and by extension, the country at large. H1B Visa holders have been referred to by Physicist Michio Kaku as Ameriac’s “Secret Weapon,” because their contribution to our society, and economy, is so important.

Video: Youtube, the72tube – Michio Kaku on importance of H1B Visa

In short, President Trump’s executive order is misguided, wrong-headed, damaging to the United States, and a huge mistake. It will stir up anger, resentment, and rivalry both at home and abroad, with absolutely no major upside benefit to speak of, since terrorists incidents in the U.S., though tragic and disturbing when they happen, are still relatively rare (and unrelated to the banned nations in question, as noted above, making the ban pointless.)

The management of Face Activities calls on President Donald Trump to repeal this pointless, mean-spirited executive order. Many individuals will be negatively impacted, and some individuals, if deported, may find their very lives in jeopardy. American Universities and companies that benefit from talented foreign students and workers will also be negatively impacted, to the detriment of our society at large.



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