The View From 1776
Sunday, August 22, 2004
A New Marshall Plan?
Some liberals do, in fact, propose to pacify our foreign enemies with international welfare-state handouts.
The article entitled Sensitivity in Foreign Policy was posted on this website on Saturday, August 07, 2004. Among other things it asked: Does sensitivity in foreign policy mean raising our taxes enough to fund an international Great Society with lifetime benefits entitlements for our enemies?
Some liberals believe answering that question affirmatively is a winner. The August 19, 2004, edition of the Los Angeles Times carries an op-ed piece by Andrew Reding, a senior fellow for hemispheric affairs at the World Policy Institute. The article is entitled “U.S. Should Form a Marshall Plan for Latin America: Venezuela’s vote points to the threat of growing, far-reaching class turmoil.”
President Chavez has declared himself an enemy of the United States and has allied himself with Fidel Castro. What makes this a matter of grave concern is that Venezuela is a major source of oil for us, and Chavez’s actions already have disrupted oil production there, putting extra pressure on oil and gasoline prices in the United States.
The article concludes: “Instead of attacking Chavez, or aiding and abetting his opponents, Washington should recognize that stable democracy is the fruit of societies in which the middle class thrives. The free market alone cannot guarantee that, but a Marshall Plan for the Americas could ? were we not so blind to the threats posed by widening gaps between rich and poor at home and abroad.”
Samuel Johnson famously defined a second marriage as the triumph of hope over experience. The same definition could be applied to Mr. Reding’s proposal. Given the negative results of the Clinton administration’s multi-billion-dollar aid package to stop North Korea’s nuclear bomb development, one has to ask who is blind? Mr. Reding, or those who recognize that buying time with hand-outs is a losing tactic? Dictators, from Adolph Hitler to North Korea’s Kim Il Sung, simply use appeasement as extra time to continue arming for aggression.