Article Overview:   The President of the United States has asked for $87 billion to fight Terrorism.  That amounts to $300 per person to build a nation formerlly ruled by a Supreme Terrorist. It's a $22,000 benefit to each household in Iraq.   Is it worth the investment to fight Terrorism abroad rather than at home?  You decide.


Tuesday--September 9, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 727
The $87 Billion Iraqi Anti-Terrorism Budget:  Is It Worth It?
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Sep 9, 2003-- The President of the United States has asked each and every American to spend $300 per person to rebuild Iraq into a nation of Vigilance from a former state of Terrorism.   Is it worth the $87 billion he is asking for?

Senator Sam Levin, ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, said the spending bill was "stunning" in size.

       Americans invest in many things each year.   This year, Congress is being asked to spend $87 billion to fund the reconstruction of Iraq.   The money includes supporting the U.S. military as well as paving the rebuilding of the Iraqi government into a democracy, void of Terroristic control.
        But do we, as a nation and as individuals, need to invest at home first before we can afford to fund the development of other nations?
        There is an axiom of common sense that says one's own house must be in order before one can forage out to clean up the neighbor's house.
        Are our homes protected from Terrorism?   Should each of the 290 million American first spend $300 per person before investing in Iraq's 27 million?
        Our budget in Iraq invests $3,000 per person to stave off the future threats of Terrorism.  That's a 10:1 ratio.   Are we ten times more invested in our own defense of Terrorism? 
(see Iraq demographics below)
        Iraq enjoys 3 million households, with an average of 7.5 people per household.   America has more than 105 million households, with an average of 2.6 persons per household.   The cost of funding Iraq's anti-Terrorism rebuilding is $780 per American household.
        The benefit to Iraqi households is much greater.   At 7.5 persons per household, the $87 billion in funding invests $22,500 per Iraqi household.
         What are we going to get in return for our investment?
          That's the big question I propose.

As a Sentinel of Vigilance, I am concerned for the protection of our homes

          As a Sentinel of Vigilance, one of my first concerns is investing in our understanding and protection of our own homes.    The greatest protection I can envision for each and every American against Terrorism assaulting their doorstep isn't putting up a machine gun or sandbags to form a moat against physical Terrorist attacks.
          To me, the cost of protecting American homes is as simple as posting a copy of the Pledge of Vigilance on the refrigerator, and each member of the family reciting the Pledge each morning before or after breakfast.
           The cost of a piece of printed paper runs between  one and two cents.   That includes paper and ink plus the electricity to download the Pledge from my website.
           There is another cost, however.   It is the hidden emotional cost of a mother, father, uncle, aunt, grandparent, cousin or loved one sitting down with the children of a family and sharing with them their Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies and then talking about how to counter them with Courage, Conviction and Right Actions geared to protect future generations.

Most Americans are glued to their television sets as their primary source of communication

       To achieve this means the average American family has to tear itself away from the television.  This is a difficult task indeed since most Americans are glued to their television sets as the primary source of communication.   Below is a chart from the National Institute of Media and Family revealing  our children watch television up to 35 hours a week.  If one hour of this time was spent on Vigilance between parents and children, and how to battle the Triad of Terrorism with the Principles of Vigilance, our children would be far more able to defend themselves against Terror attacks--the kind of Terrorism that makes a child feel unworthy, not loved, alienated, not as smart as, not as pretty or gifted as another child.    This kind of Terrorism is far more insidious than any attack on any World Trade Center, or any suicide bomber.

Television's Effect On Reading And Academic Achievement

Did you know?

bulletAmerican children, ages 2-17, watch television on average almost 25 hours per week or 3 ½ hours a day. Almost one in five watch more than 35 hours of TV each week (Gentile & Walsh, 2002).
bulletTwenty percent of 2- to 7-year-olds, 46% of 8- to 12-year-olds, and 56% of 13- to 17-year-olds have TVs in their bedrooms (Gentile & Walsh, 2002).
bulletChildren spend more time watching television than any other activity except sleeping.

           Iraq is not inundated with televisions for obvious reasons.  It has only 1.7 million television sets for its 3 million households.  The U.S. has 106 million, a 98.2 percent penetration of all households.
           What this means is there is still a chance that a Pledge of Vigilance in Iraq may have more impact on the nation's development against Terrorism than all the bombs and bullets the $22,000 we invest per household under the $87 billion budget will have.
            But again, the problem comes to roost on the parents' shoulders.   How many parents are willing to become Sentinels of Vigilance?
          How many parents, guardians and loved ones of others are willing to sit down with their kids or grandkids or nieces and nephews and share their Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies?
          How many are willing to give examples of acts of Courage, Conviction and Right Actions necessary to overcome these demons of Terrorism?
          When we propose our budget to fight Terrorism in Iraq, the true infrastructure of the nation has been overlooked.

Replace the Roots of Terrorism with the Roots of Democracy

           It isn't just the roads and electricity and municipal systems of a smooth operating government that need funding.   We need to think in terms of the roots of all democracy.  Those roots involve pulling out of a child's chemistry the weeds of Terrorism, those deep seeded Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies that make a child's eyes dart wildly when the wind blows, or forces them to shun the eyes of another out of shame or guilt or a sense of worthlessness to others.
         Governments, including our own, measure societies by physical characteristics.   They look at the business of the nation, the flow of commerce, the quality of people's health, the level of their education, the ranking of their technology and then rate that nation.

