Sunday, March 2, 2008


While most European nations are reducing their standing armies and their defense budgets, the United States is increasing the billions of dollars it spends every year for war planes, missiles ad bombs. This is the result of the militaristic policy of people like Bush and Cheney who think that the world's problems can be solved with soldiers and bullets. Furthermore, with a Republican administration for the last seven years, the U.S. has been giving more money for military weapons to countries like Israel and Colombia. We can see the results.

Israel invades Gaza and over the last few days more than 100 Palestinians have been killed, of whom at least one third are civilians including women and children. The bullets and bombs used by the Israeli Defense Forces are those provided by U.S. aid. If Israel's actions violate international law and are a form of state-sponsored terrorism inflicted on civilian populations in Gaza, then the United States has provided aid and military hardware to terrorist organizations.

Similarly, the U.S. has given Colombia hundreds of millions of dollars to beef up its military to fight FARC, the group that violently opposes Colombia's social and class system. Now FARC is not to be lionized because it engages in kidnappings, murders and other human rights abuses. But neither is Colombia or its administration led by Colombian president Alvaro Uribe. But the dispute between FARC and the Colombian government can never be solved by bullets and military operations, and the use of these tactics just makes the resolution between these two groups that much more intractable.

The United States needs to recognize its own bellicose intentions towards the rest of the world. Yes, let the U.S. continue with foreign aid for food, education and standard of living, but let it cease seeding the world with bombs, guns and missiles which can solve none of the world's problems or disagreements, but only exacerbate conflicts and bloody confrontations. Israel and Colombia are prime examples.

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