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  • Edición impresa de Abril 5, 2011

I have been reading a book from Daniel Quinn, and I would like to share a couple of quotes to frame some of my thoughts on current events:

Chapters 1:

... Ishmael thought for a moment, "Among the people of your culture, which want to destroy the world?"

"Which want to destroy it? As far as I know, no one specifically wants to destroy the world."

"And yet you do destroy it, each of you. Each of you contributes daily to the destruction of the world."

"Yes, that's so."

"Why don't you stop?"

I shrugged, "Frankly, we don't know how."

"You're captives of a civilizational system that more or less compels you to go on destroying the world in order to live."

"Yes, that's the way it seems."

Many thoughts come to mind as one looks at the worldwide panorama, war in Libya and other countries, the multiple disasters in Japan and even the possible shutdown of the US budget. Sometimes we have a tendency to ignore that we are all in the same fishbowl, planet earth.

Circumstances are far different today than they were when the Bush Administration invaded Iraq in defiance of opposition at home and abroad. The American people, like people everywhere, want no part of a third war in the Middle East. Years after the fact, it was found what many knew then; the invasion started based on false data that provided an excuse to intervene.

Most ignore the money interest at play in Libya, which along with Egypt, sits over the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer, an ocean of extremely valuable fresh water. The control of the aquifer is priceless. The Water Pipeline - buried underground deep in the desert along 4,000 km - is the Great Man-Made River Project (GMMRP), which Gadhafi built for $25 billion without borrowing a single cent from the IMF or the World Bank. All eyes must focus when these pipelines are bombed and realize who would benefit with juicy "reconstruction" contracts and control of the water. Let's remember, “There's no business like war business.”

US military contractors like Dyncorp, MPRI and KBR operating in Africa benefit from the revolving door of privatization of warfare especially with the Libyan intervention.

On the other hand, for each US$ 1 billion Africa receives in aid from the North, it buys US$ 1.8 billion in weapons from the North. Debt servicing in Africa absorbs the funds, which would be directed to education. Because of the IMF's “structural adjustment” since the 1990s, dozens of African countries slashed their education budget.

The key for Africa is investment in universal basic education. An African project of universal basic education would cost pennies to the “international community”: just US$ 3.6 billion a year for 10 years, less than two days of global military spending.

According to Professor Paul Kennedy of Yale, the lessons of History are iron_clad. An Empire has only two reasons to go to war-in self_defense or to increase its wealth. The US “military presence” in no less than 153 countries, and nearly a dozen fully armed courier fleets on all the oceans must signal which is the true interest.

Meanwhile in U.S. real hourly wages are falling because with unemployment so high, most people have no bargaining power and will take whatever they can get. Housing is dropping because of the ever-larger number of homes people have walked away from because they can't pay their mortgages. Non-financial companies are doing well. Since 1992, for example, G.E.'s offshore profits have risen $92 billion, from $15 billion while paying no U.S. taxes. In fact, the only group that's optimistic about the future are big American companies while education, health and social services are slashed from the budget.

In closing another quote: "I have amazing news for you. Man is not alone on this planet. He is part of a community, upon which he depends absolutely." Daniel Quinn, “Ishmael”.






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