Thursday, May 24, 2012

Give Peace a Chance!

Today I read an article about what the defense budgets for the top ten countries in the world are. Each of the defense budget of any one of these countries is outrageous but if you add all of them the result it’s an obscene amount especially during these tough economic times and particularly with so many people struggling to survive and being sucked into the vortexes of poverty.

This past Sunday the NATO (OTAN) Summit was held in Chicago, where the leaders of many of the European Nations, Canada and the United States discussed defense tactics against the never ending threat of terrorism as well as securing deals in the acquisition of “new and improved” armaments that will aid them in that war. Most likely, these countries will sell their old armaments to those they oppose through negotiations with second and even third party countries, disengaging ourselves from the ultimate buyers, which most likely will a “terrorist” group. Terrorists acquire their weapons from somewhere, usually from the countries that purchase the old armaments from our allies and from us.

The yearly budgets reserved by these countries for defense could better serve to pay their national debts instead of increasing it as they are doing. These funds could help each of those nations to come out of the recession they find themselves in or better yet, it could help eradicate famine and extreme poverty in the world. I know that I am not being original when I mention this, it has been said many times but I never compared these figures vs. the rough figure that would be needed to end famine and poverty worldwide.

To help everyone understand what I am saying, these are the defense budgets for 2011 of the top 10 countries:

Now, let’s assume that half of the budget of each country its used for defense and the other half for eradicating famish. There would be $613,000,000,000 exclusively dedicated to help the millions of children, women and men that starve to death every single day. According to Jeffrey Sachs, the amount needed to completely eradicate poverty and therefore hunger would be of 175,000,000,000 a year for 20 years or a total of 3,500,000,000,000. If the top 10 countries would reserve half of their defense budget towards this goal, we would eradicate poverty in SIX years!

It makes sense to me that no country should be defenseless, as long as there are enemies we should and we must have the capability of defending ourselves but… how much is too much? How can we, as civilized nations, be at peace with our conscience when there are so many suffering because they don’t have drinking water, basic nourishment or even shelter? How can we consider ourselves civilized when we know of these injustices and are witnessing our own governments waste so much money buying the latest war machine while a child slowly dies from starvation? Do we really need to invest so much in destruction instead of edification? Must we see our own countries go to shambles with a growing population of homeless families that have no hope for a better tomorrow while we, as citizens, allow our countries to use our hard earned money in this frantic obsession of war and the over expenditure in armaments?

The time is long overdue when we, the people of the world, demand from our leaders a more sensible approach. An approach towards peace, which could be accomplished if we all contribute to the betterment of the world and not its destruction, where we help everyone to have a decent life, where no child ever dies of starvation. If we, together as one planet, help each other without reservation and discrimination, without demanding any changes in the traditions, beliefs or politics of those in need in exchange for that help, we will not only eradicate poverty but we will accomplish the ever so elusive peace that has escaped us since the dawn of times… No one hates those that helped them and didn't ask for anything in return, it’s simple logic… It’s a matter of the heart, it’s a matter of kindness, it’s a matter of humanity and ultimately it’s an action of love.


  1. I would like to know who, or what, all these countries are defending themselves against ? Nobody in their right mind is going to attack China, or Brazil. What's the mentality behind all this insanity ?