Sunday, July 29, 2007

Partition Iraq

I believe that the best way to bring peace and stability to Iraq may be to partition it into three separate countries.

Consider the parallels between the former Yugoslavia and Iraq. Yugoslavia was made up of a variety of ethnic and religious groups including Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim, Serb, Croat, Albanian, etc. Iraq is of course made up primarily of Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites. Both in recent times where held together by totalitarian regimes. Both during their history for various political reasons have had their ethnic groups intermixed. And both after a disruption in the status quo devolved into horrible ethnic violence.

For now the nations and provinces of the former Yugoslavia are in relative peace. After trying to hold Yugoslavia together for years the outside brokers decided implement a plan of breaking it up into smaller countries and semiautonomous regions in an orderly fashion and for now there is relative peace in this part of the world.

Facilitating an orderly partitioning of Iraq may be the best option for peace there as well.

Some arguments against this:

1 - Many people would be forced to give up there homes and move. This is already happening at a rate of about 50,000 per month at gun point and with no compensation for the loss of people’s homes and property. If this were handled in an orderly fashion people could be compensated for the home’s they are leaving and that money could be used to help them get started in more friendly environs.

2 – One of our allies, Turkey, is against it. We should never take lightly the concerns of allies. At the same time our leaders should consider all options and if Turkey is the only reason we would not do what might be the best thing to solve the problems in Iraq, I think we would all agree that Turkey’s concerns should not stop us.

More research and thought should be given before implementing a plan like this. It may not be the right answer. However, it is an option that deserves serious consideration and we should challenge our leaders to consider this as perhaps the best way to work out of the Iraq situation.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

More on Immigration

At least two items should be addressed in new immigration policy.

First, we need to make it easer for workers (not free loaders or criminals) to come to America to work legally. WHY: Our economy needs the workers.

We have around 5 million unemployed. With between 8 and 20 million illegal immigrants guessed to be in the country we definitely don’t have the legal workers to fill those gaps. So, we need a policy in place that allows all the workers coming to America to fill jobs to do so legally with out a lot of hassles.

Second, all new legal worker immigrants should be on a path to citizenship involving learning English and our constitution and history. This will insure that our citizens continue to value freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. Learning of English will allow them to more easily assimilate into our society and will insure that we continue to be a single language society. This path to citizenship should not take more than 2 to 5 years. Anyone not willing to embrace core American values and become citizens should go back home and make room for someone who is. WHY: As we all know the baby boomers are nearing retirement and as a percentage we will have fewer people working as compared to those in retirement than we have had historically. This is a problem for funding social security. Having a robust immigration program leading to new citizens who have bought into the American values can help address some looming fiscal issues and insure America stays strong for years to come.

Two Side Notes:

Securing the Boarders: Once we have a rationalized (or as we are rationalizing) immigration policy which allows the workers we need to come here legally we should make sure the borders are secure. So, that the criminal element does not enter our country.

Amnesty: If someone is in our country illegally they should not get a free pass. They should have to pay a fine of some sort or do community service. Once they have paid their fine they should be allowed to participate in the legal work program that leads to citizenship.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

God and Addiction

God doesn’t care about addiction it self. He is not concerned abut the drinking or gambling or eating or smoking or drugs and the abuse of these things that comes with addiction. What he cares about is the damage our fixation on these things does to our relationships when we are addicted to them. For example: if my gambling addiction causes me to loose money so that I don’t have the money to take my kid to the baseball game or my wife out to eat, then I am not loving the way I should. This is the real big deal with God. (Love thy neighbor as they self.) This damage to the important relationship is what God does not like. He doesn’t mind so much if we enjoy gambling once in a while but he doesn’t like it if it damages our relationships. The danger can be even more subtle but just as damaging. You may have won money but if you stayed up so late you decided to sleep in instead of taking you son fishing, then you are still impacting your relationship. Or if you spend so much time fishing that you don’t have time to take your daughter to the movies, then fishing could be the problem. Anything that puts our important relationships at risk God hates.