Weapons of Mass Salvation


| November 11, 2002 Issue

P resident Bush has a better chance of winning the War on Terrorism if he invests in Weapons of Mass Salvation rather than destruction, writes Jeffrey Sachs in The Economist.

"If George Bush spent more time and money on mobilising Weapons of Mass Salvation (WMS) in addition to combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), we might actually get somewhere in making this planet a safer and more hospitable home," Sachs argues.

WSM include "the arsenal of life-saving vaccines, medicines and health interventions, emergency food aid and farming technologies that could avert literally millions of deaths each year in the wars against epidemic disease, drought and famine."

President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill understood the marriage between destruction and salvation, Sachs notes. "Their war aims were not only to defeat fascism, but to create a world of shared prosperity."

And recently, the rich countries (including the U.S.) at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable development promised to put real resources behind cutting poverty, disease, and environmental degradation. However, Sachs points out, "When is the last time anybody heard Vice-President Dick Cheney even feign a word of concern for the world's poor?"
--Sara V. Buckwitz
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