Sunday, March 20, 2011

Why bombing Libya is a bad choice: Education dollars hard at War

We have an embarrassingly high drop-out rate in this country, scores of high school graduates who cannot complete their first year of college, and an antiquated curriculum designed to teach our children how to work assembly lines in factories that no longer exist, yet we are again engaged in “regime change.” Well at least the missiles are functional. 

By Donald W.R. Allen, II – Editor in Chief, The Independent Business News Network (IBNN NEWS)

Minneapolis, MN. (IBNN NEWS/Editorial/March 20, 2011)…If you are like most people, the talk around the water cooler this week will focus on one issue: the bombing of Libya.

Some say the military attack on Libya is a triumph of the Bush Doctrine. And critics have argued that while our current Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning president has purported to represent a major change in our foreign policy, Obama is just following in Bush’s footsteps. As Vice President Cheney said in 2003: "If there is anyone who doubts the seriousness of the Bush Doctrine, I would urge that person to consider the fate of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq."

Cheney would surely argue that the Bush/ [Obama]Doctrine has put Gaddafi’s head on the chopping block as well. I say, well, not so fast. Gaddafi will not roll over without a fight, and this fight could end up being played out in America’s back yard.

Even more importantly, this latest military action is another waste of US taxpayer dollars. A single Tomahawk Missile costs nearly $570,000.

Just a few times the average teacher’s yearly salary.

Our $300 million dollar (as of 3-19-11) excursion into Libya could disrupt the funding stream for education at all levels. While I am a patriot who believes that American military action can be force for good, I wonder where the money to launch attacks on Africa is coming from during our current economic crisis. While local school districts cannot get the funding they need to give our children a high-quality education, it seems that America always has a budget to invade, attack and bomb another country.

The achievement gap and institutional racism seem to be on the very bottom of our list of national priorities. But addressing them would help solve some of the most important challenges we face as a country, in this country.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a ready-made budget to attack the achievement gap with no limits?

IBNNNEWS is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America, and is Stringer for Allvoices

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