The current campaign for president of the United States — in common with many past campaigns — has turned into a massive effort of cutting down all the trees in order to find the forest. The critical questions are not being asked. Instead, the focus is all on
ephemeral issues that grab people solely on the emotional level.
Not that emotion is bad, but it must be regulated and tempered with reason and common sense. Therefore, we’d like the candidates to give their reasons for not addressing these questions, all relating to their global vision, focusing on our nation-building strategy, starting in Iraq:
1. Since it’s in America’s interest to foster the building of stable, market-based democracies and winning the “War of Ideas” and the “War of Words” in the Middle East and Iraq, why do we ignore the repeated calls from the grassroots in the Muslim world for “justice”?
2. Why do we not recognize that pushing the word “capitalism” as the alternative to centralized State control of basic industries merely conjures in the minds of ordinary citizens a substitution of one exploitative and exclusionary system of concentrated ownership of land, natural resources and modern industries for another?
3. Is there a “Just Third Way” that would promote a property-based, market-oriented version of economic democracy that would unite and empower members of all tribes, religions and economic classes and serve as a foundation for sustainable political democracy in the region?
4. Why not promote universal access to ownership of the nation’s oil resources as a first step in nation-building in Iraq by providing every man, woman and child in the country a lifetime, non-transferable, full dividend payout, voting share by converting the State-owned oil company into a citizen-owned, for-profit oil conglomerate as a new right of citizenship?
A paper summarizing this “outside-the-box” approach to nation-building is Iraq oil shares. As the 1 B.C. Greek historian Diodorus Siculus stated, “Never entrust the defense of a country to people who own no part of it.”
More immediately, if we hope to allow our troops to withdraw sooner rather than later, and with honor, why not give people from all regions, religions, and tribes in Iraq something in common to defend? Anything that can be owned by the State (the source of top-down and corrupt government) can and should be owned through personal stakes by all the people. It’s a question that will determine whether economic power will remain concentrated in a tiny elite, or whether it will become decentralized and accessible to every citizen.
Oh, yes — there is a fifth question . . .
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