The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Another Bad Liberal Idea That Failed

Posted on | May 12, 2011 | 35 Comments

“Seven years of college down the drain. Might as well join the f–ing Peace Corps.”
Joseph “Bluto” Blutarsky, upon learning he and the other members of Delta Tau Chi are being expelled from Faber College, in Animal House (1978)

The Peace Corps was created by President John F. Kennedy as a haven for draft-dodgers and also to provide a government job for his useless brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver, who was the agency’s first director. To give you an idea of what kind of losers got involved: Jimmy Carter’s mother was once a Peace Corps volunteer. It’s a complete waste of time and money, which explains why during the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised to double the size of the Peace Corps.

It has since been learned that hundreds of women were raped during their Peace Corps service and yesterday on C-SPAN I watched the victims testify to the House Foreign Affairs Committee:

The women’s harrowing experiences in developing countries arose in different circumstances at different times. But the witnesses’ themes were the same: They said the Peace Corps did little to train its workers and volunteers in strategies to avoid or deal with violent attacks. And in the aftermath, they said, the message from top officials was clear: The victim was to blame.
“Apologies without action are useless,” said Carol Marie Clark of North Carolina, who accepted a posting in Nepal shortly after graduating from Wake Forest University in 1984, only to be told by her local program director that female volunteers would have to have sex with him to receive their living expenses. Three months later, he raped her and got her pregnant, she testified. . . .
Jessica Smochek joined the Peace Corps in 2004 as a volunteer in Bangladesh, where she was gang raped by local men after months of harassment, she testified. When she returned to Washington to debrief with Peace Corps staff about what happened to her, “Rather than feeling safe and supported, I felt belittled and blamed,” she said. The country director in Bangladesh told other volunteers about her rape and blamed Smochek for being out alone after 5 p.m., she said. . . .
From 2000 to 2009, more than 1,000 volunteers reported sexual assaults, including 221 rapes or attempted rapes, according to agency statistics.

In the immortal words of JFK: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what your country can do to your daughter.”

Rick at Wizbang wonders when “Slutwalk” will target the Peace Corps.

UPDATE: Former Peace Corps volunteer Wendy Lee gets violent urges when people question the efficacy of the program. From her blog “about” page:

After graduating from Saint Louis University in 2008, I abandoned Corporate America in search for a different kind of life – one without running water, but with the Internet. In that very different life, I found myself fostering culture exchange among Cameroonian, Chinese, French and the American people. Two incredible, and dare I pull the cliché – life changing – years later, I am pursuing graduate degree in Master of Public Administration. I have the fortune to study international development at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and will complete my degree in New York at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where I will focus on international finance policy.

Yeah, she “abandoned Corporate America in search for a different kind of life” before going to grad school at the LSE and Columbia. Beats working for a living, I suppose . . .


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