“Have ya ever heard of the Marshall Plan?”

“No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”  James Madison in 1795

It’s been almost four years since George Bush stood on the deck of the battleship, the USS Lincoln, and announced how we would help rebuild Iraq.  We weren’t going to leave until we left behind a free and democratic Iraq.  The USA would build hospitals and schools in the place of the dictator’s palaces. 

Now the image of the United States in Europe has faltered to the same low points as George Bush’s support for his policies and the war.  What happened?

Sixty years ago President Truman had the same dilemma in front of him.  The Marshall Plan was put in place.  During four years, which coincides with where we are currently in Iraq, some $13 billion of economic and technical assistance was provided to the convalescing Europe. 

The Marshall Plan was conceived by many of the same people who designed the New Deal programs that helped bring the United States out of the Great Depression.  The United States wasn’t just looking out for Europe.  They knew the European economy was important to the USA because Europe would need to buy manufactured goods and raw materials.  Our prosperity was dependent on trade, and markets that developed our ability to export goods.

Truman’s administration made it clear that the Europeans would be free to structure the plan for themselves, but the European plans would have to pass through Congress.  Congress was committed to free trade and European integration.  The Europeans asked for $22 billion in aid, and Truman cut this to $17 billion in the bill he put to Congress.  The funds were transferred to the governments of the European nations.  These funds were managed by local governments and the Economic Cooperation Administration.

“In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution.  In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for.”  Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1936. 

The Bush Administration has done the exact opposite of what the Marshall Plan was set up to do.  This administration didn’t give money or loans to Iraq.  Bush gave the funds to large politically connected corporations to deal with the problem.  The Iraqi Constitution was molded to make Iraq the world’s largest free-trade zone.  Corporations were allowed in to buy up Iraqi companies, and then corporate income taxes were reduced from 40% to 15%. 

This continuing war has little to do with leaving Iraq a free and democratic country – this war is about corporate greed. 

Write your congress people and remind them of the values that were set up with the Marshall Plan.
Jake Drew

Come relieve your frustrations at http://www.LivinginLethargy.com

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