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October 21, 2002

Terror: 336,000 Deaths in Indonesia

Last week, 150 people died in Bali due to a terrorist bombing.

Each year, 336,000 children under 5 die, 60% due to malnutrition, in Indonesia. See this old report based on UNICEF data.

Folks will talk about the difference between the intention of those who run a global economic system that leaves children to starve in the streets of Jakarta versus the deadly planned murder of Al Quaeda, but for the mothers who live in terror wondering if their children will die, the difference hardly matters. And the threat of malnutrition and disease is far more real and deadly than Al Quaeda.

If you question the relative signficance of the body count from terrorism, warhawks will raise the spectre of nuclear terrorism. Look at the number above. A nuclear bomb of death rains down on the poor of Indonesia-- and the poor of the world -- every year.

So given these kinds of death ratios, why should we spend even one-thousandth as much time, money or resources fighting terrorism as we do fighting global poverty and disease? And why are we actually spending so much more on the comparatively minor problem of terrorism?

Posted by Nathan at October 21, 2002 01:19 PM

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