Comments from Nelson Mandela and President Bush
Last night, we heard President Bush make a case for spreading "liberty" around the world. A good idea, in my opinion. I happen to think there are better tactics. Nelson Mandela also made a statement yesterday: The rich should feed the poor. I've linked the CNN short on Mandela's speech to this article. CNN quotes him as saying, "In this new century, millions of people in the world's poorest countries remain imprisoned, enslaved and in chains. They are trapped in the prison of poverty. It is time to set them free."
President Bush seems to believe that having the right to vote will set people free, and Mandela that being fed will help. As long as Mandela's plan includes a healthy dose of education, I believe he is the more correct one.
I am at a conference in Phoenix related to my day job in technology, and some of the other attendees are from other nations. The lunch table discussion yesterday touched on India's IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), which one of the CIO's at the table graduated from years ago. India is a technology powerhouse today, and it was the long-term economic development vision of India's leaders that powered the establishment of IIT. Paraphrasing my colleague's words, education was the tool India saw for feeding its people.
It has certainly worked rather well.
I do believe people want the right to vote. The Iraqi people just demonstrated that beautifully. I also believe that over the long run, they must be educated in order to create truly meaningful democracy, and to create the wealth required to contribute to the well-being of the world in a positive way.
Can we turn our guns in Iraq to textbooks and teachers? I beleive those two things will translate to both votes and food, in a sustainable manner.