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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 12:53 PM
Original message
Afghanistan: a possible lateral thinking workaround
Edited on Sun Dec-06-09 12:54 PM by rosesaylavee
Lateral thinking is a way of coming to a solution when there 'seems' to be only black and white answers. I read de Bono's work several years ago and of course think I still have his book but it's in a box somewhere inaccessible here in my house. I am of course not an expert on this topic at all but have always admired this way of reasoning.

After Tuesday's announcement regarding the surge and contraction planned in Afghanistan and the many problems associated with this very complicated mess left us by that idiot dimson and his minions, I have been trying to envision a way of using lateral thinking in light of this particular problem ... I understand that this idea is either brilliant or ridiculously naive. Having a somewhat thick skin (sort of) as well as a great admiration for the distillation ability of DU as a premiere democratic discussion forum, decided to show you what I sent the White House via their on-line website last night. My hope too is that if it is deemed a good idea (by a general consensus), that maybe those in the Admin who hang out here and/or have access to someone in the Admin who could present this idea, would take it and bring it up at a meeting for further consideration ...

And no, before you ask, I am not on any hallucinogen or mind altering substance. :P

So here goes:


Dear Mr. President,

This may be a very naive suggestion or it may be a rare stroke of genius on my part. Whatever it is, I offer it to you for your consideration.

From what I understand, one of the difficulties facing us in Afghanistan is that the people do NOT trust us to maintain our commitments to them. They do NOT trust us to be who we say we are. And given some of the grave mistakes made there in the past 8 years, and the rising death toll, I can't say that we can blame them much for their cynicism. And of course the Taliban is using this cynicism to gain support for their side.

...snipped personal info paragraph...

My idea is to get our citizens here more engaged in a constructive manner that would complement what our troops are trying to accomplish there. Would it be at all possible and/or helpful for communities or cities or towns here to 'adopt' communities, cities or towns there? To create a kind of cultural exchange that would involve letters, food stuffs, clothing, blankets, school supplies, etc.? I like this as it plays on what we Americans have pride in still - our generous spirit. And it would be hard to be bi-partisan or so I would hope. I see it as something too that would help us bring our troops home sooner. Not sure who could organize such an effort but it would give us Americans something to do, something tangible to sacrifice and all the while giving the Afghans a sense that we do care about them and how they fare there, that we hope that their lives do become better than before we showed up to take on the Taliban.

From the bomb-them-with-butter-brigade,
...


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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. PenniesForPeace.org
Here's a place for anybody to start to help.
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. That's a good place to start...
thank you for the posting that. I think it would send a very powerful message though if it were part of our national policy. If I were a Taliban leader I could say, yes, no doubt there are individuals in America who are good at heart... afterall we do have millions of Muslims living there. Their overall country is evil and not to be trusted. I am sure we have some NGOs that have been working there for years prior to this conflict but I think for this to work, it's got to be bigger than individual orgs - though we know their work is very important and are very grateful for their work and commitment to peace.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I agree completely
If I were SOS, my philosophy would be "if Mama's happy, everybody's happy". We should have shoveled that trillion dollars in Iraq war money right straight into programs for moms and kids. And we definitely should have had a sister city effort in Afghanistan, like we did after WWII. Frankly, we ought to have some exchange programs between failing schools and successful schools, right in this country. Having people who know how to get things done at the local level, helping those who don't know how, that's really the backbone of democracy.
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Yes - we do need that too...
If we could get this mess settled quicker and get the heck outta there, we could spend at least some of the money saved on our flailing and failing school system.
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dalaigh lllama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
3. I like this idea for a number of reasons
It would put a face on the people there, and vice versa.
We could actually do some hands on helping.
Maybe we COULD leave sooner then.

I know of some towns that "adopt" towns in third world countries, and they do a lot of good.

BTW, just have to comment that I like that you spelled "complement" correctly -- that's the Sheldon in me coming out. :P
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Thanks dalaigh 3 L
Glad you like this too. :)
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. You never know..until you try!
"We could actually do some hands on helping.
Maybe we COULD leave sooner then."

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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. I like that leaving sooner part a lot.
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dalaigh lllama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
7. this needs a kick!
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. It also needs 1 more rec to go to the Greatest
Done.
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Thanks
I appreciate it!
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Thanks, I was
hoping for that, also.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
8. Excellent thoughts, rosesaylavee..
There is also http://www.anysoldier.com / where the soldiers are asking for items they can give to the children in Afghanistan.

My friend said our town had a beanie baby drive a few months ago and collected bags and bags of them that she mailed off to the Soldier in charge of the beaniebaby operation. Now he says the children are asking for pencils and paper.

Your idea would be a great way to help out constructively with what is trying to be accomplished!

Rec'd~
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
14. Great idea! Did you know that Pakistan has Twin Towns and Sister Cities?
Edited on Sun Dec-06-09 09:15 PM by Turborama
Here's a list of them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_twin_towns_and_sis...

I don't know until looking it up just now that Houston and Chicago are twinned with Karachi and Fresno is twinned with Lahore.

Afghanistan isn't on the list of Twin Towns and Sister Cities, maybe it should be.

It would be good if the 25 other NATO countries became involved in this as well. It could be called something like Global Friends of Afghanistan, or is that a bit patronizing?

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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Thanks! Something needs to happen
along these lines..

This is a Planetary crisis that needs everyone, who wants to be involved, coming together from all over the world to solve it.
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Only would be patronizing if we did it
out of a sense of superiority or with a sense that we would be giving and they would be receiving. I see this as a cultural and material exchange. We could both learn from this exchange.

And thanks for the links - good to know the model is so very active. I think our town is sister town too now that I think of it. And it's about time that Afghanistan is on the list.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. We could learn so much
from them and here's a site, One World Project", featuring handmade jewelry by Afghani women..
<snip>

"Women in war-torn Afghanistan are working hard to make a better life for themselves through crafting this beautiful jewelry for you. Madina Handicrafts Community (MHC) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) and non-political organization that's registered with the Ministry of Justice Government of Afghanistan. MHC's mission is to empower vulnerable and disabled women by promoting literacy, health education, life skills and basic business training to help them and their families become self-sustainable."

<more>
http://www.oneworldprojects.com/products/afghan-jewelry...

I like the turquoise heart~
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
18. Morning kick.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
19. kick.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-08-09 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
20. Kick ..I think this
is really important.
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