Development at Gunpoint: The NY Times Gets it Right

by Rich Rubenstein on December 15, 2010 · 0 comments

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Thanks to the New York Times for reporting that Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam, Refugees International, and a score of other organizations have complained bitterly about the United States’ militarization of aid in Afghanistan (“U.S. Role in Afghanistan Questioned as Relief Worker Deaths Soar,” Dec. 14, 2010).  Not  surprisingly, General Petraeus’ policy of development at gunpoint has generated an enormous increase in attacks against civilian relief  and development workers throughout that war-torn country.  The callous defense of this policy by U.S..A.I.D. mission director Earl Gast on the ground that “someone has to go into the areas where the war is being fought” only illustrates the effective takeover of that agency by the Defense Department.

No, Mr. Gast, you have got it ass-backwards.  FIRST, stop this cruel and unnecessary war.  THEN aid the suffering population.  While the occupation continues, aid workers, relief organizations, and conflict resolvers should not permit themselves to be used for the purpose of giving the Empire a human face.

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