"TO UNDERSTAND THE POTENTIAL OF DEFINING TERRORISM as a species of piracy, consider the words of the 16th-century jurist Alberico Gentili's De jure belli: "Pirates are common enemies, and they are attacked with impunity by all, because they are without the pale of the law. They are scorners of the law of nations; hence they find no protection in that law." Gentili, and many people who came after him, recognized piracy as a threat, not merely to the state but to the idea of statehood itself. All states were equally obligated to stamp out this menace, whether or not they had been a victim of piracy. This was codified explicitly in the 1856 Declaration of Paris, and it has been reiterated as a guiding principle of piracy law ever since. Ironically, it is the very effectiveness of this criminalization that has marginalized piracy and made it seem an arcane and almost romantic offense. Pirates no longer terrorize the seas because a concerted effort among the European states in the 19th century almost eradicated them. It is just such a concerted effort that all states must now undertake against terrorists, until the crime of terrorism becomes as remote and obsolete as piracy."
The United States offered up to $20 billion for relief, but only if the European nations could get together and draw up a rational plan on how they would use the aid. For the first time, they would have to act as a single economic unit; they would have to cooperate with each other. Marshall also offered aid to the Soviet Union and its allies in eastern Europe, but Stalin denounced the program as a trick and refused to participate. The Russian rejection probably made passage of the measure through Congress possible. The Marshall Plan, it should be noted, benefited the American economy as well. The money would be used to buy goods from the United States, and they had to be shipped across the Atlantic on American merchant vessels. But it worked. By 1953 the United States had pumped in $13 billion, and Europe was standing on its feet again. Moreover, the Plan included West Germany, which was thus reintegrated into the European community. (The aid was all economic; it did not include military aid until after the Korean War.)I believe that the Marshall Plan was one of the greatest things that America did in the 20th century. However, a similar plan for Africa would fail miserably due to corruption in the governments of Africa. Even before Africa, how do we provide Mexico with a similar path to economic success? The whole immigration debate seems to miss the fact that if Mexico was as rich as Canada, we wouldn't have any immigration problems. Anyone who has been to a border city like El Paso, Texas and stared over the wall to Mexico has a good appreciation of why people immigrate to the United States. Almost any rational person would do the same, at whatever the cost. I wonder if anyone has outsourced Spanish tech support to Mexico. Perhaps one thing that Mexico could do is start switching their schools to English and try to compete with India for some of that business. They are on the same time zone and for whatever reason, Americans seem to find a Spanish accent more pleasant than an Indian one. However, yet again I think that corruption in the government is holding down the entire country. Perhaps to solve poverty, we need to solve corruption first. You could donate all the money you like, but if all of it is intercepted by warlords or despots, you've done no good, and in fact you've made things worse, because you are keeping these dictators in power. So bottom line, solve culture and corruption and we have a chance to solve poverty. Do neither and just donate billions of dollars and make the situation worse. PS, the people who are saying prayer obviously haven't heard the saying, "When your boat springs a leak, pray to God, but row to shore."
From the New York Times:
In the annals of international diplomacy, it is not exactly Yalta. But today's visit to Graceland — the ticky-tacky Elvis Presley mansion here — by President Bush and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan brings a little bit of shake, rattle and roll to American foreign relations.
The prime minister is a die-hard Elvis fan; the two share a birthday, Jan. 8, and a pompadour hairstyle, though Mr. Koizumi's locks are longer and grayer than those of the King of Rock 'n' Roll. On Thursday, in a joint appearance with Mr. Bush at the White House, the prime minister had a message for the United States:
"Thank you very much, American people, for 'Love me Tender,' " he said
With Mexico's presidential election two weeks away, the drug wars are a central issue in the race, and the main candidates are all trying to look tough on the issue, while splitting over whether U.S.-style solutions are needed. Roberto Madrazo of the former ruling party claims the toughest law-and-order platform: One of his campaign ads depicts a criminal wetting his pants out of fear of Madrazo's proposals for stiffer sentencing. "Criminals can't play around with me," Madrazo tells voters.