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May 26, 2004

How Many Invasions Does It Take

Considering the "news" today, I'm thinking about the cost of the Iraq war versus the cost of having an air marshal or two on every flight, thorough inspections in ports, and other policing activities that would do far more to diffuse active terrorist plots than invading and occupying another country—thus creating more people with degrading hope for their lives and an entity upon which to fix their resentment. Hmm.

Stepping back from that, what kinds of things could we have done to change the world with aid rather than bombs for the same price? What if we had focused our energies on making Afghanistan a welcoming place to democratic reforms and legal business? How would the legacy of that kind of activity differ from what we're going to have from the invasion?

Thinking about the actual threat to Americans versus the perceived threat, I'd like to echo something that appeared in a recent issue of Mother Jones: a list of statistics in the style of the Harper's Index. From "Stats of the Union":

In 2001, 476 more Americans died of malnutrition than from terrorism.

Yes, that year.

Posted by Gary at May 26, 2004 02:58 PM | TrackBack
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