You Do the Math
Since it's been 6 years since the WTC attacks, I thought I'd repost this thing I wrote back then. I'd have redone the math, but honestly, it hasn't changed at all. At this point it's just a simple matter of attrition and addition. Multiplication, really.
That's 5 long, long years.
On the other hand, Bush only has 861 days left in office.
861 days, 8 hours and 6 minutes.
And 52 seconds (but who's counting).
2973 people died in the September 11th attacks (oh, and the 19 hijackers, but who is counting them? And incidentally, why aren't we counting them?).
2973. That's a lot of people dead for no reason.
Every single one of those one thousand eight hundred and twentyfive days since those 2973 people, roughly 30.000 children died from easily preventable causes.
Jeepers, if we were counting, that would be 53 million children. Put it another way: think about that really big class you were in when you were a kid? 30 kids, far too many for the overworked teacher. You're dead. You are all dead, and a thousand other classrooms like the one you were in. Every day for five years.
On the day that those 2973 people died, roughly 30.000 children died from easily preventable causes. That number of children also died the day before and the day after. That's like 60 crammed-full jumbo jets crashing every day.
Somewhere between 62.000 and 180.000 people have died thus far in the war "on" terror, according to the Independent. That's at least 33 people every day = roughly 1/1.000th of the WTC disaster, or roughly 1/10.000th of the children who died that day.
The thing we spend the most money on around the world is weapons that enable us to kill other people. We spend $950 billion on this. The US alone spends $441.6 billion on this.
If you take what the US spends every single year on being able to kill other people, and had put it into food distribution, sustainable development, clothes and medicine for those 53 million children (they mostly die from things like diarrhoea, pneumonia, measles and malaria), you could have saved every last one of those children about 200 times over, and still have money left to put them through school for five to eight years.
Also, 2.9 million people died from AIDS last year. Somebody should really be looking into that.
We like to focus on big, dramatic dangers, and because of that, we're less focused on actual problems that are actually killing us. Unlike September 11th, life is mostly not like Hollywood movies. Statistics are realer than anything to the people doing the dying, and there are 30.000 good reasons every day to stop being idiots.
I have a suggestion. It's a really simple and easy suggestion. My suggestion is based on the fact that a) I consider myself as being strongly opposed to human beings, both children and adults dying unnecessarily. b) I think that we are vastly overestimating our need for killing each other.
1) Maybe we can all get together on the children not dying, and the not killing each other unnecessarily?
2) Then we could funnel some if not all of the money and work skills used for the military into non-military work around the world.
3) Maybe we could all get together on the not occupying other countries and killing people there.
4) Points 1, 2 and 3 would lead to other people maybe feeling less inclined to coming over to our place and killing people over here, or having their cousins who already live here not killing people over here. It might even lead to people over there killing each other less, and people over here killing each other less.
5) It would also lead to less dying in general from easily preventable cause, like hunger, AIDS, malaria, diahrroea, pneumonia, infections, terrorism and laser-guided smart bombs.