Hey all, longer post today, but I hope you’ll enjoy it. Some comments/criticisms would be great, too! 🙂

Recently TheAmazingAtheist put out a YouTube video in which he criticized Obama for seeming to be willing to compromise with the Republicans on the extension of the Bush tax cuts. (I think he made the video before Obama clarified his position. Not sure.) Anyway, at the end of the video he had a really interesting idea to fix the economy:

“I’ll tell you what, America. You really wanna fix the deficit? You really wanna fix the jobs problem? Here’s what you do. You get rid of all these foreign bases that we have all over the world, but you don’t stop spending the money. What you do is you bring those troops home and put them to fucking work improving our infrastructure. Our infrastructure gets Fs and Ds across the board. Get those motherfuckers building roads, building bridges, building a mass transit system, building better schools, better hospitals, so on and fucking so forth. Get the American people employed. Take that military money and instead invest it in infrastructure.”

For being a YouTube celebrity, I think it’s actually a really great idea. The other day I was in a discussion about what to do to fix the economy, and someone suggested we could cut spending by shutting down our bases overseas. However, someone brought up a good point: what do you do with the troops that are now out of work? At the time the only response was that regardless it would probably help, but this idea from TheAmazingAtheist solves that problem and then some.

I’m not going to claim that his idea would completely fix our economic issues, but I think it would do more good than harm. A boost to our infrastructure and a cutting of costs related to maintaining oversea bases would probably be a good thing.

Anyway, this idea had me thinking the next day. I came up with a sort of continuation of his idea. But rather than attempting to fix the economy, my idea is how to achieve world peace.

A little background before I explain my idea. At this point in history, we are probably the most imperialist nation in the world. (Only other option being China, and they are much more low key, and mostly economic in nature rather than military.) We have bases in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Central America. We are not as imperialistic as Great Britain was when they owned half the globe, but we certainly have our fingers in more pies than any other country.

We aren’t attempting to conquer other countries, but we are doing some serious stuff. We are influencing elections, assassinating leaders we don’t like, and trying to spread democracy to places that might not be ready for it. Furthermore, we aren’t primarily doing this to help these countries. We’re doing it primarily to make the world better for us.

And this breeds a lot of animosity towards the United States. I mean, when we are using drones to kill the Taliban in northern Pakistan, and kill some kid’s parents, who’s he gonna hate? The Taliban? The Pakistani government for not taking care of it sooner? Or us? Obviously, us.

Alright, now that we have a little background, step one. We bring the troops home from all these bases. Or don’t. Doesn’t matter. If anything bringing the troops home would be a simple gesture of “we’re not trying to colonize your continent anymore.” However, we’re really just bringing them home so we can… send them out again! (If you want to fix our economy before fixing the world, you can do that while they’re here.)

What I am going to advocate here is (making up terms here) “aggressive pacifism” or “imperialist pacifism” or “militant pacifism.” I’m using these terms to emphasize the active nature of my plan. You can do absolutely nothing and be a pacifist, because you aren’t going to war. What I’m talking about is definitely not war, but definitely not sitting around and doing nothing, either.

The first phase of my plan is to have our foreign diplomats, ambassadors, etc. (even the Secretary of State or President, if you want) go to all the other countries and ask them “what do you need done in your country?” Do you need some infrastructure built? Do you need hospitals? Do you need schools? Do you need some drug warlord in the jungle taken out? Do you need help drawing up a constitution?

I would focus, though, on things that are not militarily-related. We could certainly do those kinds of things. I’m not entirely against them just because they are military operations, but I’d want to avoid them as much as possible because that’s not really doing anything different than now. It would be a little different because we’d be actually asking these countries beforehand if they want us to come mess with their shit.

What I would want to focus on are the infrastructure projects. What do countries need? Broadband internet? A power grid? A nuclear power plant? A telecommunications network? A system of roads? An airport? Hospital? School system? Water sanitation plant? Water desalinization plant? That’s what I’m talking about.

They’d tell us all the stuff they want, and we’d take our troops (that we train to do these sorts of jobs), officers being project managers, and we’d go do this stuff. We’d do nice things for them, aggressively doing all these nice things for these countries. And how could you not be liked for that? How could that not lead to everyone loving the United States?

The only thing I can think of is the sort of “boo hoo, you’re helping them, but we need help!” mentality. I would first say that we have a very large military so we could certainly do more than one thing at a time. Second, maybe it’s time for compulsory military service. Plenty of countries have this. But in this case military isn’t military! Nobody’s going to get killed. It’s just going overseas and helping. And if people didn’t just up and volunteer for something like that, I bet they wouldn’t be as against compulsory volunteer work as they would be against being sent to die in the desert.

Now, some specifics. We would still need generals and the like. We would still need a Department of Defense. (Not sure if it would be renamed. I don’t care as long as it isn’t called the Ministry of Peace.) The reason we would still need a military-type structure is because a lot of strategy would have to go into deciding which places we would go first. We just could not go to Lebanon first. Hamas, Al Qaeda and other organizations would try to disrupt us because they do not like peace. We would need a very military-esque strategy in determining the order of operations.

We would select countries to help in a combination of two ways. First being what the country needs. A country that is relatively well-off shouldn’t be our first priority. Let’s focus on putting hospitals and roads places before bringing broadband internet to 2nd world countries. Second factor would be the difficulty in accomplishing the task. I am not talking about the difficulty of the engineering — I think we are more than capable of accomplishing any task. I am alluding to the difficulty in completing the job without being interrupted by terrorists.

Using these metrics, you pick off the best targets first. Do the most good for the least money (hospitals, for example) and move slowly but surely closer to areas where people do not like us. Go to Egypt and Turkey. Then to Saudi Arabia. Then move into places like Iraq, and before you know it, word will have spread and public opinion will make it easier to do these jobs in places like Gaza, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. (Focusing on the Middle East to roughly demonstrate my method of selecting countries.)

Another point of clarification: it needs to be get in, help, and get the fuck out. No more of this oversea bases crap. Again, they do nothing more than breed anti-American sentiment throughout the world, and would severely undermine our pacifist mission.

And that’s about it! Hopefully overtime, as we help more and more and more countries, people would like us more and more. And maybe (a bit of a stretch) if everyone had this common like, “I like the United States,” “oh I like the United States too!” that would be one step closer to peace.

Maybe it would spur other countries to do the same thing. Japan, China, Germany, the UK, France, these people have the resources to do these sorts of things. I don’t think they’re doing them because they don’t want to be tied up in our imperialist label. But if we do something like what I’m proposing, these countries might feel better in joining us in helping to make the world a better place. All of a sudden, there would be people doing good works all over the planet.

And if that doesn’t lead to world peace, I don’t know what would.

~peace, RR

I welcome comments and suggestions. Comments can go below, suggestions to radiantreason[at]gmail[dot]com 🙂