I wonder what would happen if our politicians and people would try a different kind of surge in Iraq and Afghanistan? One that involved less military and more social action. What if we sent thousands of volunteer teachers, doctors, and yes, politicians into the countries to help rebuild their infrastructures and to teach them what it really means to live in a free society from the grass roots? What if these people were willing to step into harm’s way in order to help others? Dangerous? Yes, but probably the only way to really develop a trusting relationship with ideologically opposed peoples. I wonder if things would have turned out a lot differently in both countries if after the first days of the occupation, we had spent billions of dollars on immediately rebuilding their societies. What if our top priority was building hospitals, schools and providing jobs, electricity and water? Expensive, yes, but not nearly as expensive as what we’ve gotten ourselves into now (I understand at over 200 million dollars a day now). I’d like to think that if the Iraq people saw us more without a gun in our hand and had been quickly given back their modern conveniences, even improved services, maybe they would not have been so susceptible to insurgency politics and anti-American sentiments. That is not to say anything disparaging about our fantastic military. They have done a wonderful job, given the ever changing atmosphere. But the military cannot easily win the hearts of a hostile people. Maybe a different kind of Surge could bring inspiration and hope to the Iraq and Afghanistan peoples, and restore our Country’s good name and reputation.