Letters of genius, from the San Jose Mercury News opinion page
Redirect military spending
PETER Piot (Opinion, Dec. 1) is correct in insisting that we need to be concerned about the devastation being visited upon Africa by both AIDS and famine. Further, he is correct in insisting that we need to be investing heavily in efforts to alleviate the effects of AIDS and famine in Africa.
This year, Congress and President Bush agreed on a military budget of nearly $400 billion. The rationale is that it will make us more secure. Piot suggests we may be throwing money at the wrong people.
Only by addressing the real social concerns that plague our nation and the world can we hope to achieve security. If we were to re-allocate, say, $10 billion to $20 billion away from our military budget in order to address the AIDS epidemic and other causes underlying world hunger, we would be acting humanely and intelligently. If we really want national security, we need to look at the social conditions underlying national and world insecurity.
That makes a lot of sense, Marilyn. Especially considering that no one in Al Qaeda has AIDS, no one in Al Qaeda is starving, and no one in Al Qaeda cares one whit about those issues.
I might also add that there is nothing inhumane or unintelligent about freeing people from homophobic, misogynist, fun-hating theocrats.