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.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

More troops...more losses.

This is the day we have all been waiting for. The troops, American tax payers, the Iraqi factions and Al Qaeda. President Bush’s new plan for reducing the violence in Iraq and establishing a democratic heart in the center of the Middle East.

Bush is committing over 20,000 more US troops to the ground effort and another carrier fleet offshore, but less American money for nation building. When will he ever learn? War is not the answer to the problem of insecurity. We need to fight fire with water. Clean water, sanitation, health care, education and basic civil security. Troops are the least efficient means of doing any of these things. They can do it. But their primary training is to break things and kill people.

Ignoring the problems associated with mixing these to goals, one must at least accept the fact that more US intervention in the Middle East is not a long term solution. More troops in Afghanistan may have been useful. May have. Let me go on record now that more troops in Iraq will not help. They do however provide the President with the last chance he is begging for to extend the ultimate failure in Iraq to another Presidential Administration.

The demands of the President and his need for benchmarks suggest Iraqi government is not so independent and simply a pawn of the Bush Administration.

Contrary to Bush’s claim, “freedom” is not the “calling of our time”. Security is. The sooner the President understands the value of security to Iraqis, Iranians, all Muslims, Jews and Christians, and all others who share the tiny plant, the faster he will maximize everyone’s freedoms and security.

By increasing US troop numbers in Iraq, Bush has given Osama and his minions another victory. On top of further bleeding our budget and dividing American’s politically, Bush has offered more American targets for extremists to snuff.

If Islamic extremists ever get their hands on a nuclear bomb, they won’t need to sneak it across our nations border. A detonation in Baghdad would kill tens of thousands of American’s, and because we are in a ‘war’ against him, such a strike would be a legitimate attack even given the horror of massive collateral damage. The Bush Administration would have shot down US air liners packed with innocent US civilians to protect our capital. Al Qaida could argue that they would be just as justified to prevent US attacks on the capital of their Caliphate. To Bin Ladin murdering more innocent Muslims would be acceptable collateral damage.

As a result of our invasion and incompetent occupation somewhere between 100,000 and 600,000 innocent Iraqi’s have already died. Why would Bin Ladin hesitate over a few hundred thousand more? Do the freakin math.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Military strike on Iran is foolish

Dear Editor,

The Washington Times editorial analysis of the INSS annual report (Disturbing analysis from Tel Aviv. Jan. 5, 2007) is far more disturbing than the INSS report itself.

The report does acknowledge that “Without military action, an Iranian nuclear bomb is only a matter of time.” But,it doesn’t say the other obvious fact -- that ‘military action against Iran won’t stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb -- and will actually ensure Iran’s development of biological or chemical WMD -- to counter any future Western (or Eastern) military aggression.' Given the history of preemptive attacks by both the US and Israel, the Iranian desire for a credible nuclear deterrent capacity against western aggression is predictable.

The Times editorial staff would be wise to scan Paul Moorcraft’s “Foreign Policy in 2007” list of negative consequences from a military attack on Iran in yesterday’s Washington Times Oped pages. The conseqences of a military strike would be far more dangerous in the long and broader run of history.

The real threat Iran poses is genocidal, not nuclear in nature. The capacity for genocide is not limited to nuclear weapons. Dealing with Iran’s genocidal leaders by using international indictments for inciting genocide (particularly in the shadow of Saddam’s hanging for his genocidal acts) would be far more effective in achieving real security in the Middle East than unleashing yet another unnecessary war and occupation. And, if the INSS report doesn’t insist on an occupation of Iran to prevent any future nuclear or biological WMD development it isn’t worth the paper its written on. And, the same is true for the Washington Times if it doesn’t acknowledge that pre-emptive military force against sovereign nations is no longer a sane option.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

No shortage of energy or food.

Marlo Lewis suggestion that those working to reduce CO2 emissions will lead to a “starving world” displays a gross ignorance about the causes of hunger. (Energy Diet for a starving World, 1-2-07).

People starve because they cannot afford to eat not because of any shortage of food. It is a lack of political will that prevents the barriers to gainful employment from being removed from impoverished populations.

Moving our economies away from carbon based energy and using some of the alternative energy sources Lewis knows about. This effort to reduce CO2 emission would actually stimulate economic growth that could help end hunger.

But we also lack the political will to make this wise move because people like Lewis persist in misleading the public on the basic science of energy and food production.

An ‘inconvenient truth’ for Lewis is that “Energy poverty” isn’t the problem. Ignorance is. Our planet is bathed in solar energy with an endless source of geothermal, wave and wind energy Lewis said “A Kyoto-style system would push energy prices even higher.” Wrong. It would only push some carbon based energy prices higher. We need to do that voluntarily to reflect the real cost of an oil addicted society. Our oil addiction fuels terrorism and is costing us far more than the pump price.

If we were wise enough to make adequate investments now in non-carbon based energy sources, prices will continue to go down on those alternative sources and more money could be devoted to ending the poverty that causes hunger and provides human cannon fodder for terrorist leaders.