Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Setting the world right

The haves have a responsibility to the have-nots

If 200 billion USD can be spent on slaughtering thousands of Iraqi civilians, how is it possible that there is not enough money to save the 30.000 children who die every day from preventable diseases?

If the rich countries think that history will judge them fondly, they had better think again. The history book is not written by contemporaries, it is written by future generations who have the benefit of hindsight and a more objective view of events.

If the leaders of the countries which took part in the ill-planned, badly managed, criminal act of butchery which is George Bush's vendetta against Iraq imagine that the history book will judge them as people who followed a righteous path, they are wrong.

The response to the colossal disaster in Asia in the aftermath of the tidal wave which has claimed possibly 200.000 lives is a telling example of the sort of creature mankind has become. Collective back-slapping and trumpet-blowing over a paltry four billion dollars, which however commendable, pales into insignificance when compared with the astronomic sums being wasted during Bush's war crimes in Iraq.

Moreover, Jan Egeland, the United Nations emergency coordinator, claimed recently that every day, no less than 30.000 children die from preventable diseases, due to the fact that there are not enough resources being distributed from the haves to the have-nots. As Jan Egeland claims, the developed world is "unable or unwilling" to make the necessary investments.

It is clear that this is a case of unwilling, rather than unable. If the resources are there to maintain an army of occupation in Iraq indefinitely, fighting a long drawn-out war against a growing number of freedom fighters (now apparently 200.000 and increasing), the resources are there to build infrastructures which ferry drinking water to families in need.

Yet Donald Rumsfeld's forces found it easier to smash the infrastructures of Iraq, targeting electricity, water and sewage treatment plants as part of their military policy in a shocking act of state terrorism, rather than channel their energies into other more useful areas of activity, such as saving and not taking lives.

30.000 children per day is 210.000 children per week, every week and it goes on 24/7, 31 days per month and 365 days per year, every year.

If Humanity thinks it is doing well by throwing four billion dollars into the hat to help rebuild the devastated Asian shorelines while Bush and his super-rich clique of corporate elitists squander hundreds of billions of dollars in an act of wanton destruction and butchery while at the same time since the reader has begun this article, around 100 children have died through entirely preventable diseases, then the history book will judge not only those regimes responsible for the criminal acts in Iraq, but all of us, for the type of society which we have built and apparently seem so smug to live in.

New Year is a time for a collective rethink as to who we are, what we are and where we are going - and are we really happy when we see our image in the mirror?

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