         It isn't within the stethoscope of governments to listen to the heartbeat of a child beating wildly out of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.   Governments do not see the emotional travails of nations as something they can control, for if they did, they would not put band aids on the problems, but perform major surgery to carve out the cancers that created the sores.
        Vigilance requires a deeper, more penetrating effort than simply throwing money at reconstruction of the infrastructure of a nation.    It demands a wisdom that is requisite for  the future of the nation's children.
        In America, despite our great commercial and industrial power, we still rip apart at the seams.   Our fifty-percent divorce rate suggests the fabric of our values as Parents of Vigilance cannot weather the storms of life.   We do little to repair the damage to our children who are cleaved from their families, who grow up without ongoing love of both natural parents.

Ripping a family apart through divorce is not unlike a Terrorist throwing a hand grenade into a village

         While this is only one of many signs of our infrastructure's emotional weakness, it reminds us that we have our own Terrorism to deal with.    Ripping a family apart through divorce is not unlike a Terrorist throwing a hand grenade into a village.   Children weep over the dead bodies of parents who are divorced, just as they do when the physical body is torn by shrapnel.
        Parents of Vigilance learn their mission in life is their children's security, their safety, their happiness.
        Wedding vows often fail to promote the purpose of marriage--to provide strength and security for the children issued from that bond.   Marriage vows should deal less with binding of two people, and more with the duty of those two people to the children they bear, and the duties of Vigilance they must perform as their children grow.
         Americans will invest $22,000 per year on the Iraqi families to rebuild their nation if the current budget of $87 million is authorized by Congress.
         But what will they spend on themselves?
         Will Americans continue to let their children be trained by the television set on how to live with the Beast of Terror?  Will they turn over their child's emotional formation to the television screen?
         Will American marriages continue to tear and shred a child's security, dividing the mother and father so the children grow up without the benefit of a union based on the children's need for love from their natural parents?
         Will Americans continue to believe that Terrorism is about the physical attacks of radicals with bombs and bullets, or will they come to realize that Terrorism is about crippling them emotionally, driving them deep into caves of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency?
         I wonder how the $22,000 per household will be spent in Iraq?
         I wonder if the average American here would rather the citizens of Iraq were forced to take the Pledge of Vigilance to receive the aid, or that it just be thrown at them as it is currently projected to be done?

...the Pledge of Vigilance on your refrigerator and say it daily

Protect American homes by putting...

       Vigilance can only be duplicated once it is modeled.   If America is truly the world's great TerrorHunter, the true great Sentinel of Vigilance offering the world ways to climb out of the Beast of Terror's jaws, then it first must serve as an example.
        That means to me that Americans need to first take the Pledge of Vigilance before throwing money at the world to battle Terrorism.  Unless we can show others how we are willing to fight the Beast of Terror in our own living rooms, we should not take our Children's Children's Children equity to far off lands.
         When we invest in Terrorism abroad, without first investing in it at home, the Beast of Terror roars.


DEMOGRAPHY 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025
Total population (000s) 15,317  18,078  20,095  23,109  26,668  30,422  34,248  38,013  41,600 
Sex composition (male per 100 females) 103.8  103.7  103.7  103.6  103.6  103.5  103.4  103.2  103.0 
Population: Age 0-14 (%) 45.2  44.2  43.6  42.5  40.8  38.9  36.8  34.6  32.1 
Population: Age 65 + (%) 2.8  2.9  3.0  3.1  3.3  3.5  3.9  4.3  4.8 
Urban population (000s) 10,533  12,987  14,975  17,752  21,000  24,441  27,955  31,483  34,916 
Rural population (000s) 4,784  5,091  5,120  5,357  5,668  5,981  6,293  6,530  6,683 
Urbanization level(%) 68.8  71.8  74.5  76.8  78.8  80.3  81.6  82.8  83.9 
Household total number (000s)   2,336  2,640  3,091  3,633  4,241  4,919  5,652  6,431 
Household average size   7.74  7.75  7.69  7.52  7.33  7.12  6.88  6.63 
    1985-1990 1990-1995 1995-2000 2000-2005 2005-2010 2010-2015 2015-2020 2020-2025
Life expectancy at birth: Male (years)   63.5  64.5  66.5  68.0  69.2  70.4  71.4  72.4 
Life expectancy at birth: Female (years)   66.5  67.5  69.5  70.9  72.4  73.9  75.1  76.1 
Total population growth rate (%)   3.32  2.12  2.80  2.86  2.63  2.37  2.09  1.80 
Urban population growth rate (%)   4.19  2.85  3.40  3.36  3.03  2.69  2.38  2.07 
Rural population growth rate (%)   1.24  0.11  0.91  1.13  1.08  1.02  0.74  0.46 
Household number growth rate (%)     2.48  3.20  3.28  3.14  3.01  2.82  2.62 
Household 5-year increment     304  451  542  608  678  733  779 
HOUSING & SOCIAL INDICATORS Total 1985 1990 1995 Urban 1985 1990 1995 Rural 1985 1990 1995
Total number of living quarters (000s)                  
Number of conventional housing units (000s)   1,759.2      1,269.0      490.2   
% of housing units with piped water                  
% of housing units with toilet   90.3      98.2      69.7   
% of households owner occupants   65.3      60.8      77.3   
% of households renter   18.2      23.7      3.5   
Conventional dwellings constructed (000s)   0.85  0.30             
Illiteracy rate: Male (%) 9.8    29.3             
Illiteracy rate: Female (%) 12.5    55.0             
Gross enrolment ratio at first level(%) 108 111 85            
Gross enrolment ratio at second level(%) 54 47 42            
Population with access to safe water(%)   78 44   93     41  
Population with access to sanitation(%)   72 35   96     18

Sep 8--Burying A Vial of Terrorism's Blood In Vigilance

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