Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Penny For Schools in Afghanistan, A Nickel for Democracy in Iraq

Over the past 4.5 years, my colleagues have criticized my support of the President's Freedom Agenda (look for a post justifying this in a few days, no seriously). And while the President's actions sometimes don't match his rhetoric and sometimes he is just plain wrong about how to best achieve "the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world," that doesn't make the objective any less worthwhile.

For the past four years, but especially since entering the workforce, I have been struggling to find a way to best contribute to American national security policy. I worked for the Joe Lieberman campaign in hopes that a Democrat truly dedicated to the promotion of democracy, yet smarter than the Bush Administration in terms of how to do it, would correct the Administration's failures. I supported John Kerry, in hopes that he would hire smart Democrats truly dedicated to the promotion of democracy to run his foreign policy. After graduating I took a job with a organization dedicated to getting Democrats elected to national office (after all we know how to promote democracy better than do most Republicans).

But I'm a Democrat and we're in the minority and both my candidates lost and so my work, at least in the short run, is all pretty useless. I want to be on the front lines making things happen. For a few months my plan was to get a job with State or USAID in Iraq. But if I told my mom that plan, she would lock me in the house until the war was over. Every once in a while I toy with the idea of joining the military - especially after talking to Marines and soldiers who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. But if I told my mom that plan, she would lock me in the house and take out my knees with a baseball bat so I could never pass the physical.

So what's a guy like me supposed to do to make a difference? I haven't answered that question yet (when I do I'll post about it), but in the mean time I came across these organizations that are raising money to do the real democracy promoting stuff in Iraq and Afghanistan that the Bush Administration apparently refuses to do.

Henry and Gerald's parents (if there are other readers, email me and I'll add you to this personalized call to action): go give money to these folks. They're making a difference in the world and, in the long term, keeping you and your children safe.

Spirit of America
Rebuilding Afghanistan Foundation


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