For 64 years the United States Military Academy at West Point has invited seniors from universities across the United States and teamed them with military cadets in groups to discuss important national issues. The annual four day conference, called the Student Conference on United States Affairs, or SCUSA, is organized and run by the USMA cadets.
In November this year the USMA hosted SCUSA 64. I was pleased and honored to co-chair the group titled: 'Tis The Season? U.S. Democracy promotion During and After the Arab Spring."
It is customary for every group at SCUSA to produce a policy paper and present its gist in a skit. Our group wrote this poem which so impressed me (and my co-chair, a U.S. Army Major) with its creativity, substance and humor that I thought it would make for a singularly relevant column during this holiday season.
(Sing to the tune of "Deck the Halls")
'Tis the season to rebel In the Middle East it's hot as hell Why are we not intervening? In Syria there's people screaming Don we now our bold solutions Human rights, security, and limited funding In an age of austerity, Middle Eastern peace, for Christmas please!
Torture, violence, and imprisonment Have become a daily thing Democracy can solve the problem If we can embrace diversity Freedom, dignity, respect and honor Up the budget to the DoS Promote our values through social media, Human capital, museums and books.
Needing stability in the region Should define our grand strategy. Exchanges, from Cairo to West Point, Olmsted, Boren, Fulbright too. Short term lessons, long term strategies, Regional cooperation's fine by me. Learning to love all Americans, Will happen through diplomacy.
Economics are important When developing the Middle East By enhancing microfinance We're encouraging jobs and growth Youth need jobs just like us We should do this to stop Hamas GDP growth is underrated When it comes to promoting peace.
Don we now our bold solutions Human rights, security, and limited funding In an age of austerity, Middle Eastern peace, for Christmas please!