Friday, September 30, 2005

If it's freedom and success 'they' hate, why aren't 'they' attacking Norway?

OPINION

This is an Interesting read By Luciana Bohne from online journal.

Most Americans like to believe they live in the best country in the world. They don't. According to the United Nations Human Development Report for 2005, Norway is number one. Why? It's a welfare state.

There is a pleasant economic equality enjoyed by the Norwegian polity. No one is too poor; no one is too rich. In fact, great wealth is regarded as some sort of social disease. Third oil exporter after Saudi Arabia and Russia, Norway is tucking away a national fund of over $180 billion for when the oil runs out, guaranteeing each family the quaint sum of $22,000 per year—in addition to guaranteed health care, education, pensions, and paid maternity leaves and vacations to die for! True, a glass of beer will cost you $8, but the waiter makes a good salary.

Americans like to think that terrorists attack them because they are rich, free, and number one. Not true. They don't attack Norway—another benefit for keeping your neck out of the woods, minding your own business, taking care of your own people, and planning for tomorrow—not to mention preventing your government from being drowned in the bathtub by snake-oil salesmen posing as public servants, so it can't help when an iceberg hits a fjord, or equivalent natural disaster. Norwegians seem proud of having government on their backs! Not too heavy when they can request and obtain any government record they please for their review! They are also disgustingly healthy. Must be the lack of stress. Thirty million Americans are on anti-depressants. You wonder why.

Lots of Americans like to think they have the most generous government in the world. Again, not true. The US is the stingiest donor of foreign aid among rich nations. Current foreign development aid is up from $52.3 billion to $57 billion per year but quite short of the $100 billion needed to meet the goals of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for 2015, which pledged to reduce poverty and inequality in a Declaration of Millennium Goals signed by 175 UN member nations in 2000. Rich nations contribute 0.25 percent of their GDP (gross domestic product); the US contributes 0.1 percent. Among Ambassador John Bolton's 700 amendments to "reform" the UN, his wish list includes gutting the MDG.

Americans like to think they are spreading freedom and democracy around the world. You guessed it. Not true. The war in Iraq has cost $200 billion so far, but the Iraqi justice minister can't prosecute foreign fighters on Iraqi soil who detain and manhandle Iraqi citizens without judicial procedure. As many as 10,000 Iraqis are in detention in grossly abusive locations, of which Abu Ghraib is only the most notorious. Foreign fighters, of course, are the multinational forces, made up of an effective coalition of two—Britain and the US. Iraqi women have come under Sharia law, after 50 years of sharing legal equality with men. Think about that, as a test of spreading democracy! Iraqi farmers are required to buy seeds from corporations after five millennia of giving the world the genius of their wisdom and experimentation. Now, by virtue of Paul Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority "intellectual property" law, included in the current Iraqi constitution, Iraqi farmers have no right to plant seeds not licensed by the state.

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