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How Israel and humanity can only win by 'soft-power'.

Reader comment on item: How Israel Can Win

Submitted by Lucky O'Daly (United States), Apr 6, 2006 at 08:52

How does the following thrust [excerpted from letters to several U.S. papers] work with your article's recommendations?

Technology advances now allow any misguided and clever human, with $300 in hobby store and hardware store money, to land a few ounces of any hazardous material on any roof on the planet -- from hundreds of yards away. This fact is known to all key security experts, as are the facts that imported cargo is inevitably to be the carrier of devastating mischief; and food and water, or electricity supplies, are wholly easy to poison or short-circuit into burn out -- and all of this by sabotage techniques that are so unobtrusive.as to flatly defy timely detection.

Those of us who [again] wish to overwhelm the world's violent by shock-and-awe military strategies must ask ourselves -- Are we [again] guilty of "fighting today's wars with [only] the weapons of the last wars"? Can we not bring ourselves to face up to / 'deal with' a human-to-human threat that we cannot wipe out with might alone?

Are not just two [following] soft-power 'weapons' of at least equal value to our blood-and-gore measures? AND of at least equal urgency / priority?:::

[1] Sharing the building blocks of prosperity with the broken and angry nations that we, the rich, have recently frightened to the teeth -- be those nations 'in the right' or not. How many Arabian style Walmarts and Bin Donalds and Home Depots could we have plunked down in the Middle East for the $300,000,000,000 we've just spent on shock-and-awe? How many Arab 'terrorists' would be busy selling lawn chairs, Pepsies, and screwdrivers by now? Even humans are smart enough to prefer to not murder their own customers.

And couldn't we make money AND friends by planting such American business operations in Mexico as would help to build a level of prosperity there that would make their workers wish to stay home? Doesn't that beat spending billions on walls and armed guards?

[2] A high world-wide minimum wage: Would it not cause globalization to hurt the workers of the rich countries less? And would it not allow the workers of poor countries to become customers of ours? Hard to implement? Yes. Impossible? No. Guaranteed to succeed more as it succeeds a little? Yes, guaranteed -- absolutely.

And Clinton's right, "Make money, not war." And so was the oldtimer who observed that "The human is never more effectively distracted from his love affair with murder and mayhem than when he's busy trying to make money."

And when, in all the rich-versus-poor wars of history, have the rich ever won durably? or killed one enemy without making enemies of some of those who love him/her? or decreased hatred? or decreased the lust for revenge? And who is more powerful than the guy -- right or wrong -- who has nothing left to lose but his life? So then, what but our anger is nourished or benefited by the killing? Surrender? When have the poor ever honestly and durably surrendered to a dominance that was brutally won or brutally maintained? Let's look at a little history here.

If Teddy Roosevelt were still with us, he'd have new advice: "Behave softly, but carry a big stick."
Submitting....

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