Foreign Affairs Tape 1
Joe on Foreign Affairs… Tape 1
Note: At the outset, I believe there is more than one avenue to, not only to be versed in foreign affairs, but to also have solid answers to the various foreign affairs issues of our day. Incidentally, I am versed in many of these foreign affairs issues after decades of research. And I do, I strongly believe, have solid answers for many of these issues. What’s more, many of those answers would be refreshingly different than many of the ones being applied now. And they are common sense answers that will align our country, and the world, with a much saner spiritual orientation.
As the following audios will describe…
Now at first glance, people might think I’m, oh, a little thin on foreign affairs. I mean, for one, I can’t see Russia from my back yard. In fact, I can’t even see Toledo.
And actually, the only foreign country I’ve traveled to do research has been Mexico. The lack of international traveling has been due to, well, having to pay rent, make car payments, save for college for the kids… You know, that average Joe family kind of stuff.
Meanwhile, some more well-healed presidential candidates over the years take brief junkets to a smattering of strategically important, for whatever the time, foreign countries. They shake some hands, have a few brief conversations with various officials, take a tour… and head back to the plane.
Then, all of a sudden, they are an “expert” on whatever country it is.
They’re usually not.
I, in turn, have taken a number of different routes to many countries.
Let me explain.
For instance, instead of jetting about on the taxpayer’s dime and so forth, I often go up the street to the Bluffton University Library. Once there, I let the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, the internet, a wide array of books… take me to these places.
And often, they take me there way more than once.
For instance, I’ve been to Afghanistan numerous times. Because we destabilized that country, our administration would consider it a priority to help it recover in a significant way. One of the Associated Press stories that I read noted Afghanistan’s economy ranks 110th in the world.
And a recent, and extensive, National Geographic article on Afghanistan noted that part of Afghanistan’s economic problems in the rural areas there stem from a recent, and far sweeping, Poppy Eradication Program – which has been a staple crop for these farmers for generations.
I didn’t have to go to Afghanistan to learn this.
A National Geographic writer, who probably spent three solid months of extensive research there on many aspects of Afghanistan’s issues, culture, and so on… seems to have done an excellent job. So I simply went there with him by reading the article.
[Actually, I’ve read a lot of National Geographic articles over the years, on a lot of countries. And I have taken a lot of notes and formed various positions relating to all this, and so on.]
Anyway, back to Afghanistan.
The National Geographic article also noted that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID, for short), and other western organizations, are attempting to help the farmers there with the transition from poppies to other crops by distributing bags of wheat seeds and fertilizer – but the efforts, the article notes, aren’t’ stretching far enough.
So as president, if my foreign affairs paradigm in this case was to get more help to Afghanistan farmers (which it would be), and now being aware of this issue, I’d simply meet with our USAID people involved with this project in Afghanistan and do some brainstorming to come up with more standard, and creative, ways to get more help to the Afghani farmer.
And therein, in part, will be the intangible with what will be the creative side of my presidency. That is, while I will work through “normal, established channels” to get more aid to those Afghani farmers, I will also point American farmers to Kimmel, Indiana – so they can help more with this too.
During our traveling in the U.S., we learned a group of farmers in Kimmel (as well as other local people) are involved with a “Common Ground Growing Project.” They are farming a common plot of land, with the proceeds going to the Foods Resource Bank, which is a Christian based initiative to get money to Third World countries for seeds, farm tools, irrigation equipment, animals… all in an effort to help farmers in these other countries become more sustainable.
And there would be nothing to keep farmers in every rural county in this country from coming up with some mutual farm plots to do the same thing with – in an effort to, not only help stabilize Afghanistan, but to help stabilize a lot of the Third World.
This, in the long run, would, for one, help fight terrorism. (For instance, youth in dead-end poverty situations in the Third World are sometimes apt to join terrorist cells, as poverty stricken American youth in our inner cities join gangs.)
What’s more, it would tremendously impact world hunger. It would help keep Third World farming families on the land and out of deplorable sweat shop situations in the cities.
And, well, it would benefit the American farmer and his family, even more than all that. That is, sound spirituality revolves around helping others. And the benefits of that are, well, eternal.
Note: We came across the project in Kimmel, Indiana, as part of a couple decades of research around the country. This research has intersected us with many people who have been to many parts of the world. As I interviewed them, I got even keener insight into a wide gamut of foreign affairs issues. What’s more, as these issues became clearer, I was able to match American projects we’d researched that would tremendously impact these issues, for the better.
For more on that, listen to the next audio…