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Mint Juleps
Wednesday, April 23, 2003  
Today on C-SPAN2 Dawn Calabia from the UN Information Center said that last year the world spent $850 billion on armaments and $5 billion on humanitarian assistance. That's 170 times more on armaments!

For several weeks now I have been thinking that the US's traditional methods of defense -- bombers, armies, air craft carriers -- is not optimized to deal with terrorist threats. Some countires -- like Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabi beliefs -- have been financing education in other countries to imbue their particular religious beliefs in children. And while the US doesn't overtly support particular religions, there is much we can do in viewing humanitarian aid and education as a way to protect ourselves, as a way of defense.

For many years people who wanted to help people overseas faced the argument in the US that went: "Why should I give any money or help to anyone in a foreign country? If I want to help someone, I should do it at home. The person I might help in another country might as well be in another world as far as I am concern, and I just don't care about them."

Now I believe we have a clear answer -- some of that money we have been spending on weapons systems would have been better spent from a defense point of view on education and humanitarian assistance.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003


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