[FoRK] Death by terrorism (was: on fear)

Ian Andrew Bell FoRK fork
Fri Aug 12 10:55:23 PDT 2005


On 12-Aug-05, at 9:05 AM, Elias Sinderson wrote:

> Where is the 'War on Aspirin' or the 'War on AIDS'? The 'War on  
> Cancer'? 'War on Poor Nutrition'? I tell you, our priorities seem  
> pretty fucked up. I often wonder how different the world would be  
> if we had spent 400 billion dollars over the last four years on  
> beneficient causes such as providing clean drinking water and  
> medical supplies to third world nations or combating the spread of  
> HIV in africa or converted a portion of our armed forces to 'peace  
> forces' that undertook public works projects in developing  
> nations. . . to say nothing of the countless domestic issues that  
> could benefit. . . Quite simply, the opportunity costs associated  
> with the 'War on Terrorism' are very troubling to say the least.

As if you didn't know this already, the Judeo-Christian realpolitik  
doesn't care about these things, as it doesn't adversely affect them  
(in fact, it may be that they benefit from the deaths and suffering  
of others by some of these means -- indirectly, of course).  To these  
folks, AIDS mostly affects homerseckshuls and drug-addicted criminals  
and people who can't keep their pecker in their pants.  People suffer  
from poor nutrition 'cause they're not working hard enough.  And  
Cancer?  Aw, heck ... by the time I get it they'll have cured it, right?

AIDS is a particularly political affliction.  Many see it as a  
necessary population control mechanism for Africa (reference earlier  
debate about Western nations letting people starve in Niger).  It  
does statistically affect a lot of gays and therefore is a hot potato  
in America.  There's also much more money to be made from selling  
prescription drugs that manage disease than from those that cure it.   
Imagine what a disaster it would be for the shareholders of  
GlaxoSmithKline, the makers and marketers of AZT, if the disease were  
eradicated as happened with Polio in 1979.  The drug companies  
needn't make that same mistake twice.

IMHO, just re-allocating war dollars to these things won't solve  
anything.  The system has been gamed.

-Ian.



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