Monday, April 27, 2009
The Part We Play in the "Drug Cartels"
Americans also have a hefty demand for Mexican beer, but there are no "Mexican beer cartels." When Obama visits France, he doesn't consult with politicians about "wine violence." What's happening on the Mexican border is prohibition-caused violence.
Right on, John!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Is Peace Becoming a Popular Concept?
Never, in the 3 1/2 years that we have stood at this corner, have I heard so many horns honking in support of peace. People were SMILING. A lot! People were waving and peace signing and thumbs-upping. It was amazing and uplifting.
Did something happen to cause this? Something that I missed in the news?
When was the last time that you saw smiles on the faces of most of the people driving down the street?
It was beautiful.
Labels: Women in Black
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
How Would You Spend It?
This request for U.S. spending in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan has a 20:1 ratio of military to nonmilitary expenditures. $75.5 billion would go to support military operations, while only 3.7 billion would go to nonmilitary assistance.
In Afghanistan, the U.S. spends twenty times more on military operations than on development. The U.S. military currently spends $35 billion a year in the country, nearly $100 million a day: yet USAID spending for 2008 was only $1.6 billion, some $4.4 million a day. A RAND Corporation report says that there is only a 7 % chance of military success in Afghanistan.
Military solutions aren't working. Instead we should be funding refugee assistance, Iraqi-and Afghan-led development, and diplomacy.
USAID Country Profile: Afghanistan: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADN479.pdf
Caught in the Conflict, A briefing paper by eleven NGOs operating in Afghanistan, April 2009: http://www.afghanconflictmonitor.org/Afghanistan_CaughtInTheConflict.pdf
RAND Corporation report: How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering Al Qaeda. RAND, 2008: http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9351/index1.html
Supplemental Funding Breakdown: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/budget_amendments/supplemental_04_09_09.pdf