Pine Nuts: A Marshall Plan for Afghanistan

Dateline Afghanistan, where Afghans are in desperate need of a fix, a quick fix, and we can fix it. This new year might be the year that America emerges from having been the world’s top cop, to becoming the world’s top doc, and Afghanistan could be our first patient, as they are on a ventilator.

It won’t be the first time for Afghanistan to be the patient, no, they have been in Tornado Alley between Asia and Europe for conquerors from Darius of Babylonia in 500 B.C., to Alexander the Great of Macedonia in 329 B.C., to Genghis Khan, to Great Britain, to Russia more recently, and most recently, to us, the United States of America.

Today, Afghanistan is balancing on the very brink of economic collapse. From Kabul to Kandahar every male has a shiny AK-47, and no meat to eat. Now that we are gone they no longer know who the enemy is. Ironically, we can effectively be the doctor who comes to the rescue.

Remember the Marshall Plan? Of course not, you’re too young. The Marshall Plan was a U.S. aid program to rebuild Western Europe following World War II. The Marshall Plan provided $15 billion to help finance rebuilding the continent.

The designer of that plan, Secretary of State George Marshall said, “Our policy is not directed against any country, but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos.” We need another George Marshall to initiate an Afghanistan Plan for 2022.

President Harry Truman wrote in his diary in 1947, “Marshall is the greatest man of World War II. He managed to get along with Roosevelt, the Congress, Churchill, the Navy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” George Marshall, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you. Please step up.

Our Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, might just be the man, though his docket is already full with Russia threatening Ukraine, an Iran nuclear program that would keep any Secretary of State awake at night, and then there is Taiwan.

As Thomas Jefferson is no longer available, and John Foster Dulles is formally indisposed, may I humbly suggest a former Secretary of State who is currently serving as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry. As the old saying goes, “If you want to get something done, and can’t do it yourself, ask a busy person.”

We once spent $300 million to supply electricity to Kandahar, yet today the bread that Kandahar kids are eating is hard as a rock, for cooking oil is no longer available.

Let us show the world that we can be a Doctor Without Borders and initiate the 2022 Kerry Plan for Afghanistan. And if John Kerry is too busy, well, let us hunt up another busy person with the credentials and the heart to initiate the 2022 (you fill in the name) Plan for Afghanistan. If not the men, we owe it to the women and children of that great historical survivor, Afghanistan.

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