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Nader/Gonzalez Issues Brief Statement on War, Education

Monday, October 20, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM

Press Release
Contact: Marc Abizeid, 202-360-3273, marcabizeid@votenader.org


The United States, through its various agencies and aid programs, touts itself as a leader in global humanitarian and educational assistance. A glance through USAID’s FY 2008 Budget Appropriations report indeed reveals an extensive list of programs broken down by country to which our government is donating. But while the list may run long and cover a wide range of programs, the amount of cash this country sends overseas in assistance nowhere near matches the amount it spends to fight Bush’s costly, illegal wars.

At a rate of $14 million per hour, 24 hours per day, the US spends roughly the same amount of money occupying and destroying Iraq in one hour as it does annually to fund the three American universities in the Middle East (The American University of Beirut, The American University in Cairo, and The Lebanese American University).

This demonstrates the folly of a foreign policy based on militarist interventionism as opposed to a foreign policy driven by true humanitarian principles. A humanitarian foreign policy is much less costly and much more effective in both the short and longterm, especially if more democracy is the goal at home and abroad.

One can only imagine how much support and goodwill we would find around the world if we spent a significant fraction more overseas promoting education and knowledge rather than wasting hundreds of billions devastating and destabilizing entire countries, regions, and their peoples.

To truly gain credibility and earn trust as a humanitarian superpower, the US must reverse its current foreign policy by immediately ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and ending all military aid and supplies to Israel used to brutalize its Arab neighbors. Instead, we need to use some of those funds to invest in education and help rebuild the nations we destroyed and the much larger amounts to rebuild the public works and infrastructure inside the United States. Good jobs are created in both places.