For sale 50+ nuclear weapons – proceeds to disaster relief Age and Annie's Ramblings
Some people are blinded by the western media as a result of which they cannot look for the misery in Pakistan right now.
This morning, I was asked to give money to the continuing disaster relief efforts in Pakistan. Apparently, 14 million people have been affected by the monsoon flooding. Although not that many have died, the damage to personal property and the infrastructure of the country is devastating. Notwithstanding my general dislike of charities, my response to this particular appeal is ďfuck ĎemĒ.
Pakistan has nuclear missiles; some 50 or 60 of them at last estimate. What kind of country puts nuclear arms before the welfare of its people? Whatís more important: clean drinking water or nuclear weapons designed to escalate tensions with India? My attitude is that if a country decides itís got the money and resources to spend on developing nuclear weapons, then itís eschewing all aid. If youíre going to hold up a big middle finger to the rest of the world by sticking nukes in your arsenal, you shouldnít be able to beg for help when it rains a bit much.
What confounded me the most was the manner in which I was asked to donate: as a deduction from my pay-cheque. Yup, it was my employer asking me to give money to Pakistan. I conduct media analysis, concentrating mostly on an insurance company that sponsors sporting events and the language used in the reporting of terrorism. Thereís a lot of coverage of events and organisations in Pakistan in the latter project. I spend a significant part of my life writing about the various terrorist groups launching attacks from within Pakistan. And now Iím being asked by the same people I write those reports for to donate money to that country. Do they even read my work?
Pakistan is a dangerous place that represents one of the biggest threats to the world. Itís the sixth-biggest country and it has the second highest Muslim population of any country in the world (after Indonesia). Itís theoretically a democracy, but the government is highly unstable and the military has a massive say in the politics of the region to the extent that most of Pakistanís rulers have been military men. Corruption is rife at all levels of society and all levels of public office. Poverty is the norm, with the average annual GDP income per head of population being just over US $1,000. Many extremist and terrorist groups are based in Pakistan including Al Qaeda and many Taliban groups (the Pakistani government were strong supporters of the Taliban until it became unfashionable). Despite only existing for sixty years, it has fought four wars with India. There have also been several border conflicts with Afghanistan. It has the seventh largest military in the world with over a million troops in its armed forces and a standing order in its constitution allowing for conscription at any time without an act of its parliament.
So whilst I feel some sympathy for the poor people whose lives have been blighted by the recent flooding, I have none for their country. When youíve got a million-strong army and a whole bunch of nukes, itís a bit of a ******* cheek to ask me to bail out the farmers and peasants that youíve so studiously ignored. Every pound I donate to disaster relief is another pound that their corrupt government doesnít have to spend, leaving them free to buy more weapons and support more extremist groups that threaten us all. **** Ďem.