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Punitive Food aid

combine bombing with feeding civilians
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US foreign policy seems to have some consistent problems. We keep trying to destroy the war making ability of various governments, and then we starve the civilian population. At the same time, small farmers in the US are going under & nobody can understand why we subsidize the big farmers. Furthermore, the geek subsidy of the military industrial complex is increasingly removed from products that have civilian uses

Enter Punitive Food Aid (PFA). Next time a president feels the need to blow up a power station, let's just drop a freight car of okra on it. The presidential palace can be struck by pallets of popcorn. Do dirt to despots & feed the hungry. Since the pentagon seems to enjoy over paying, they can purchase shade grown organic asparagus. Since engineers need something to do, we can build more destructive packaging that will keep the produce from being bruised. I'm sure that eventually we'd be dropping bombs that could take out bunkers & cook a roast with the re-entry heat.

There you have it, a new, sustainable internationalist policy that involves a large military budget. I should probably be running for president on this.

tenhand, Sep 26 2000

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       10 more hands, 10 more hands!
thumbwax, Sep 26 2000
  

       I've always felt that there should be NO aid in any form - financial, food etc - by any government or aid agency to any country that spends a single cent on arms. Continually on the news we see starving children covered in flys, while in the background the country's soldiers look pretty healthy and very well armed with expensive weapons.   

       If they want to buy arms, let them do so after their country's problems have been solved.   

       Hey, perhaps we could have Punitive Weapons Delivery, where all deliveries are made at terminal velocity....oh wait, that's bombing.
Alcin, Sep 27 2000
  

       Does that include our own country?
egnor, Sep 27 2000
  

       All countries.
Alcin, Sep 27 2000
  

       Eh, but Alcin, that just helps the thugs in jackboots starve their populace. They clearly don't care if their fellows are immiserated, and it looks probable that the starving fellows are already too weak to resist the thugs.   

       It should go the other way around: no arms aid to countries with starving citizens.   

       Or, to get back to tenhand's actual idea, no arms aid that doesn't feed the citizenry. I would like to propose that harrows, appropriate seeds, etc. be included in long bombing runs. Beat the Swords into Ploughshares!
hello_c, Sep 27 2000
  

       ..."no arms aid to countries..." Actually that is what I was suggesting, but perhaps it didn't come out too well. But in regard to food aid I often feel that the governments of the countries worst affected are taking the attitude that "Hey so what if we don't feed our own people. If it gets too bad the rest of the world will do it for us." Then they redirect the financial aid just received into Swiss bank accounts for when they are eventually overthrown.
Alcin, Sep 28 2000
  

       how about an "Alms for Arms" policy?..
will, Sep 28 2000
  

       If you mean swap your arms for the alms we are to give you, then I agree.   

       (Gee, if HKUSP9 reads this he'll have a fit. It sounds suspiciously like disarming people doesn't it.)   

       Tenhand, please accept my apologies for having gotten off topic. Egnor, your contact link isn't working.
Alcin, Sep 29 2000
  

       Difference is that A) they're not being told they can't have guns, and B) they're not American.   

       Would get something useful out of those dumb gun buy-back things...
StarChaser, Sep 30 2000
  

       I just realized that PFA could be used to solve another problem: What to do with last year's out of fashion GAP extras? Fill freightcars full of them & drop when ready.   

       This would probably create some truely syncretic fashions after a few years of international PFA.   

       And no, let's not head into "carpet bombing"
tenhand, Oct 24 2000
  

       Truly you Americans know nothing of the world beyond your borders. Already, most of the world is labouring under the grinding heel of the McDonalds franchise. How much more punitive can it get?
DrBob, Oct 25 2000
  

       Finally you will be laboring under the heel of the Starbucks franchise, finally betrayed by the false hope of Ben&Jerry's, and then our domination will be complete. Bwahahaha. Ha.
hello_c, Oct 26 2000
  

       One problem with dropping food on people (or giving them money on the condition that they blow it on food which you will sell them) is that it's much more disruptive for local farmers and markets than anything affecting American farmers. (Alcin's right about the 'moral hazard' part, too, but it's probably worse to not give emergency food aid than to risk saving an evil government from being overthrown).   

       No aid for armed countries: It's notoriously tricky (but not impossible) to give aid usefully, but organisations like the World Bank have been coming around to this sort of idea -- giving aid to encourage and assist economic and social reforms and witholding it, generally, from less pleasant governments (where it seems to have done as much harm as good in the past). This is easier now that large, armed countries are less interested in seeking cold-war allies (and fighting proxy wars) among small developing ones, although there are still plenty willing to use 'aid' to cozy up to arms buyers and recruit political allies (there was a ludicrous bit of jockeying between Taiwan and China a while back for (non-)recognition from small African states by which some of the latter were able to profit).   

       One of the best courses, of course, is to freely open developed-world markets to poor countries, but this runs into an accidental coalition of protectionist rich-country industry types and well-intentioned left-wing crusaders against the evils of globalization.
Monkfish, Nov 20 2000
  

       On the basis of the quality of your idea - its logic and workability - you would certainly be able to compete with most presidential candidates.
Granpa, Apr 10 2001
  

       "I've always felt that there should be NO aid in any form - financial, food etc - by any government or aid agency to any country that spends a single cent on arms. Continually on the news we see starving children covered in flys, while in the background the country's soldiers look pretty healthy and very well armed with expensive weapons."   

       To a certain point I agree. However, let me give you a counterpoint. If you give aid to a completely defenseless country, how then will it defend the aid its been blessed with?
RayfordSteele, Feb 14 2002
  

       The dead, brilliant (and indeed, "dead brilliant") Bill Hicks on 'Relentless':   

       '...And it was pretty incredible, watching missiles fly down air vents - pretty unbelievable. But couldn't we feasibly use that same technology to shoot food at hungry people? Fly over Ethopia - "There's a guy who needs a banana!" SCHMCHMCHMCHMM! The Stealth Banana! Smart fruit...'
friendlyfire, Oct 19 2002
  

       US foreign policy seems to have some consistent problems// [tenhand]   

       Seems to me that US foreign policy suffers from consistency problems, Mr(s) President.
methinksnot, Mar 11 2006
  
      
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