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A New Marshall Plan?

By Dick Bell and Michael Renner
The Worldwatch Institute

"...weapons alone cannot buy us a lasting
peace in a world of extreme inequality,
injustice, and deprivation for billions of
our fellow human beings."

From The Worldwatch Institute

A New Marshall Plan?
Advancing Human Security and Controlling Terrorism

By Dick Bell & Michael Renner

"What do you think of this advice from a senior U.S. military officer and
statesman about how the people of the United States should deal with a
part of the world torn by war, poverty, disease, and hunger:

"...it is of vast importance that our people reach some general
understanding of what the complications really are, rather than react
from a passion or a prejudice or an emotion of the moment....It is
virtually impossible at this distance merely by reading, or listening,
or even seeing photographs or motion pictures, to grasp at all the real
significance of the situation. And yet the whole world of the future
hangs on a proper judgment."

The speaker was General George C. Marshall, outlining the
Marshall Plan in an address at Harvard University on June 5, 1947.
Surveying the wrecked economies of Europe, Marshall noted the
"possibilities of disturbances arising as a result of the desperation of
the people concerned." He said that there could be "no political
stability and no assured peace" without economic security, and that U.S.
policy was "directed not against any country or doctrine but against
hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos."

[...] There is a sad irony in watching the Bush Administration's strenuous
efforts to build an international coalition. There is no such muscular
effort underway, in the United States, or in any of the other rich
nations, to build a coalition to eradicate hunger, to immunize all
children, to provide clean water, to eradicate infectious disease, to
provide adequate jobs, to combat illiteracy, or to build decent housing.

The cost of failing to advance human security and to eliminate the
fertile ground upon which terrorism thrives is already escalating.
Since September 11, we know that sophisticated weapons offer little
protection against those who are out to seek vengeance, at any cost, for
real and perceived wrongs. Unless our priorities change, the threat is
certain to keep rising in coming years.

By choosing to mobilize adequate resources to address human suffering
around the world, President Bush has a unique opportunity to seize the
terrible moment of September 11 and earn a truly exalted place in human
history. But first, we must all understand that in the end, weapons
alone cannot buy us a lasting peace in a world of extreme inequality,
injustice, and deprivation for billions of our fellow human beings. "

Used by permission © Worldwatch Institute,
1776 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20036.

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