Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Numbers are real people. Often children.

Every day nearly 30,000 children under the age of 5 die as a result of easily preventable malnutrition or infectious diseases. For every child that dies approximately ten more live on with permanent mental or physical disabilities.

To date there are well over 200 different definitions of terrorism yet none have been found that everyone can agree on. That’s odd. Because, no one can seriously argue that the death of their child or the prospect of their child being needlessly maimed for life isn’t the most terrible and terrifying of all human experiences. This is a fact of life for tens of thousands of families around the world every DAY.

But it ‘our world’ that changed on September 11th when Osama Bin Laden’s plans to mass murder Americans succeeded. A handful of his followers killed just under 3,000 Americans in one day with cunning and improvised weapons. This horrific act sparked the greatest change in our federal government since World War II -- changes that are still being made and will continue because of ignorance and misplaced fear. Al Qaeda’s attack also resulted a significant economic loss to our nation. That fact remains however that the actual destruction caused by 4 jet airliners crashing, pales in comparison to the costs that we have inflicted on our selves in response to that single attack. Bin Laden had two goals. One is to break us economically. The other is to divide us politically.

If you want to know who is winning the war on terrorism…do the math.

As US President Tony Blair said nearly 5 years after 9-11 the war on terrorism won’t be won with hard policy (weapons and offensive operations). It will be won with soft power (development, human rights, the rule of law and global cooperation). He and other thoughtful conservatives are starting to see the weakness of military power and the real power of winning hearts and minds. Blair went so far to admit that “Idealism” is now the most practical and pragmatic means of defeating terrorism. The Bush Administration has taken up a new banner of “Transformational Diplomacy”. Condellesa Rice says its three pillars are “defense, diplomacy and development.” One only needs to do the math (dollars devoted to each) to determine the actual level of transformation in the new Bush Doctrine.

It is clear that poverty does not cause terrorism. It is just as clear when interviewing terrorists and potential terrorists that they hate us for “what we do” not for “who we are”. There can also be no doubt that terrorists thrive in the conditions of chaos and lawlessness that are clearly associated with abject poverty. Surveys of Muslim view on American foreign policy were quite supportive after they saw US aid efforts after the Asian Tsunami and Pakistani earth quake. It is also clear that our “kill them there” strategy and “whack a mole” tactics in Iraq are only increasing the hate against Americans and the likely hood that terrorists will soon be hitting us here.

This blog will focus on the absurd views and ideas of both liberals and conservative regarding the war on terrorism, protection of American freedoms and defending our homeland as well as our moral values. The Washington Times and News Max magazine will be used to demonstrate both. I hope this blog will be used by others to write Letters- to-the-Editor to these two sources of conservative perspective and liberal criticism to assist them in real analysis of world events, trends and perspectives. God knows we need it. Just do the freakin’ math.

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