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Philanthropy is our interest!

Reader comment on item: War as Social Work?

Submitted by Avraham (United States), May 6, 2003 at 13:36

Dr. Pipes, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I disagree with you. You've identified many cases (Germany after WWII, the whole Eastern Bloc) in which US and Western philanthropy were given to our defeated enemies. What you have not recognized is that had we not given such aid to countries like post-WWII Germany or England, they would have become Soviet Socialist republics-or worse-our enemies! If we had instituted a Marshall Plan of sorts after WWI, perhaps Germany wouldn't have fallen into Nazi hands. The main reason for this is not simply that struggling countries need our money-1980's Afghanistan got plenty of $, and used it against us-but that we must help provide an alternative ideology that gives a sense of self-worth to our fallen enemies. I agree with you that if our national interest conflicts with our philanthropic goals, we should choose our national interest; I just don't see why you think the two are conflicting. Case in point: had we played a stronger role in what you refer to as a philanthropic mission in Somalia, perhaps bin Laden and Zawahiri would not have then called us a "Paper Tiger."
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