A Little Perspective If You Please
by James Glaser
Terrorism is a vote getter. Terrorism can make your friends lots of money if you are in power. Terrorism can hide many flaws in your ideas for America. These are all true statements. What is not a true statement, is that terrorism is a leading cause of death for Americans.
In the last ten years maybe 3,000 US citizens have lost their lives to Terrorism. While I truly feel sorry for the families that have lost a loved one, in that time frame there were millions of Americans killed from preventable things that our government does nothing about.
According to the US Office of Smoking and Health report of April 12, 2002, on average, over the last six years, 440,000 Americans have died per year from Tobacco. That is 880 times more deaths than the Terrorist attack of September 11th in New York and Washington.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Database 2/12/01, 111,000 of us die from that product each and every year. That is over thirty six times more deaths from tobacco, than from terrorism.
Heck, lets look at murder right here at home. 17,000 of us are killed by other citizens each year and another 17,000 die from drugs (legal and illegal) Then there is the Department of Labor report that states we lose 6,000 in accidents at the workplace.
AIDS/HIV is killing 14,000 each year and when you think about it, Weapons of Mass destruction have killed zero.
Sure that one terrorist attack was horrible for our country, but when you compare it to these other "attacks" it was not that much of a hit. But that Attack has something going for it, fear and the potential to make money and let us not forget about those votes. We have already spent a couple hundred billion dollars on this war on terrorism and in comparison we have spent almost nothing on the search to find a cure for AIDS/HIV. Remember though if you put that money into research on this, only Doctors and Universities get the money, it is hard to pass those types of contracts out to friends.
42,000 Americans die from traffic accidents each and every year and maybe 15,000 of those are caused by someone drunk. Has the President made this a national priority to reduce these accidents. Can you even imagine how many lives could be saved with the President behind driver safety and just a few billion to the States to implement better and safer roads?
With some millions of dollars, not billions, workplace safety enforcement and education could save more lives than the number lost in our terrorist attack.
Maybe I am wrong on this one, but I believe that better pay and more jobs would cut down on murders and if illegal drugs were made legal then an incredible segment of American crime and the murders from that segment would be put out of business. Yes, for awhile the amount of drug deaths would go up, but as in other countries with legal drugs, that would level out and as in these other nations, our addiction rates would go down. It is just that so many people are making really big money off illegal drugs, Congress is afraid to change anything. Also those in Washington have no faith or trust in the American people and believe we would all rum amok and start shooting heroin every chance we had.
Tobacco has killed more people right here in our country than all the Terrorist attacks the world over and that is true for Alcohol too. Washington will not touch either of these with a ten foot pole, but they could put a few billion into education for our children, which has proven to work in reducing use of both. Again this won't get them votes, but more important, it won't get them money.
So we are back to Terrorism. George Bush saw the potential for milking the fear of terrorism and he jumped in with both feet. That fear has caused us to kill thousands of innocent women and children, the old and the infirmed in Afghanistan and Iraq. In fact we have already killed way more innocent people in those two countries, than terrorists have killed Americans.
Remember though, just because we kill these innocent people, we are not terrorists because we told these countries we were going to attack. You are only a terrorist if you are sneaky and surprise people. Those little kids and nursing mothers should have gotten out of the way of our attacks.
Sure we should fight terrorism, but if we want to save the lives of American citizens, lets put this war in perspective and if we can find hundreds of billions of dollars to fight this one, then how about finding some money to fight the real big killers of the American people!
All it would take is President Bush talking about these problems as much as he talks about terrorism. Why couldn't he mention to the youth of America how bad it is to smoke and what a hard time he had with Alcohol and Drugs during every speech. A little honesty from George would be refreshing The guy is the President, it would make a real positive impression on our children and I might say it would be a positive move for George too, but it wouldn't make him any money.
Well enough ranting. We can still say that God still loves us more than anyone else, George Bush is still popular, and some of the "right people" have made a pile of money. We all know this is what is important in America today
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