Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fiscally Responsible Idea: Stop Killing Children

Source: Washington’s Blog: U.S. Army Starts Targeting Children at
How much of a coincidence is this? The same week the U.S. Army admits it is deliberately bombing children in Afghanistan a deranged gunman opens fire on kindergarten children in Connecticut.

To put it another way, does a culture of violence breed violence?
Drone strikes kill mostly civilians, many of them young children, and are paid for by me and thee. Unless you've figured out how to withhold the 50%+ of tax revenue that Obama administration budgets allocate to military spending, that is.

Can we afford to go on like this, increasing spending for state-sponsored violence while cutting budgets for mental health care?

Here's a modest proposal: take all the $$ allocated to aerial bombing, including paying those who make it possible, and redirect it to mental health services.

Split the services up between people in the U.S. -- who clearly need it badly -- and people in any country the U.S. has bombed since WWII. (Israel can re-direct its own military spending to mental health services for its people and those of Gaza and the West Bank. Oh, wait, a lot of that $ is U.S. tax revenue, too.)

Source: Jordan Times "The mother of 10-month-old Palestinian girl, Hanen Tafesh, killed the day before in an Israeli air strike, is comforted by her husband and relatives as she mourns before her funeral in Gaza City, on Friday (AFP photo)"
From the Jordan Times:
Child psychologists say the trauma of war stays with Gaza’s children for a long time. 
Hussam Nunu, the head of Gaza’s Community Mental Health Programme, said close to a third of the about 1,500 patients treated every year are children affected by stress and violence. After Israel’s last offensive four years ago, the number of children suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders was “overwhelming”, he said. 
“Since then we have done a lot of outreach, but when another escalation like this happens, our work can be undone,” he said.

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