February 17, 2006
Asking the Right Questions

Spiiderweb asks the question:

Sometimes I feel so lonely. Am I the only one bothered because condi is asking for $75 million for Iraq and some of it will be used to help Iraqi students study abroad? At the same time shrub is cutting student loans to American students?

OK, I’m lazy. Find the links to these facts for yourself. Sorry. I’ll try to do better.

I’ll have to admit, I can’t seem to find anything definitive, but she did say something about funding for education for Iraq here. However, I’m willing to bet two bits and a beer that the School of the Americas or as it is now known, Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or something like it, is the intended recipient of the students and of the aid.

[update: Spiiderweb has the links and more discussion. Go to his blog to get the complete story — and see the comments for more discussion.]

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Posted by Buck Batard at February 17, 2006 03:09 PM
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Damn. Thought I had posted this, but mailed it to myself instead. It wasn't the first time either.

http://spiiderweb.blogspot.com/2006/02/charity-starts-at-home.html

Posted by: spiiderweb on February 18, 2006 12:09 AM

My theory is that this might be a reference to Condi asking for $75 million for propaganda in Iran, not Iraq. Here's the Guardian article I linked to in my post on the propaganda scheme:

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, said the $75m (43m) in extra funds, on top of $10m already allocated for later this year, would be used to broadcast US radio and television programmes into Iran, help pay for Iranians to study in America and support pro-democracy groups inside the country.

Spiiderweb is rightly bothered by the useless expenditure of money that could educate Americans. But we might keep in mind that when Dr. Rice talks about Iranians "studying" in the US, it's purely for propaganda reasons. We're not trading off education of Americans for education of Iranians: we wouldn't have used the money to educate Americans in any case.

Education, like medical care, is becoming a two-tiered system. For the wealthy, the best in the world is available in the US. For the rest, the US is nearer the bottom of the "western industrialized" heap than the top.

I think we'll reverse this trend pretty soon. I think so, because if we don't reverse it, it'll destroy our democracy.

Posted by: Chuck Dupree (Belisarius) on February 18, 2006 2:05 AM

Chuck, you are right on two counts.

1. I often confuse Iraq and Iran. Why can't they be called Turmiki and Octagon? Much easier for my pea brain to distinguish.

2. There is no doubt the student loan program would have been given short shrift no matter what money was allocated where.

As a follow-up, I've posted more about that $75 million here

Side issue, but many in the East would choose European schools rather than US schools from my experience.

Posted by: spiiderweb on February 18, 2006 10:04 AM

Spiiderweb, I agree that many would choose European schools. I think that's why we subsidize them, to get them to choose us.

As for Iraq and Iran, sometimes I confuse the countries, but even more often my brain and my fingers are out of synch and I think one but type the other. I mainly noticed this because I'd just posted about it.

Posted by: Chuck Dupree (Belisarius) on February 18, 2006 7:20 PM
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