Nov. 23, 2015




The  recent events in the middle east coupled with the attacks in Paris are forcing the "Grumpy Old Man" to sit down and contemplate our mistakes and potential solutions.


When we invaded Iraq I sent emails to several of our leaders warning them of exactly what has transpired.  Oh! not ISIS or the caliphate; but rather the resentment and potential for refugees. At that time I suggested that we needed to address the psychological damage of sustained combat upon the population. I suggested at that time and I suggest now that one major initiative could reduce resentment, pacify much of the region, and leave the U.S. with a reputation in the area that isn't tarnished.


That initiative is simple and practical.   Instead of using the oil monies for our own use or, as we now are, ignoring it so we can't be accused of using it, we should direct it toward the regions recovery from war.  In my initial emails I recommended that every engineer and SeaBee battalion be activated and civilian contractors be procured to use oil monies to clean up all evidence of war. Clean streets, raze buildings, rebuild infrastructure. Use the oil revenue of the area to build a modern transportation system, communication system, and expand the water, electrical, and housing systems.


In short, make every morning a new dawning for the residents of these war torn areas. YES, we will have to destroy to combat ISIS, but we can provide a safe haven for the refugees where they don't have to wake up every day to visions of destruction. Can live in comfort with power, sewage, and communications. It would be built with their money but with our sweat and engineering skills. Over time it would evolve into their domestic companies hiring thier workers.


ISIS and the Islamic terrorists will have no fertile ground to recruit and the population itself will make them pariah's in their own communities.  WAR is not merely a matter of destruction it includes the art of rebuilding. Today we still see the devastation of the first Iraq war because we didn't supervise the rebuilding and allowed the local governments to channel revenue to their own purposes. Let's not make this mistake again


This could be accomplished with a joint effort including NATO, Russia, and Iran. If they won't cooperate then we can do it ourselves using oil revenues but documenting CAREFULLY where these monies are redirected to the benefit of the people.


Some radical ideas might also be to use the tremendous number of ocean shipping containers to build strong housing for refugees as they await permanent housing. Hire the able young men to expand sewer systems and dig the trenches for water lines. (pay them well and make it a highly desired form of work).


These are just some ideas from a "Grumpy Old Man" who's trying to get us to think outside of the box and be truly effective with a sustainable strategy.