Thursday, 2 February 2006

The Futility of the 'War on Terror' and Bush's Apocalyptic Agenda

from How to Save the World

Dave Pollard asks the question:

If just half of the money that the Bush regime has spent on overseas wars and 'homeland' security since 9/11 had instead been spent on medical research, anti-drunk-driver technology, and improving health, education and infrastructure in the poorest areas of America, how many lives would have been saved, and, compared to that, how many more 'terrorism'-related deaths would have occurred on American soil?

His analysis is brilliant, but the result is saddening.
Such a vision fills me with sadness, and the thought of the bloodshed its realization would require horrifies me. But I understand it. It is the apocalyptic conservative's nirvana, a realization of 'right makes might'. I don't think I could live in such a dreary, controlled world. But maybe, if I was born into one, and if it were the only life I knew, I might think differently.

In the meantime, enjoy America while it is solvent, and your Internet before it is taken away. And get ready for the next volley, the War in Iran -- a neocon explains why, in social conservative thinking, it's imminent and inevitable.

In the piece, Dave said
The real brilliance of the horrific attacks of 9/11 was not their high death toll or visual spectacle, but their ability to provoke a knee-jerk reaction in American conservatives that a recurrence of those attacks must be prevented at any cost. ...
The alternative to Bush's futile extravagant spending and foreign adventures would be to do almost nothing, to admit that the liberals were right all along...

Unlike my business partner, I have no political science knowledge. I don't really know that there are only two choices for the Bush administration when faced with 9/11. I certainly know that there is another way, a much better way to reduce the chances of being attacked again and again. It lies, in Dave's words
to prevent violence is to remove the causes of human misery that lead the unhinged to extreme nothing-left-to-lose actions

Are there concrete highly visible steps to show that the US are doing something to help remove the homeland security risks while winning more votes? Yes, there is. And it is much cheaper and effective too. The following alternate may not win the votes from the military industries, but will win lots more votes from the other sector of the country!

As in Dave's introduction question: put a small portion of that money "on medical research, anti-drunk-driver technology, and improving health, education and infrastructure in the poorest areas of America" saves lives, a lot of American's lives. It is a step in the right direction, but it does not reduce the homeland security risks.

In the next 24 hours, 20,000 people 50,000 people* will die: about 8000 children dead of malaria; 5,000 mothers and fathers of tuberculosis and 7,500 of AIDS. [source: The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs, second paragraph of the introduction]. To stop that, the UN estimated that the world will need about US$15B per year - that's a small fraction of the money spent on "war on terror" which itself is a war of terror!

Stopping Bin Laden to "create a single Islamic fundamentalist state from West Africa to Indonesia" [from Dave's post] cannot be achieved by creating more hate between the rich and the poor. We can stop Bin Laden's ambition by showing the people in the poor countries that there is a different way of life, there is hope and there is opportunity. By helping the poor people to be financially independent, by helping them to build a sustainable community, by education and by accepting diversity as a way of the new global order.

*figure from

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